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Keeping the kids entertained on the long drives

by Eric Once the twins were old enough for front-facing car seats, we put them on the back bench seat of the van and removed one of the middle seats, for easier access to all three kids. When the time came for long road trips to cottages to begin, we realized we needed to distract them from the driving tedium.

CDs were becoming an issue - arguments arose over which CD to play, and then screeches of disagreement over which songs were not the right songs followed. We needed a DVD player.

The problem with our new back seat arrangement was that if a screen was hanging on the driver's side seat, Quinn and Juliette could see, but Kiernan would be constantly craning his neck. If the player was on the passenger-side seat, Quinn and Kiernan are good to go, but Juliette's view would be blocked. Sucks, really, for anyone but Quinn. The third option of hanging anything between the seats would prove disastrous with the trio of climbing monkeys we regularly courier around.

Enter the Philips dual portable LCD DVD player. With one 9" screen on the back of each of the front seats, all kids have a view (Quinn doubly so - that kid just can't lose). The straps are adjustable and sturdy, and  the cables connecting the two monitors, as well as the car adapter, are long enough to snake out of the way of grabbing hands. The player is top-loading into one of the screens, and the buttons are easily accessable from the passenger seat - the only wish we would have would be for a remote to be able to hit Play when there's no one  but the driver there to respond to the angry wails of "It's stuck on the menuuuuu!!".

Of course, had we endured our children's groaning for one more year, we could have bought the new Dual DVD system which can play two separate DVDs at a time, or with a flick of a switch share a single view. I'm pretty sure Quinn would go into ferret-shock with that kind of heaven, so perhaps it's for the best.

Eric is dad to 5.5 year old Kiernan and old and 2.833334 year old twins Quinn and Juliette.

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