When the backseat DVD is broken

We had a pair of the backseat DVD players installed when we bought our latest car. It’s been about 18 months, and I really had forgotten what a game changer they were.

Right up until they broke.

backseat dvd with egg

When the boys have access to on-demand television in the car, it’s pretty straight forward.  They get in the car, they put on headphones, they argue about what to watch, and then silence and calm descend on the car.  The only noise from the backseat is the occasional laugh.

(Except when they sing along to the theme song of the cartoon.  It’s pretty normal for them to both burst into a song from Scooby Doo or the Smurfs.)

The ability to listen to grown up music, hold adult conversations, or just complete a thought is worth the inconvenience of 10,000 little discs floating around in the car all the time.

Without backseat DVD players, it gets messy.

First of all, my kids can’t seem to leave the house without stuff.  For preference, they bring their Kindles.  Even if we are going to be in the car less than five minutes, they insist on bringing something to keep themselves entertained.  If the Kindles aren’t charged, they bring actual books.  If all else fails, they bring a handful of Legos.

On longer trips, they get inventive.  When they drain the Kindle batteries, they start inventing games to play.  Their favorite is to grab a water bottle and use at as an improvised gun.  They name a target (like apartment buildings or red cars or traffic signs) and then keep score on whoever shoots the most out of “their” window.

If the car is clean, they get desperate.  When all else fails, play ouch.  To the casual passerby who happens to glance into the backseat of my car, it looks like my boys are trying to beat the living snot out of each other as I drive down the road.  That is not the case.  They are, in fact, engaged in an actual game with rules.  The rules are simple.  Whoever says “ouch” first loses.

Under no circumstances are you allowed to sing along with the radio.  My youngest son insists on this.  He wants to hear the song exactly as it is on the radio, no extra voices allowed.  Even simply mouthing the words without making an actual sound is forbidden.  Since my older son likes to sing along with his favorite songs, that means we listen to a lot of songs twice in a row.  Once with singing and once without.

Lastly, there is a lot of arguing. If I need to go to more than one store, the boys ask for a detailed explanation of what we are doing at each store and why we can’t just buy it all at Target. Even more fun, they start analyzing my route to make sure it’s the most efficient path. Given that they don’t really grasp the idea of one way streets or how quickly milk goes sour in a hot car, some of my route choices are highly controversial.

(Hmmm.  Now I remember why screen bans in our house don’t apply to the car.)

Now that I think about it, I need to add “get the backseat DVD player fixed” to the top of my to do list for the week.


Do you or don’t you? Is there a DVD player in your car?  If not, do you want one?

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. We actually reserve electronics in the car for long car rides only except in special circumstances. I actually used to be completely opposed to the idea even on long car rides but my smart husband over-ruled that one. We went on a daytrip last weekend without their devices (it was an oversight) and we all managed to survive although it was a bit iffy at times.
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