I’ve been driving a lot lately. Normally, my daily driving is confined to a 3 mile radius, but due to a play I’m acting in and also my attempt to Contribute Financially by convincing someone to hire me to sell toilet paper, this Gelato Mama’s Volvo has been burning up the freeway with several weekly trips to Hollywood and back. Actually, that’s a lie. As if I would ever take the freeway to get anywhere in LA. At about 45 minutes each way, Volvo and I have been getting to know each other again after years of being forced to share our time together with Little Children, while, although they are quite cute and charming, have been known to inflict severe stress and harm upon car and driver. But, aside from the ulcer I have developed from the seemingly constant need for last minute childcare due to last minute notification of opportunity to sell toilet paper, the driving...well...it’s not so bad. It’s quiet and peaceful. And I can listen to songs with bad words.
It was on these solo drives that I realized just how completely and totally distracted I usually am while driving with the Offspring and perhaps, juuusstt perhaps, the act of parenting while driving should be deemed illegal as it is likely more dangerous than texting and driving, which here in California, is illegal. Don’t believe me? Consider, while in the car with Offspring, the following is happening:
Besides being threatened with a complete breakdown by Daughter if she doesn’t get a GREEN! and an ORANGE! tic tac within 1.7 seconds of asking, I am simultaneously watching the road, searching for a snack in my Mary Poppins purse, singing a song while playing ‘I Spy’, threatening to turn this car around, reaching directly behind me to grab water thermos from toddler before it is thrown at my head...not to mention that I’m trying to focus on my kegals and squeeze in a few abdominal contractions. Pair this with fact one or both of my children are trying to get away using the words Poop, Pee Pee, and Fart as frequently as possible, usually singing it out the wide open windows, and you may start to get the idea that I might be a teensy- weensy- bit distracted while driving.
But, the good news is that I have a solution to the Distracted Parents Driving Problem: all cars should be equipped with a sliding window that divides the front seat from the back seat. You know, like in a limo. Or a police car. Whichever one of those you happen to frequent most. Do I even have to sell this idea? No, I don’t. But I will anyway.
Imagine this scenario: You are on the way to Target with the Small Children. Once safely buckled up and on the way, Small Children ask for water. Well, Small Children, Mama didn’t bring water. You’ll have to wait until we get to Target. Now, instead of listening to the declarations from Small Children of torture and thirst that they are being forced to endure on the 5 minute car ride to said destination, Mama can just clllooooose that window up and peacefully make her way to the Mecca of Target without issuing a single threat. Yes, with just the simple zip of a window, you have not only increased your mental stability but decreased your chances of not seeing that asshole who cut you off in his fancy 7 Series BMW. DON’T YOU KNOW I HAVE CHILDREN IN HERE, MAN? And if you still happen to get cut off by impatient drivers, feel free to curse out loud because no little ears can hear you. Win.Win.Win. It's possible that I may have also just solved world peace with this little idea because, as we all know...if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. And this...this little dividing window could make Mama very...very...happy.
Now...onto my next mission: who wants to watch my kids on Friday? I need to drive to Hollywood and convince someone I’m the perfect face to sell...toilet paper.