It’s Sunday Confessions time again this week over at More Than Cheese and Beer. This week’s topic was: In My Car.
There are so many options for confessions laying strewn on the floor, under the seats, and yes, even stuck to the ceiling in my car. There’s the french fry that fell between the seat because I was stuffing them in my mouth too voraciously as we sat in the parking lot of the drive through. There’s the milk stains on the back of the seat from the baby flicking the top of his sippy cup for entertainment. It looks like a smelly Jackson Pollock painting back there. I could write twenty posts about the crap that lives in the trunk or the family of mice that eats my son’s car seat to survive the long winters.
But I decided to go a different way and confess one of my more exciting moments that happened while WE were in the car. Since having children, our ability to travel has been somewhat truncated. We tend to stay close to home and prefer places we can drive to. It’s not because driving with children is any easier, but mostly because we can pack almost our entire home into the back of our SUV. However, there are days on the road when I wonder if we wouldn’t be better off staying home.
Last winter, my husband and I decided we needed to get out of town for a while. The post Christmas, pre-Spring lull was taking it’s toll on the kids. I think the three year old has resigned himself to living in the time out chair most of the day. It was time for a vacation. So we packed up the Mommy-mobile and headed north to a ski resort with an indoor water park in Wisconsin. The three year old was beside himself with excitement which may have led him to be a little more impatient with the drive than we had anticipated.
While driving on the Interstate just outside of Kankakee, IL I heard a strange whooshing noise coming from the back seat. My first thought is the three year old must have opened his window. My next thought is Crap! I quickly glance at my window control panel to see if I’d locked his window and I had. Double crap. I turn around (while driving) to see him holding the door handle and staring at me like a deer in headlights.
Now what? Obviously, my first instinct is to yell at him. “Don’t move!” I shout, which of course means he lets go of the door handle and wiggles around in his car seat as if nothing happened.
So there we are driving the legal speed limit (…or 80mph) without an exit in sight. Snow is piled up on the shoulder of the freeway, and the car door may or may not fly open at any moment. Awesome. So I tell my husband to unbuckle his seat belt, lean over the passenger seat, across the car seat and hold the door closed. It made sense at the time.
So we chugged on, in the slow lane, me with a panicked look on my face, my husband with nothing but his butt showing through the window. It was 5 miles to the nearest exit. The baby, amazingly, has slept through the entire ordeal.
As if he hadn’t caused enough hysteria, the three year old started to poke Daddy in the eyes. Just for fun. But then, if he had been leaned across my seat like that, I can’t promise I wouldn’t have done the same thing. I decided that since we couldn’t do anything else, it’s a good time to have a lecture about car safety. I explained that when the car is moving he should never touch the lock or the door handle.
Three year old: Why not?
Me: Because you could fall out of the car (not to mention be obliterated by oncoming traffic, but I left that part out).
Three year old: Mommy, I wouldn’t fall out of the car because I am in my car seat.
Me: Ummm. True.
Daddy: (straining from the back seat) Rocks! Rocks could fly in.
Me: Yes. Rocks. So don’t open the door.
Three year old: I don’t like rocks.
We eventually reached the next exit and were able to stop, shut the door, and engage the child lock. But I still push the lock button now at least once every 10 minutes while I’m driving, just to be sure.
I hope you enjoyed my Sunday Confession. Don’t forget to check out the rest of the great posts by clicking the image below.