The Drama of Driving

The Drama of Driving

I have always prided myself on being not just a good driver, a defensive driver, but also a shrewd driver.  As a matter of fact, several years ago, I gave myself the nickname Back Alley Sally because of how successfully I utilize side streets to get where I need to go expeditiously when main roads are nauseatingly congested.

Lately, however, no matter how well I work the roads, I have begun to experience a whole new kind of road rage, one that has nothing to do with the other drivers on the road and everything to do with the passengers in my car, okay, one almost-3-year-old in particular.  

While I have never been one to lug around a large diaper bag at the mall or in restaurants, I have started packing an ever-swelling bag of props to accompany me and my daughter on car rides, no matter how short the distance we must travel.  Here are the items I keep in my car in order to work magic for my audience of one: Baby wipes, pull-ups, paper towels, hand sanitizer, juice boxes, bottles of milk, gummies (preferably Disney princess ones), cheese sticks, cheese puffs, Cheez-its, Cheetos (get the picture yet?), apple slices, grapes, bandaids, a spare change of clothes, rubber bands, barrettes, DVD player and movies, books, baby dolls, paper, pens, crayons, blankets,Ipod, chewing gum. I’ll stop there. But I could go on. I’m not kidding. We need a nationwide children-only Amtrak replete with food cart and theatre so that we can drive peacefully and our children can meet us safely at our shared destinations.

I find myself driving and wishing I had a co-pilot, an extendable Inspector Gadget arm, a tinted, sound-proof automatic window like the ones in limousines, or at least a pair of ear plugs to shield my ears from the ever-disgruntled patron in the back seat.  I’ve tried downloading five-minute meditations from itunes and listening to them when hairy moments arise; trust me, my shakras remain unbalanced and my shoulders are still tense!

What’s more, I am yet to understand why my little traveler, who dreads entering the vehicle because of the car seat and who  places countless demands on me throughout the journey, then refuses to exit the vehicle when we have reached our destination!  In this repeat performance , she is always the drama queen and I the driving queen. Ugh.

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