Sunday Morning Ain’t So Easy

Getting the kids to church on Sundays can be difficult.

Making all four kids get up, get dressed, maybe eat something, and get in the car is hard enough. But the fifteen-minute car ride to the church has begun to be the worst part.

The fighting has gotten so bad we have been taking two cars to church, just to allow the children a buffer zone away from each other.

Last week, however, there was a problem with the second car’s battery, forcing all six of us back into one car for the dreaded Sunday morning ride.

It started right away when we all got in. The twins began shoving each other and quarreling over a toy. GG insisted Boo was sitting in her seat and felt perfectly justified in sitting ON her sister and buckling the seat belt around herself while Boo screamed that she was being crushed.

I started hollering directions from the drivers’ seat: “GG! Get off your sister! Boo! Stop that noise! Little Boy! Give that back!” My husband knocked on the window. “Let me drive,” he said, in his I’m-the-reasonable-adult-voice.

I got out in a huff, annoyed that he was implying he was better able to drive calmly with all the chaos going around behind us. The kids finally settled in their separate seats but continued to quarrel and snipe at each other.

I sat angrily in the passenger seat and watched my husband placidly buckle his seat belt and start the car. He seemed to be humming a little tune to himself as he drove the van out of the garage and down the street.

Obviously he was out to prove he was the better parent, I thought. He was trying to show that I was the screaming-shrew mom and he was the calm-and-cool dad. I seethed.

Then I noticed something stuffed in his ear. I peered closer.

“Aha!” I said. “You’re wearing earplugs!”

He glanced over at me. “What?” he said.

I guess he wins.

Buttons I wish I had on the GPS

FEATURE #1. This route ain’t gonna fly, cowboy. Give it up.

gps1You know how sometimes a certain route has been blocked by a traffic jam, or a closed road, or maybe your ex on a rampage, but your GPS won’t accept that you can’t go that way? It just keeps saying “Recalculating. Make a U-turn when appropriate.”

Or “Recalculating. Make a right. Make a right. Make a right.” ACK! I just went in a circle! Stop trying to force me to take that road, electronic voice!!

I want to press a button that says, “Recalculate THAT!! We CAN’T GO THIS WAY!!!”

FEATURE #2. This road is dead to me.gps2

Sometimes there are roads I hate permanently. I don’t want to go on them if I can help it. EVER.

Like 280 in Birmingham. (Sorry to everyone not from Alabama who doesn’t understand what I mean. That road sucks.)

So if I could enable this feature, the GPS would always take me another way. Or, if it was unavoidable, it could say, “Sorry, but you must disable the Dead To You Road in order to reach this destination.”

So at least I’d know it TRIED to avoid the hated route. You know?

FEATURE #3. Can I get a little sympathy here?

gps3

I really hate it when I keep missing turns or whatever and the electronic lady starts to sound both annoyed and patronizing.

I mean, I know that all she really says is, “Recalculating,” but she has a TONE.

I’d like for her to start to sympathize with me. Maybe she could say, “I’m sorry; you seem to be having trouble. Don’t worry. I’ll help you.”

Or she could dispense a little emergency square of chocolate and say, “It’s all right. You’ll get there eventually. No one will mind if you’re a little late. Have some candy; you’ll feel better.”

I definitely think these buttons would enhance my experience with the GPS. Don’t you agree?

A Major Milestone

badge

I would like for everyone to celebrate with me, as I passed a major parenting milestone this summer.

…wait for it….

EVERYONE CAN PUT ON THEIR OWN SEAT BELTS IN THE CAR NOW!!!!!!!!!

Can you believe it?

Now, to those of you who don’t have little kids, or have forgotten what it’s like to have little kids:

This is a big deal.

I have spent SEVENTEEN YEARS buckling people into car seats, kneeling on crumb-covered carpets and upholstery, handling sticky buckles and straps, maneuvering past struggling arms and legs. BUT NO MORE!!!

Now I sit calmly in the driver’s seat of the van and I say cheerily, “Buckle up!” and they ACTUALLY DO IT!

HOORAY!