Mooch and I have certain rituals when it comes to car rides. Music must be on CONSTANTLY throughout the duration of the trip, preferably CDs, and it's seldom that we get past the last few bars of a favorite song before her small voice pipes up from the back, begging "Again! Again!". If I haven't been driven absolutely bonkers listening to the same song sixteen times running I will generally comply. Then, once she's absolutely sure the song has started, I hear a "thank you" followed by some hilarious attempts at singing along. This isn't Mary Had A Little Lamb or those Kid Bop monstrosities where they have youngsters singing Britney Spears; the kiddo's latest obsession is trying to mimic the refrain to The Proclaimers' "500 Miles". If we're on the road close to naptime I turn on NPR, and she usually drifts off to chamber music or the gentle drone of voices from All Things Considered.
Besides the music, we also have to play the spotting game. She squeals with delight and informs me of every horse, cow, deer, goat, and chicken she sees standing about in people's yards, and I'm expected to either confirm or correct her identification. ("Yes, sweetheart, you DID see ponies." "No, baby, that's not a goat. That's a sheep.") While not the most stimulating activity, perhaps, it certainly helps pass the time on those longer drives, and lately I've encouraged her to act as deer lookout for evening trips. She takes this responsibility very seriously, and informed my sister one evening on the way to church that she was "watcha deer", and that hitting one would be "bad news!". This isn't even a ploy to keep her busy- she really does watch, and she has a remarkable eye. We've been tooling down the road with no particular destination, and depending on which way we're headed and what landmarks we've passed she knows whether we're near my sister's, my grandmother's, or the grocery store. (I'm not kidding here. I needed to stop at the dollar store in town for some necessaries, and she asked me if we were going to my sister's to see the kitty because we were on the street I take to drop her off for babysitting!) Two years old and she has better direction sense than I could ever hope to have.