Well, the holiday season has come and past and I am proud to say that I didn’t abandon my kids at the side of the road even once! It amazes me. No, it stuns me that I have two kids that can’t enter a vehicle without starting to bicker. How can two kids that play Barbies together, coach each other on iPod games and that never, ever have a problem at daycare turn around and have a fight before the garage door goes up? It defies explanation.
This is not just a holiday phenomenon but the fighting is especially grating since it takes 5 hours to drive to my parents house. I’m pretty good at ignoring the kids when I’m driving but my wife gets driven nuts quickly. Her, I can’t ignore so successfully. When driving with three disgruntled passengers I start to get pretty testy. My daughter Maya is usually the instigator but somehow I end up yelling at my son. Here’s a kid that cannot ignore anything. Unless the TV is on and then the house could burn down and he wouldn’t notice… that’s another post. So I end up driving up Hwy 11, screeching over my shoulder wisdom such as “I don’t care if she called you an idiot. You must be an idiot if you can’t ignore her. No, wait… you’re not an idiot. I’m sorry…” Guilt ridden for even suggesting that he might be an idiot, I try to reason… “Look. You are going to be a huge delight to the first bully that comes along if you can’t ignore some name calling. God… even I want to bully you! Aaaggh! I don’t mean that…” I am just too frustrated to be supportive. I descend into grunts of “Shut up. Both of you. or I’ll kill you” Sigh.
I think that the problem is that the kids just can’t stand that anything, even arriving alive, that takes my attention away from them. God forbid that one child speaks uninterrupted. The other must comment or preferably in a louder voice begin another completely different conversation. Even the poor cats in the car are pawns in the struggle for domination. “It’s not fair… I don’t want the ass end. You have the ass end of the cat.” Nice. Classy even.
Oh well… it’s several more months before we go up for a week in the summer. Maybe by then I’ll go deaf.