Talk to Me Tuesday: Plexi-glass for the Van

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I hate driving around town with the kids in the car.  Hands-down, it’s one of the worst parts of the day.  We’ve gone from trying to time feedings (breast or bottle) so that everyone had a full tummy beforehand and making sure the paci was accessible to little toys and books, next to finger foods and goofy kid music and then to Leapster.  I guess the one thing I haven’t done was turn on the DVDs for around-town errands (they are reserved for big trips). 

And now all I want is a piece of plexi-glass that divides the front of the minivan from the back.  You know what I’m talking about–taxi cabs have ’em, so do police cars.  And it’s not like I don’t feel like a cab driver, right?!  I should install one of those mile marker-money deals, too.  “Here we are, miss.  YMCA camp.  That will be $12.  We take cash  or credit or a fossilized fry.”  

Of course it’s not unlike driving around a police car, either.  Only this time the convicts aren’t in the back seat.  It’s me, mom jailed from the real-world of things I actually want to do–and let me tell you drop off and pick up from preschool ain’t one of ’em!

In fact, if the truth be known, I don’t really want to be driving a minivan, either.  I reluctantly fell in love with mine–but it’s certainly no dream car.  How I dream of my empty-nester days of zipping around town in a cute little convertible or something, anything more sporty that a hunk of minivan! 

I hate driving with the kids because they make so much noise.  Unnecessary noise.  The pick, they poke, they prode.  They fuss, the fester and flail.  I can’t stand it!! 

I’ve tried these tactics:

  • “Kate, since you’re the oldest you get 5 minutes to tell me all about your day (morning/afternoon).”
  • “Okay Kelly, you’re next–5 minutes for you…”
  • But the problem here is that Kate has CAS and can’t quite get her thoughts out fast enough–she’ll hear Kelly’s description of her day and suddenly “think” of more to add–then we get feuding sisters which drives (ha!) me over the edge. 
  • I suppose the solution here is to ask Kelly about her day first, giving Kate time and ideas to complete her thoughts. 
  • But oh, no…Kate gets her nose out of joint because she’s the oldest and needs to talk first. 
  • I have tried asking, “Kate, what was your favorite part of the day?” and then asking Kelly the exact same question.  Oftentimes, we go back and forth with similar type questions. 
  • Other questions to get them talking have been: who did you sit next to at snack/lunch time, did you help anyone with anything today?  Who was the helper today?  Did anyone have a Birthday today?  Did anyone cry?  Who helped them?  What did you do at recess/outside time? 

Today, though…I had just had it!  When I got home, I seriously considered looking up, “plexi-glass” in the yellow pages.

About leslie1218

Author of SPEAKING OF APRAXIA (Woodbine House, 2012) frantically working on a novel that should be ready for submission this fall. Mom of two spritely redheads & one chubby basset hound whose stories & images appear in my writing from time-to-time.

2 responses »

  1. My two girls were born on the 16th and 27th … so we use an even/odd system. Whenever any kind of “I wanna be first”/”No, *I* wanna be first” kind of argument comes up – whether it be choosing a tv show to getting your hair washed first – all we have to do is look at the calendar. If it’s currently an even-numbered day, then the girl with the even-numbered birthday gets to choose. Same for odd-numbered day/odd-numbered birthday. Once they got used to it, it eliminated all those battles entirely.

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