The train ride was 5 hours...and there was no car seat restraint to keep Mac in place. I was having a lot of anxiety about keeping Mac happy and occupied (and somewhat quiet) for the entire trip.
So... just before we left, I bought a leash. We practiced wearing it around the house.
The train ride went better than I could have hoped... we made friends early on with the lady who ran the dining car and she invited us to set up camp in one of the booths for the ride. Thank God for her, because it was a lot easier to sit in a booth than try to keep Mac on my lap the whole ride.
The booth made it possible for this set-up to happen, complete with crayons, books, snacks, drinks, and a movie. And a kindle for me :)
It was a miracle. While getting off the train, a few people complemented me on how good he was. I chalk it up to these things.
1. Mac is normally a pretty laid back kid.
2. I had SERIOUSLY LOW expectations for this trip, so the minor fussing didn't even phase me.
3. Movies on my Ipad, books, and crayons
4. Snacks, drinks--pretty much Mac at junk all day. We normally frown on this, but it was survival mode and sugar was our friend.
5. I bought some new, cheap toys before we left and wrapped them up. Every hour or so he got to open a new one. That bought me some time.
6. The leash. We paced... I can't tell you how many times we walked up and down that train. The leash was a Godsend because he did not want to hold my hand the whole time and wanted to play with sleeping strangers. The leash stopping him was a lot less disruptive than me blocking him (in terms of Mac volume).
I spent a few days in Kansas before flying to Nashville. Mac loves hanging out there--probably because he's the only grandchild (until May!) and gets pretty much whatever he wants :)
I mean, where else but Nana's house can you play on the piano by sitting on it with your diaper?
And eat all the popcorn you want right before bed?
Mac had a blast while he was in Kansas.