Question: What does Baby L. like to do best in the car?
Answer: L. loves to look at herself in her carseat mirror. Babies love mirrors! Faces are one of the first categories of information that the brain begins to understand. Did you know there is actually an area of the brain devoted just to understanding faces? Baby L.'s mirror also has a colorful pattern border around the edges of it, and fun silky tags for her to grab onto, for developing her fine motor skills.
Question: When L. starts to get a little grumpy, what do you do about it?
Answer: I sing to her and tell stories! She especially likes songs with silly voices, or storytelling songs like Little Bunny Foo Foo. Literacy researchers agree that immersing children with stories and songs from the littlest age helps foster a love of literature and an understanding of text structure (how stories tend to go). Stories that contain dialogue, rich vocabulary, a problem/solution, and are told with expression and fluency are especially great. But if you can't come up with a good one on the spot, don't worry! Sometimes I just retell our day, step by step. "First we went... then we did..." The sound of my voice calms her down, and she's learning sequencing and all kinds of other important literacy-related skills.
Question: What about poosplosions?
Answer: Definitely pull off the highway, find a decent enough rest area, or at least a fast food restaurant (they always have changing tables) and spend some time cleaning up. I always pack a back-up set of clothes!