The Untold Perils of Driving with Children

The other day we were out doing errands and heading to IFA, one of my kids favorite stores. They love looking at the baby chicks, duckies, and rabbits and all the different hutches and chicken coops. I like it be cause they have great prices on lawn fertilizer and stuff that you can’t get anywhere else. Props for being awesome parents and getting stuff checked off the to do list at the same time, right?

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Squee!

Well, almost.  Two minutes into the drive Baby D starts screaming.  We passed a McDonalds and he wants to go play.  It doesn’t matter that we just ate lunch, he stretches his pudgy fingers toward the window and throws himself against the five point harness and screams, “‘Donoulds! Donoulds!” as loud as he can.  This continues until the golden arches are well out of sight. I’m pretty sure there isn’t another on the way there and I make a mental note not to come back the same way to avoid another bout of screams.

The older two no longer scream for McDonalds, thankfully.  Their protests come in the form of whining, manipulating, and flat out being obnoxious – usually because they are getting on each others nerves for offences such as breathing and existing, or their batteries on their devices have died. When I saw the rides and balloons of the county fair ahead in the distance I knew I was in for it.  No amount of cute chicks or duckies would beat anything they would see as we passed.

Had I the presence of mind to trick them into looking the other way I would have. “Hey kids, I think I see a giant creeper climbing over the mountain out this window!” It sounds lame, and it works and I couldn’t get the words out in time.  Dang it.

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The excited shrieks filled the backseat as we all watched the ferris wheel make is rounds next to the road.   The whole fairground is filled with rides and stands selling funnel cake and hot dogs.  And we say no.  We aren’t going.

Worst parents ever.

As predicted, the car erupts into screaming and wailing. It’s not that we don’t want to go, if the prices for the rides were reasonable and there wasn’t much of a wait to get on then we might find a way to go for an hour or two, but they aren’t.  When each ride is anywhere from one to three dollars to ride and a parent has to come along and you have several kids, one of which is too little to ride, and it takes anywhere from thirty minutes to well over an hour to wait in line for each one, and waiting in line is one of those things that your kids can’t handle for any amount of time – just thinking about it makes me break out in an anxious sweat.

One day we will go, when everyone is old enough to handle standing in lines and understand that waiting isn’t mom and dad’s way of inflicting torture.  Until then, we endure the bouts of anger and – heaven forbid – the whining, and simply drive on.

 

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