Friday, April 25, 2008

Driving Under the Influence.......

It has long been said the drunk drivers are the most dangerous drivers on the road. I will not argue this fact, but there is another dangerous driver on the road that you are meeting every single day. Every time you turn your wheels onto a public road you are meeting this driver and she is liable to be just as dangerous as the wino who stumbled out of the local watering hole.....her name is Mommy!

Mommy is often travelling with a minimum of two small children. Beside her is a bag....the bag is often the source of all distraction for this well meaning driver. The bag contains toys, books, sippy cups, snacks, diapers, wipes, wallet, chapstick, a thousand old receipts, used sucker sticks that were desperately tossed in to prevent littering, loose change, Kleenexes, hand lotion, extra clothes and training pants, and sometimes a cell phone.

Here is the true story of one such Mommy...

It was a warm spring day, just one week ago. Mommy took her kids to the 'big town' 40 miles from home. A visit to Menards was in on the agenda. After the shopping trip, Mommy promised her kids McDonalds. But as it was already nearly nap time, and so as not to risk them falling asleep 10 miles from home and then not taking a 'real' nap, so decided to go through the drive through. 2 Happy Meals, on Cheeseburger the other Chicken Nugget, and one Big and Tasty w/cheese meal for Mommy was the order, with two chocolate milks and one large sweet tea. She digs through the bag to find wallet and toddler #1 notices the bag of snacks

I want that!

No you have lunch coming, remember you wanted a cheeseburger

Oh, ok, but can I have that after I eat all my lunch?

We'll see...

Mommy finds wallet and pays the outrageous price for three sacks of junk food and pulls away with her bags tucked neatly beside her in the passenger seat. As she sits at the first stoplight she opens Happy Meal for toddler #2, chicken nuggets and removes the toy....stashes toy in the bag...proceeds to make right turn onto the highway and maintain speed limit of 45 mph...dumps fries into bag and breaks all chicken nuggets in half to reduce the temperature of food from 500 degrees F to a more reasonable 100 degrees F. She rolls down the sack to make it more easily accessible to two year old hands and sets it back down beside her. Next she opens Happy Meal for toddler #1, breaks cheeseburger in half and removes bun to cool it down. She holds the bag of fries for toddler #1 and the entire Happy Meal bag for toddler #2 near he rolled down window to try to cool off the food more rapidly amidst the cries of

I'm hungry! I want my french fries

Me hungy mama! Eat chicky nuggets!!

Makes a left turn onto another road that will turn her in a more easterly direction towards home. Finally food is at a consumable temperature. She reaches back and hands Happy Meal bag to toddler #2 and french fry bag to toddler #1, all the while trying to keep her eyes on the road and maintain a 55 mph speed. Next she reassembles cheeseburger, careful to remove the pickle that he will squawk about and that she forgot to have left off, reaches behind her to hand half of the burger to toddler #1. Next she carefully opens two empty sippy cups, all the while trying to keep her eyes on the road and fills each with chocolate milk. After successfully filling the first, she passes it back behind her. She spills a little of the second cup on her leg and uses the spare underwear in her bag to wipe it up since the dip shit at McDonalds gave her two napkins for her entire order. Upon filling up the second cup she hands it back and takes a long awaited swig of her sweet iced tea!!!

Mommy snags a few french fries from her own bag as she plugs in the DVD player so the toddlers can watch All About John Deere part 2 for the 500th time. Finally she gets to open her Big and Tasty box only to find they forgot the cheese. They always forget the cheese. Since the inception of the Big and Tasty she has always ordered cheese and every time she goes through the drive through they forget the cheese. She ponders the fact that she has probably paid for $3 worth of cheese in her lifetime that she never received. A small amount of money yes, but aggravating none the less.

Just as she attempts to take the first bite of her cheese-less sandwich toddler #1 drops his chocolate milk. Mommy closes up her Big and Tasty box and puts it back in the passenger seat. Blindly she reaches behind her fumbling for the missing cup. She tries to keep her eyes on the road (do you see a reoccurring theme here?) as she pats and stretches and reaches around. Finally she feels the cup and grasps at it with two fingers, successfully pulling from under the backside of her seat. Gives cup back to toddler and once again takes a swig of her tea. It occurs to her the she has to pee and they are still 25 miles from home with no gas station between here and there. Then it occurs to her that she has not made sure toddler #1, who is potty trained, went to the bathroom before they left town. Hmmm...she considers pulling off the highway and taking her chances in the broad daylight, but decides to press her luck and keep driving, all the while praying nobody pees their pants!

Finally back to her Big and Tasty which is now cold and is devoured in 5-6 huge bites, to ensure it actually gets eaten before her passengers make another demand of her. She enjoys 3-4 miles of actual lucid driving before cries for the potty begin. She is only 10 miles from home now and stopping in the middle of the country to pee would normally be no big deal, except for the fact that there are tractors and fertilizer sprayers everywhere. It is one of the few times the countryside is booming and there is no privacy to be found. Not that privacy would matter the toddler with the bursting bladder, but her own is now bursting as well. It occurs to her to stop at the bank, the lone business that is open out in the boonies that she calls home and they rush in to relieve themselves. All 3 get back in the car and buckled in with only 8 more miles to go...8 quiet and content she pulls in her driveway she realizes

They are both asleep. The efforts of drive thru dining and wreckless driving were fruitless....

So the next time you meet a swerving mine-van on the road...beware the Mommy Driver!

Do Not Try This at Home!!


Shannon said...

Oh my, how many times this has happened in my own car! I have finally convinced my almost 5 year old that it's not safe for me to reach in the back seat while driving. Whenever she makes an unrealistic request, I say, "Honey, what am I doing right now?" She says, "driving", I say, "And what do I need to do with my hands", she says "keep them on the wheel so you don't crash". It's kind of a ritual. It took a while, but now I figure another 2 years is all I need to get Ty to that point! he still throws a fit if his requests aren't met IMMEDIATELY!

Mum-me said...

I have just spent some time reading your last few posts and I am so glad I am not the only mum in this world who feels that way and drives that way! I can totally relate to everything you've written. You're so lucky you get to work outside the home for a while - we all need that space. My husband has been home for the weekend after being away for 4 weeks, and now gone for another 8 weeks, and do you know who got to have a sleep-in both Sat and Sun mornings? Not me! I still did everything while he whined about how busy he's been at work(talk about Big Babies). I know he works hard but I just so wish he'd realise how hard I work too. You hang on to your 'me time' and don't back down. (sorry for the rant - but I can't do it on my blog because my husband reads it!)

Cat Killer Jen :) said...

Sheesh...sounds familiar here too ;)

At least you weren't dragging a cat around town at the same time ;)