Tag Archives: car rides

E-I-E-I-O Duet

Both kids fuss and whine loudly from the back seat.  I stretch to grab their portable DVD player, insert a disk, and fast forward through what feels like twenty-seven previews.  All the while, I’m attempting to hush and comfort them, “I know.  I know.  We’re almost home. “

It’s hour thirteen of a fourteen-hour car trip.  “The last hour is always the worse,” I complain quietly to Mister as the kids settle into watching Disney’s Baby McDonald video.

“Are you ready to switch yet?  I’m more than happy to drive now!”  I tease.  Mister laughs.  No one wants the taxing job of entertaining the kids in the back seat from the passenger’s seat.

The song Old MacDonald starts to play from the DVD’s speaker.  Bunder joins in, followed by Kiki.  As so often happens with young children, a tense moment spontaneously becomes joyful.

See for yourself.  Pardon the raw footage.  I grabbed the closest device, my iPhone.  Oh, and don’t worry.  Kiki’s wearing frosting on her nose.  I swear it’s not boogers.

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Caramel Corn from a Stranger

I lost my cell phone today (again).  When the doctor took out my ten-pound baby, I swear she took out half my brain.  Geesh!  Of course, it wasn’t until the end of my seven-mile run that I realized I no longer carried a mobile in my pocket.  At least I still had my car key.  I turned around and ran back a couple hundred yards before my slow and small – now half the size of a normal- brain realized I would not find my phone in the last 1/100th of my run.   Ugh!

Periodically throughout the morning, I tried calling my cell phone from our house phone.  After a few tries, a very sweet woman named Dora with a southern accent answered, “Oh, honey.  Don’t you worry.   I’ve got your phone, sweetheart.  Where are you?  I’ll bring it to you, darling.”

I stammered and stuttered.  I didn’t know how to talk to someone who called me honey, sweetheart, and darling.  I blushed and assured her I wouldn’t inconvenience her anymore than I already had.  I’d swing by and pick it up as soon as the baby woke up from her morning nap.

Well, “swing by” turned out to be a thirty-minute drive with Kiki screaming almost the entire way.  (She hates the car.  I know, I know, your child loves the car – puh-lease – don’t rub it in.)  She’s going through this phase where she wants a binky, but once she has it, she whips it out of her mouth and launches it into the abyss of the car.

Finally, we arrive at Dora’s house.  She’s waiting in the front yard for me.  I want to jump out of the car, run around to Kiki’s side, and find her a binky, but Dora’s waiting.  Therefore, I close the car door behind me to hide the screams from inside and thank her profusely.  She hands over my cell phone AND two large bags of her homemade caramel corn.

“A little treat for you, darling” she says.

Again with the stammering and blushing.  “I should be giving you something for finding my phone not vice versa,” I manage to say.

Once in the car, the deafening cries remind me of the missing binkies.  I run around the outside and open Kiki’s door.  Ten toys fall out along with a sucker, six Cheerios, a sock, a book, a mitten, four animal crackers, and two raisins.  BUT NO BINKY!!!  I rummage through the mess of a back seat until I find one.  Aha!  At last, I’m saved!  I plug in the binky and dash back to my seat.

Just as I’m about to put the car in reverse, I think, “Where’s my cell phone?”

Remember that half a brain thing – well, amazingly enough, I’ve lost my cell phone.  AGAIN!  After having it in my possession for what – a mere thirty seconds.  I dig through the front seat of the car.  I jump out and run around to Kiki’s side.  I look on the ground, under the car.  I look in the back seat.  I mumble to myself under my breath.  Kiki starts to cry.  Bunder starts to fall asleep.  Sweet, sweet, Dora stands in her front yard wondering what brand of crazy I am.  I open the passenger side door and look in all the minute hiding places of the car.

Just when I’m ready to cry, I spot a glimpse of it between the passenger’s seat and armrest.  I dig my arm into the tight, teeny slot only to push it farther to the ground.  I try to reach it under the seat only to be blocked by the metal underbelly of the seat.  I try moving the seat back.  I try moving it forward.  I try pleading with it, “Please, please come out.”

With some sort of shot of adrenaline, I press my arm through the diminutive space and latch onto it.

Relief.  Now onto the crying baby.

Hey, I’m not a newbie at this whole mom-thing.  I have my own little tricks.  Is it a special song on the stereo?  A favorite DVD?  A sip of juice?  Heck, no!  None of that works!  I pull through Mickey D’s and order fries for my little rascals.  It solves a multitude of problems.  It keeps one child happy, one child awake, and one mother sane for another thirty-minute drive home.

Happy, happy Kiki showing off her french fries

Peace.  Serenity.  We ride blissfully along munching DELICIOUS homemade caramel corn, french fries, and singing along to the World of Animals DVD.

What’s that?  A police car on our off ramp?  Our exit is suddenly blocked?

Another inconvenience!  Ah!  When will it end?

Traffic slows to a crawl as we drive past the accident on the frontage road.  Everyone is gawking, staring at the scene.  I see a number of police cars, an ambulance, workers in orange vests with trash bags in the grass between the highway and frontage road, two trucks stopped in the middle of the road, and then …

a man lying in the road wearing an orange vest.  I glimpse his face just as two police officers cover his body with a white sheet.  Quickly, I cross myself and say prayers for the man and his family.  How small and petty I feel.  What a perspective changer.

Dear God, Thank you for reminding me of my many blessings.  Help me always to keep joy in my heart amidst the day’s small, insignificant troubles.  Amen.


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