Every parent knows that driving with kids in the car without ending up in a fender bender or a ditch is a miracle. While you focus on the road your concentration is constantly assaulted by cries, demands and tattles from the back seat.
"Are we there yet?"
"She's touching me!"
In my van this type of nonsense usually provokes a nasty snarl and an announcement from me that everyone is now on a quiet timeout until we arrive at our destination.
But I have to admit that after logging several hours on the road with my children, I thought I'd heard it all. That is until the other day.
"GET YOUR SWEATY HANDS OFF MY NECK!" my oldest son cried out.
How unexpected and utterly ridiculous. I nearly collided with the vehicle beside me because I was laughing so hard. That's what happens when my kids break the monotony of clichéd kid retorts.
"What's going on?"
"Aiden is trying to choke me!" my ten-year-old son tattled on the toddler.
Of course, now I have to say something idiotic to my three-year old with every ounce of seriousness I can muster. "Aiden, we don't strangle people. It isn't nice."
Now that I am laughing, and doing a very poor job of stifling it, the ten-year-old starts talking to me and trying to show me things like a picture in his book, the odd angle of his thumb, a toy and something we just passed on the freeway. And I have the attention span of a goldfish so I keep whipping my head around to look because I forget that I am driving.
"Stop showing me things! I need to pay attention. Did you see that we almost took out a utility pole?"
I've thought of buying a limousine. I need some sort of vehicle with a window that I can raise to shut out the sounds from the children behind me. But knowing them, they'd be tapping frantically on the window every five minutes. I'd roll down the window a crack.
"What do you want?"
"JD burped in my ear." Up goes the window.
Rap, rap, rap!
"Ummmmm…" Up goes the window —
"Wait! I remember now, Momma."
"Are we there yet?"
On second thought, maybe I'll just buy a tractor-trailer — a refrigerated one so they can chill out while I drive in the warm cab up front with just MY music playing, none of that kiddie crud. But then I've got that attention of a goldfish thing going against me. All I can say is when you see me coming you better move aside. Parent onboard!