Love in Overdrive

driving mum madLove’s driving me crazy.

There’s nothing like a confined space and two small people with loud voices both competing to be heard.

My favourite driving experiences are:

The School RunShort and sweet. Hmm, short yes, sweet no. Those few short minutes can feel like sheer torture. Is the bickering and banter their way of saying, ‘I’ll miss you or I’ve missed you?’ Whatever the case may be it’s enough to drive anyone batty.

The Trip to the Grandparents: similar to the School Run just longer in length. There’s also the added anticipation of arriving. The excitement builds to a crescendo just as we pull in the driveway. My eardrums feel as if they might explode and the grandparents think that a tornado is about to hit the house. It is obvious to all concerned that I have little/no control over my terrors.

The Big Day Out Drive: setting out at shortly after the sparrow’s have sung their morning tune and arriving home close to dinner time denotes a Big Day Out. Wherever we may be headed we have a packed lunch, picnic rug, esky and bag (filled to the brim with spare clothes, hats, sunscreen, etc). The expected, ‘Are we there yet’s?’ start when we’re approximately half way there. It’s been smooth sailing the whole way if we don’t have to stop for petrol or the toilet en route.

The Great Escape: we’ve prepared for this for weeks but nothing can prepare us for the journey ahead. The car is crammed with half the contents of our house. The tailgate on the wagon will only just close. There’s pillows between the kids on the seat. It’s like we’ve tried to build the Great Wall between them so they can’t touch or see each other. The kids have got numerous things to keep them occupied. A game of ‘Eye Spy’ starts before we hit the freeway. If we’re lucky they’ll nod off (syncronised is heaven) for a while shortly after, ‘Are we there yet-i-tis?’ has commenced.

The Solo Cruise: doesn’t happen too often but when it does, Oh Boy! A chance to listen to adult tunes at any volume you please. Window up or down, whatever takes you fancy. And that annoying noise coming from the back of the car? It’s completely gone!

Mum’s taxi will be off again in the morning with the boys I love on board.

How do you cope with the calamity of children in cars for the quick trip or the long haul?

Footnote: After originally publishing this post in February, I decided to revisit it today as it was one of the first ‘pieces’ I wrote that exceeded several lines in length and had some substance. It is also the basis for the idea of my first picture book manuscript. My self-imposed deadline of June 30 is looming. I think my set of wheels needs a car detailer.

Image from: here.


22 thoughts on “Love in Overdrive

  1. Pingback: Love in Overdrive | Free Little Words | Hey Sweetheart, Get Me Rewrite!

  2. This is great! We traveled North every summer from the time I was 4 months old until I was 16 years old. It was three days of 8-10 hours of driving. This was waaaaayyyy before portable DVD players – heck we didn’t even know what a DVD was back then. Anyways, my parents and I played word games and had long conversations the entire time. “Are we there yet” was forbidden to be spoken. My favorite part was when I got to talk on the CB radio to all the truckers. They all called me Pooh Bear 🙂 You brought back some great memories…thank you.

    • Wow. That’s a journey and a half.! We used to do trips to my Grandparents which lasted eight hours. Mum and Dad used to chuck us in the back of the wagon on a mattress around midnight and we’d sleep for the first 6 hours or so. We also used to do convoys with family friends and my sister and I used to talk on the CB radio to our friends in the car in front or behind. Good times. Thanks for resurrecting some of my memories too. 🙂

  3. Crazy car trips, turning up the music tends to drown them out and even silences them sometimes! They love singing along to music: I have just made a mental note to put more of a selection in the car. It may save me from going crazy!

    • Our CD collection in the car has been taken over by ABC for kids CDs. The portable DVD players mounted on the headrest stopped us from visiting crazy town recently on a long trip.

  4. In part, yes. Some from my own childhood. It’s funny but when I wrote this post I hadn’t even thought about writing a children’s book on the topic. It came to mind some weeks later. I’m sure my subconscious had a part to play in some way though.

  5. HI! I found you on Day 3 of my Summer Reading Challenge! We drive quite frequently from New Jersey to Connecticut with our two girls, which, depending on traffic can be a 2.5 hour or 4 hour trip. This is a trip we’ve been doing since both our girls were born and I think the key to long road trips with kids is to start them young and invest in a dvd player. Our girls are pretty good about falling asleep and if they don’t fall asleep, they quietly watch a DVD. Now, everyday driving is a different story. I sometimes find myself banging my head against the headrest and wishing that I had put in ear plugs that morning to drown out the shrieks of joy or the cries that result from sibling bickering. I swear, these girls reach pitches that only dogs should be able to hear. 🙂

    • Hi, It’s lovely to have you visit. Thanks for finding me during your challenge. I’ll be sure to pop on over and have a look around your blog soon. I don’t know about the challenge but will be sure to check it out. If it makes me feel a bit warmer, I’m all for it, as we are into the heart of winter here in South Australia.

      I think that’s why we have headrests, otherwise there’d be nothing to bang our heads against. Oh, and to strap the portable DVD players to.

      See you again soon.

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