"No" I said.
"Why?" asked Number 2
"Because we are on our driveway." I replied, calmly.
"Oh." said Number 2. "I need to go to the toilet."
"Did you just go?" I asked, still calmly, although my inner zen is starting to ripple. I had already faced 2 hours straight of questioning.
"Yes, but I reaaaalllllly need to go." said Number 2.
Fifteen minutes later we are toileted and driving to our destination. My inner zen reestablished.
"Are we there yet?" asked Number 1.
"No" we say in unison.
"WWWWWHHHHHHHHHYYYYYYYY??????" whined Number Two.
"Because we can't teleport." I exclaimed, exasperated.
Silence. The shock of my ludicrous comment and the word being outside my youngest's vocabulary worked!
We drove for 5 minutes. My zen returned.
"Are we there yet?" They both chorused.
And so our trip began.
Until then I didn't realise how lucky we were to have somehow dodged this relentless line of questioning!
Our youngest, is apparently an avid supporter of the "Are we there yet?" campaign and had roped in the eldest to join. They actively participated in the campaign and were better than any political party I have come across.
After 39 more minutes of interrogation, (yes, I counted!), I realised our mistake. In our haste to get on the road we hadn't put their travel backpacks with books, pencils and colouring in books near them, they were in the boot.
Instead of pulling over to get the backpacks (we had already stopped for the toilet again!), we talked about what we'd do when we arrived and played a few games. They settled until the next stop and the "Are we there yet?" questions stopped. Disaster averted, my zen returned.
Dealing with the "Are we there yet?" Campaigners can at first be entertaining and it is a rite of passage for kids and parents, but it becomes frustrating quickly.
It did reinforce that having a plan and a few distractions like travel bags and games not only helps, but makes a stress-free road trip.
Happy kids = happy parents!
Plan for "Where are we.... going, having lunch, going to the toilets...?!"
Identify rest and sightseeing stops, your accommodation or campsites while in transit and at your final destination.
Get the kids involved in the research and planning as it will build the excitement, ownership around the holiday, settle any underlying pre-travel nerves and teach them about the location. Use books, maps or the Internet.