This is not going to be a post chronicling my driving mishaps over the past 17 years. That post might be humorous, but I’m scarred and I don’t want to talk about it. What I DO want to talk about is the fact that my driving has both improved since I had a kid (I’m a crazy good driving multi-tasker post-child! I can change the CD player from Kiddie Music CD #1 to Kiddie Music CD #2 in a flash all while eating a banana and making a left turn!) and drastically deteriorated (because I’m changing the kiddie CD’s while eating a banana and making a left turn).
So let me just pose one simple and very serious question to you. How the FLYING FROG do you drive safely and peacefully with a rowdy little backseat-driving toddler getting up in your grill the whole time? I mean, on any given outing, I probably only look at the road with my actual eyes 84 percent of the time. For a whopping 16 percent of a drive to the store, I’m craning my neck back at my rear-facing wee one to make sure he hasn’t spilled his milk all over himself or gouged his eyes out with a toy that isn’t really a toy or choked on an apple core. Mid-drive, his toys need fixing because they are broken (broken being another way to say that the OFF button has been pushed, but try explaining that concept to a tiny human who only knows 27 words), water needs to be “fetched” (because I’m a freaking water boy), and sometimes when wee one is upset about serious kid stuff like political unrest, I reach my hand over the top of his car seat and gently massage his scalp while continuing to drive, one-handed, and probably eat a scone, too.
I haven’t been stopped by a police officer yet, not with my child in the car. I’m fairly certain that if that happened, my kiddo would immediately close his eyes and pretend to be asleep so that the officer would undoubtedly not feel any sympathy for the traveling zoo that is my vehicle. And I’d probably get a ticket. But then I would just tape it to the back of my bumper with a big ole sign and a giant red arrow that says, “Toddler on board. Keep 500 feet away for your own safety for the love of God.”
Let’s not forget how much tired-er I am than before I was with child. I’m either sleep-deprived and frazzled or hopped up on caffeine and, well, frazzled. There are times when I gotta sing along to Fun’s “Carry On” or my favorite, the “Wheels on the Bus”/”Rihanna” mash-up, just to keep my damn eyes properly open (not an absolute must, but it’s recommended). I’m pretty sure that driving with toddler is practically as dangerous as driving while texting, but nobody’s about to make it illegal. (Side note: I sort of wish they would. Sorry, you CAN’T drive with your kid. Gotta walk. Have fun!)
Of course, this is all what’s happening en route to the store, the playground, or the park. Before I can even pull the car into reverse, I’ve got to coax my wee one into his car seat, which involves all manner of bribery, extortion, and promises that when he’s 27 he can come back and live with me. But he’ll have to do all the driving.
How do you manage driving with your little ones? And, on a separate note, does your car also look like the inside of a frat house? xox