I love the promise of a long road trip.
It doesn’t really matter where you’re going, does it? Because when you get into that car with your padkos packed, your tunes playing loudly on the radio and you hit the road, the sense of freedom is rather overwhelming. It speaks of adventure, exploration of unknown places and unique experiences.
Well, usually those are the feelings that I get, except when, you know, the kids are with us.
So this is not to say that you can’t roadtrip with kids, it’s just that it will probably turn out a whole lot differently to what you pictured.
For instance you can’t listen to Kings of Leon at full volume without interruption, you’re probably listening to variations of Let It Go and How to Build a Snowman. You’re not able to open a packet of anything and eat it at your own leisure – you have to referee about a hundred fights and end up placating them with your goodies just to get a bit of silence. You can’t just put on your shades and enjoy the sun – you need to listen to your kids whining about how the sun is touching them, like all the time. Not to mention the million times you’ll hear “I needa weeeeeeee!” or “Are we there yet?”
So while I have no advice on how to make any of that easier, what I can do for you is rule out the sun thing. Yip, it’s actually pretty easy, which makes how long we took to discover this rather ridiculous.
- Let’s rewind the clock about 6 years (in July) where we protected Kyla’s fragile baby skin from the sun by covering her baby chair with a blanket. It worked for like, 6 months, but when she was big enough to move into another seat and proceed to pull the blanket onto her face, causing me to freak the heck out, we needed to make another plan.
- Step 2 was to roll the blanket into the window. But we’d often forget until we were half way into the journey. It let face it, it just looks crap.
- Step 3 we got those useless stick on jobbies that block about 20 cm of sun. Basically you have to ensure that you and the car do not move or else the shade will be on anything other than the actual baby. If they actually stay stuck to the window that is.
- Step 4 we bought a variation of what’s apparently called a window sock. By no stretch of the imagination you can aptly conjure up thoughts of what it does right? It’s a big sock that fits over the top part of your door. In principle it was great. In practice it left the blind spots even blinder and that’s not to mention the wear and tear. I think it broke after just a few months (granted we did park our vehicles outside at the time).
- Step 5 we told our kids to just suck it up and stop complaining.
Believe it or not, that last step got us through the last 3 years. But either I’m losing my edge or the sun is getting hotter (probably both actually). So when we were asked to review the Magic Mesh – the latest in car window shading – I literally jumped at the chance. Considering all of the above steps, could you blame me? (Exactly, I didn’t think so.)
So here’s what I can tell you:
- It stops all the harmful UV rays from burning my kids – big plus
- There are no blind spots – you can totally see through it saving both your lives and your insurance
- It comes in a really big sheet (600 x 800) that you easily customise to fit your vehicle – nothing worse than ill fitting anything.
- It doesn’t affect the window operation at all (like the window sock that makes the window useless)
- You can have a pretty picture on it and only the kids will see it, from the outside it will look like there is nothing there (this is huge for me)!
- It’s working so well that we will be buying one for the other window now too!
Now you can win one too (or just trust me and go out and buy your own anyway)
In order to win a Magic Mesh window shade worth R250 you need to:
Like Magic Mesh and 3 Kids, 2 Dogs and 1 Old House on Facebook
Share this post on either Facebook OR Twitter – then comment below to tell me where you have shared it.
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* Competition closes Sunday 5 April – Winner announced with random.org after the Easter weekend*
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.