Traffic in Trinidad is now so bad it needs its own adjective. The usual home-school-work-school-home commute is bad, but add two drops of rain to that mix and traffic becomes traffarific: traffic that is so horrible it is amazing/terrific/awe and tear inspiring.
As a mom of a toddler, I thought I was prepared for rainy season and all its traffarific-ness. I mean, Crix is ‘de cure’ for anything right? Well, in what I now call the Great Maraval flood of 2017, I realized that
mommy and child cannot survive traffarific on Crix alone. I was not ready…
A 40 minute commute home turned into a two hour diesel infused car crawl. During this time, my son decided to show me exactly why it’s dangerous for toddlers to skip naps (he did not nap at school that day!). He went all kinds of crazy in his car seat. Crying so hard at one point that the Crix came back up!!!
That day, from the behind the wheel of my basically barely walking car I realized:
1. I’d never heard him cry like that
2. He has a damn good arm (he pelted his shoes at me)
3. Fear is being afraid your child would choke on snat produced from too much crying.
I pulled over several times. I cried often. I was also sure glad that I had actually filled my gas tank the day before or else the tears may have been different…
But then I posted on FB and a mom suggested I try phone videos.
Now, I’d been holding out on the whole ‘tech soothes my kid’ thing. I mean, ya read crap like the silicon valley titans don’t give their kids iPad so…
That. Shit. Done.
After a couple times of him tossing the phone in anger, my small man settled to watch a couple episodes of Colour Crew (Thank you You Tube) and we made it home like 7 minutes later. When we got home he was sweaty, wet, thirsty and very needy. I really loved him up a lot extra that night. I needed the hugs too.
The experience was harrowing.
So what are my tips for surviving traffarific-ness aka trafficgeddon?
•Liquids are key: keep a little cooler packed with two boxed juices and a bottle of water. I also have a stainless steel bottle with water – hey I may need water too.
•Emergency Diaper Supplies: Wet babies are unhappy. Wet toddlers can flip your car over in rage…. Have a stash of diapers,
wipes and Vaseline on case you end up on unexpected long haul drives.
•More than Crix: You pack lunch kits sooo pack a car snack kit for your child. Now, someone is going to be vex about this but plantain chips are in my emergency snack
stash as are other pack snacks because he does not get them often (read ever), they don’t spoil quickly, can take heat and are easy to eat. Other options: pack extra carrots with your lunch daily to save for your child to throw at you during a Car tantrum…
•Tech: Trinimummy (read her blog) gifted me a cd/book combo. It has music and reads the book to your child as they flip along in their car seat AND it’s a book so great!
•Phone/Ipad prep: Be warned, a toddler hates the spooling circle on a screen more than you can imagine… prep your phone. Download your child’s fave videos to your handset/ tablet in advance. HAVE A CHARGER for those devices in your car. Also be sure to have a ‘fling proof’ device case to avoid your device from being cracked by toddler traffic endured rage (it’s a thing – trust me). Figure out in advance
how to lock the screens so child swiping left or right on your phone does not reveal anything you would not share with your priest….
•Toys: my car cabin is toy free. But the trunk? I have a few gems in there in case of traffic induced boredom.
Hope these tips work for you. How do you prepare for traffarific?