would you let a 3yo go on an overnight miata drive weekend? - Mothering Forums

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Old 03-02-2011, 05:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DH has a miata and is part of a club that does monthly drives.  In April, they do a spring fling, where its 8-9 hours of driving on good "driving roads" on day 1(nices views, at times windy, and not frequented by cops).  They stay overnight somewhere (usually within 3-4 hours of direct route driving distance--they just take forever to get there b/c the purpose of the drive is to... well, drive) and then come back using a slightly more direct route than the first day.  Potty breaks are every 2-3 hours and are fairly hurried.  There are usually 30-40 cars on the drive.  And it's fun.  For grown ups.  The driving involved isn't going to be too aggressive, but it's also not going to be "cool cruiser dude" either  (that's the club's description of relaxed driving).  I mean the point is to get the miatas out and play in them.

 

This year, my moms group at church is doing a mom's retreat sans kids (nursing babes allowed) that same weekend.  And DH wants to take DS (turned 3 yesterday) on the miata drive.  I personally don't think it's a good idea.  DH thinks it will be fun and said that he will turn around and come back if DS gets bored or unhappy.  My big concern is that it just isn't a kid-friendly event.  There isn't time to stop and play and stretch legs... and he would be stuck in his car seat for 8-9 hours.  DH told me at the dinner table that he asked DS id DS wanted to go and that DS said he did.  But DS has no way of knowing what a miata drive entails, so.... I still don't feel good about it.  But I don't know if I feel badly enough about it to put my foot down and say DS isn't going on the miata drive.  Plus, I don't know how constructive that would be.

 

I'm almost considering skipping my retreat and just telling DH to go on the drive and I'll stay home with the kid.  But honestly, I would feel pretty resentful about that... I put the retreat on the calendar before DH even knew when the miata drive was going to be. 

 

WWYD?

 


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Old 03-02-2011, 07:04 AM
 
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If your DH is serious about turning back if it proves to be too much for DS, then I don't see the problem. If he's the type to push it too far... then I'd have some serious qualms.

My 2yo cannot tolerate more than ~1 hour in the car at a time so it's hard for me to imagine sending him on an 8-hour drive, but if your DS likes car rides and your DH has a plan for entertaining him (DVD player, snacks, whatever) then it could work I guess. Maybe he could stop halfway through to let your DS play at a park or something, and catch up with the rest of the group at another point in the route, or back at the hotel...

(This is assuming your DS is OK to be away from you overnight in the first place, since you didn't mention any concerns about that part of it!)

OH and another option might be to see if a friend or relative will take DS for the weekend so you & DH can each do your thing...

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Old 03-02-2011, 07:24 AM
 
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Sounds like hell to me.  But if he's up for it and will really turn around and go home if it doesn't work, he should be fine.  

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:39 AM
 
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Here are my feelings.

 

Dad goes on the miata drive every month.  Or at least it's available to him each month.  

 

It sounds fun, and I bet he'll be sad to miss it, but I would ask him to please skip it so you can go on your retreat.    

 

On the other hand, I'd rather feel resentful to him for not letting me go on my weekend, than him feel resentful towards me.  (I can't handle guilt)

 

I would say "no" to the Miata drive.  It's too much for a three year old.  It's not going to be fun for either of them, and Dad is just going to end up feeling stressed and annoyed at your son for not "getting into it' the way he's hoping and imagining.

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Old 03-02-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Totally not my kind of thing (I had to google to find out what a miata was) but I think that you should let your husband make the call on this. He agreed to have your son this weekend and it's up to him what they do together. Worst case scenario, DS gets whiny and bored in the car and DH turns back. Best case scenario, they both have a blast, DS gets loads of attention and loves it. At 3, he might even remember it later and he will probably have a cool picture of him and his dad in the car. You trust your DH don't you? And you go and have a great time at the retreat. 

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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Here are my feelings.

 

Dad goes on the miata drive every month.  Or at least it's available to him each month.  

 

It sounds fun, and I bet he'll be sad to miss it, but I would ask him to please skip it so you can go on your retreat.    


Woah I totally missed that it was a monthly thing. I thought it was a once-a-year drive & that sounds like it would be a shame for him to miss, but if it's a monthly thing, I do think it would make more sense for him to stay home with DS so you can go on your retreat (unless your retreats are also a monthly thing).

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:16 AM
 
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Totally not my kind of thing (I had to google to find out what a miata was) but I think that you should let your husband make the call on this. He agreed to have your son this weekend and it's up to him what they do together. Worst case scenario, DS gets whiny and bored in the car and DH turns back. Best case scenario, they both have a blast, DS gets loads of attention and loves it. At 3, he might even remember it later and he will probably have a cool picture of him and his dad in the car. You trust your DH don't you? And you go and have a great time at the retreat. 



Yup.  All of this!


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Old 03-02-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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Totally not my kind of thing (I had to google to find out what a miata was) but I think that you should let your husband make the call on this. He agreed to have your son this weekend and it's up to him what they do together. Worst case scenario, DS gets whiny and bored in the car and DH turns back. Best case scenario, they both have a blast, DS gets loads of attention and loves it. At 3, he might even remember it later and he will probably have a cool picture of him and his dad in the car. You trust your DH don't you? And you go and have a great time at the retreat. 



This is exactly my feelings on it.  If its miserable, your DH will learn not to do it again.  And really, even if your dh pushes it and keeps going even though ds is bored out of his mind and cranky, well, Oh well!  I just don't get the big deal if he hates it.  Although, I bet your dh wouldn't make that mistake again!

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Old 03-02-2011, 11:29 AM
 
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I don't get how "turning around" if DS is unhappy helps things... it wouldn't be in the first 30 minutes probably, but more like halfway through... so wouldn't they have to drive 3-4 hours back home? Not fun if ds is done with being in the car. Also if he's burnt out on sitting in the car on day 1, there's not an option for day 2; they have to drive home, right?

 

I'd talk to my dh about wanting to offer him a weekend of his own to do the miata drive and enjoy himself, and suggest it would be more fun for ds in a year or two. (So not disregarding his desire to do it, just not maybe with ds or with him so young).

 

 


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Old 03-02-2011, 12:29 PM
 
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I'm with the above, let your dh do this and figure it out for himself.

 

And don't skip your retreat. It's not monthly, is it?  Though I understand that this April drive is special, not like the other monthly drives.  If you're really not comfortable with your dh taking his child on the road then ask him to stay home this time.


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Old 03-02-2011, 12:36 PM
 
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We used to have a Miata - it was a 2 seater (no backseat).  Is that what we're talking about here?  If so I wouldn't feel comfortable with my 3yo riding up front and that would be enough to decide it for me (other troubling factors aside).


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Old 03-02-2011, 12:58 PM
 
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Aren't Miatas two-seaters? So, a 3YO front-facing in a front seat, possibly exceeding the speed limit?

My answer would be a resounding H3LL, NO!!!

OK, I occasionally exceed the speed limit with my kids in the car, but I'd draw the line at an event where driving somewhat aggressively was the whole point, you know? And I say this as a former Alfa Romeo driver who really looooved to put a great driving car through her paces.

Our group of friends does a yearly road rally that is probably just a bit more child-friendly than the trip you describe, although longer...usually 10 hours. We won't attempt that again until our kids can really participate in finding the scavenger hunt items, plan our route, and sustain interest for more than an hour or so.

So safety considerations aside, I would wait until the child was much older just because of the boredom factor.


ETA: Oh, man.....I really miss that car!

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Old 03-02-2011, 02:09 PM
 
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Personally, I'd feel uncomfortable having my 3-yr-old ride in a Miata at all.  My DH has a similar group of car enthusiasts that go on weekend drives about once a year or so.  I can't imagine him wanting to take DD yet.  Miatas are not safe cars and kids are distracting when trying to drive that way.  Plus it just sounds like it would be miserable.  I can't imagine a 3-yr-old that can sit still that long.  If my husband wanted to take DD on one of his drives, I don't know if I'd tell him no, but I'd definitely point out why I think it might not be a great idea.  If he wanted to make the drive in a Miata...I might have a stronger opinion.  You can practically step on those things!

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Old 03-02-2011, 04:45 PM
 
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No way.  IME, a 3-year old can not tolerate an 8-9 hour car drive with only hurried potty breaks.  When we do long car rides we try to leave early in the AM (like 5 AM) and plan for breaks of least 30-60 minutes (sometimes longer) where the kids can run around, get exercise, etc.  We time things carefully around mealtimes and naptimes.

 

Plus, it doesn't sound all that safe anyways, and I think it would just end up in frustration for both your dh and your ds.


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Old 03-02-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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and not frequented by cops.



I just wanted to add, that this part cracked me up!  lol.gif

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:47 AM
 
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I see no reason why Dad shouldn't go with the kiddo, and you shouldn't go to your event. Really.

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:57 AM
 
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I would be stoked if DH wanted to do something like this with DS. DS is three, and he would LOVE to spend the day with dad in the car, listening to music together, rushing to pee standing up. What a great bonding experience.

 

Agreed that most road trips are better when you can stop and run around for a while, but my DS would tolerate it (especially with dad and looking for cool things along the way - water towers are a current favorite), and then he could run around when they get to the destination. (A promise of a hotel pool or playground - even at a public school or park - would work for our DS. Maybe do a little research of the destination - is there an indoor playground that will be open when they get there? Even a McDonald's or Burger King would work for us.

 

ETA - DS loves looking at look-and-find books while we are driving. He can usually do one for 20-30 minutes. Maybe buy a couple of new books for the trip? Hey - another thought I had. When we did a long road trip with DS a year ago, I wrapped up 20+ "presents" for DS. A few were new things I bought special for the trip - look-and-find book, a doctor's kit, a look-and-find bottle (like this, but plastic - http://unplugyourkids.com/2009/07/05/rice-find-it-jar-game/)  - but most were small toys from what he already owned. We gave them to him to unwrap at a pace of about one per hour. Basically, whenever he got fussy and we couldn't stop. Worked out GREAT. He had a bunch of stuff to play with at the hotel (whatever he had unwrapped the first day), and then he had a bunch of new things for the ride back.


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Old 03-03-2011, 07:27 AM
 
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The length of drive is nothing to me.  We do 8-10h (one way) drives every 3 weeks and ds has been doing them with us since only a couple weeks old.  I would have more concern with it being a 2 seater car.


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Old 03-03-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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Wow, when my kids were 3 (or even now at slightly older) they would hate that!  They have to run around most of a day. Sounds not safe, and boring for kids. More than boring, really awful to not get breaks to run around a while.  Fun for a couple hours maybe.... but 2 days!? 

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Old 03-03-2011, 02:43 PM
 
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what is your child's personality? is he really tied to his structure and gets really upset if things are not on time?

 

my dd at that age would have loved it. however she is a free spirited party girl. we did a 12 hour road trip at 18 months with dd's teenage cousin in car. we stopped only once for food and diaper change. dd had a BLAST. i would have loved her dad spending that kind of time without me. since it is a series of 30-40 cars i'd feel safe with a 3 year old riding in front if no airbags. i wouldnt allow any child in front with airbags. 

 

you can go for your retreat, and dad can try this experiment. if it doesnt work he can come home and spend the weekend with DS.

 

but no way, no way would i ever cancel your retreat plans. unless emergency of course. even if your son came down with the flu or cold or fever i'd let daddy handle it and still go on the retreat.

 

i see this as two great opportunities 

1. daddy son time

2. huge adult break for mom

 

both are extremely important and i certainly wouldnt give up one for the other. 

 

it seems like a win win situation as Boat pointed out. so let dh give it a try. 


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Old 03-03-2011, 04:18 PM
 
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I'd let them go. The worse thing that will happen is that they will have to turn around and come back early. The best thing that could happen is that if could become a daddy/kid activity that they do over and over, and you'll get more breaks!

 

Sometimes kids have GREAT times at non-kid events because lots of adults dote on them, and they feel very Big and Important. And kids often act different around just dad than they do around mom. Car clubs tend to be pretty mellow, fun people. What have you got to loose?


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Old 03-03-2011, 04:37 PM
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I'm surprised so many people think it's safe for a 3 year old to ride in a front seat only sports car. Can you turn off the air bags? Some models you can't.

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Old 03-03-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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I'm surprised so many people think it's safe for a 3 year old to ride in a front seat only sports car. Can you turn off the air bags? Some models you can't.



Those are important issues to consider, but I'm guessing that most posters do not know the specifics of a Miata and are responding to the concerns of the OP which were length of drive, shortness of pit stops and the 'adultness' of the event.  (I was, anyway)


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Old 03-03-2011, 05:41 PM
 
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Quote:
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I'm surprised so many people think it's safe for a 3 year old to ride in a front seat only sports car. Can you turn off the air bags? Some models you can't.



We used to have a Miata and the air bags turned off. My kids really liked going out with Daddy in the Miata because they could see things. It was a lot of fun for them, though they never did trips that long.

 

Obviously, a child should always be in an appropriate car seat and obviously, a child under age 12 should never be any where near an air bag.  We could follow those rules and let the kids enjoy the very cool car.

 

We eventually traded ours in for a convertible mustang so we could all enjoy being out in the sports car together. 

 

I'm all for following basic safety guidelines, but I'm also for living life.

 


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Old 03-03-2011, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
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To answer questions about the safety factor... I am not concerned about DS riding in the miata.  You can manually turn the air bag off.  And he is still RFing (he's a tiny 3 yo at 27 pounds soaking wet).  I did a lot of thinking about it before letting DH take him for short drives around town (30 minutes or less), and I feel comfortable with it AS LONG AS DH leaves the top up (I have horrible visions of debris flying into the cab of the car and knocking DH out while he's driving).  The main thing about safety that concerns me is that the driving style is going to be slightly ramped up (although not agressive) and the club is not going to want to slow it down to make the worried mama who isn't even on the drive comfortable.  I think it was 2 years ago that they were doing an agressive drive for the spring fling (I don't go on those b/c they make me car sick) and one of the drivers flipped her car.  She wasn't hurt, but that is in the back of my mind.

 

Thedriving distance does concern me.  DS isn't a routine freak or anything... but these drives are tiring even for grown ups... last year when we reached out destination we were just SO exhausted...

 

I mean last summer I drove with DS to chicago (about 13 hours of driving time).  But I split it into two days.  And we stopped every couple of hours for at least 60 minutes to stretch our legs and play (parks, McDonald's, that sort of thing).  And he did fine.  My rule was that as long as he was happy, we kept driving.  When he got unhappy, we stopped.  This drive is not going to be flexible like that.  There will probably be one AM potty break, stop for lunch (about an hour... and usually a banquet-type dinner setting... so not McDonalds or anywhere with a playground)

 

I talked more to DH last night about how he would keep DS entertained, and at what point he would feel that DS had had enough.  I'm almost inclined to let him go and figure it out the hard way.  But I still have more questions to ask.


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Old 03-03-2011, 05:58 PM
 
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I would let DH figure it out.  Have fun at your retreat!

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Old 03-03-2011, 06:55 PM - Thread Starter
 
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P.S.  The drives are monthly, but the April drive is the only overnight drive.  Plus, due to scheduling and childcare issues, he hasn't been able to go on a drive since the spring fling last April


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Old 03-03-2011, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shanniesue2 View Post

P.S.  The drives are monthly, but the April drive is the only overnight drive.  Plus, due to scheduling and childcare issues, he hasn't been able to go on a drive since the spring fling last April

oh boy this is a tough one. none of you have gotten any breaks big time so its a toss up btw dh and you.

 

if dh is willing to take a chance then maybe you can let him figure it out. both of you need to assess whose need is more which seems it is yours since even after a year, or almost, your dh is willing to live with the consequences that he may not be able to complete the drive.

 

 

 


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Old 03-04-2011, 07:36 AM
 
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To answer questions about the safety factor... I am not concerned about DS riding in the miata.  You can manually turn the air bag off.  And he is still RFing (he's a tiny 3 yo at 27 pounds soaking wet). 

If you aren't concerned about it, and they want to do it, I'd let them do it.  You never know.. they may have a blast and want to do it every year.  Just ask him to have an exit plan in case they decide to ditch the group.  Maybe there are fun places to stop and play on the way back... might as well make the trip back fun.

 

Since he hasn't gone since last year, and you guys already have the car... I'd say "go for it".

 

 

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Old 03-04-2011, 10:50 AM
 
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Do you know what the #1 heath and safety hazard that most child face today is?  It isn't disease.  It isn't unhealthy ingredients in our food.  It isn't dangerous sports. It isn't crazy people shooting up schools.

 

It's riding in cars.  Especially on highways.  The most risky thing most parents ever do with their child is drive them around.  (Don't take my word for it--go look up statistics about child mortality and car accidents.  The internet is lousy with them.) And while I'm not advocating never driving your child anywhere, it makes sense to minimize the single most dangerous thing they ever do and restrict it to when you have a good reason to do so.

 

So, um, no, I don't think doing the exact opposite of that is a good idea.

 

And because I am educated about safety hazards and the statistics of road safety, I would never, EVER allow my child to ride in a car seat in the front seat, especially in a small car relatively likely to crumple on impact! To take those kinds of risks "just for fun" borders on neglect, IMO. 

 

(Wait, tell me again how a driver in one of these rides flipped her car?)

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Refbacks are Off