So, in honour of all the torture I've been subjected to, here is my Top 10 list (in no particular order) of the ways in which one can be tormented whilst riding in the family car:
1. THE HORRIFIC SCREAM: It can start from when children are first born. Anyone who has driven with a screaming baby in the backseat will tell you how stressful it is. I'm not talking cute little baby wails - I'm talking full-blown, lose your breath screaming. It sounds like they are being tortured and you're pretty much helpless. You don't know how to calm the baby down. Sometimes you can't even pull over to check on them. And that screaming - it twists your insides like nothing else! My boys all had colic and reflux and we had some memorable trips with them. This behaviour can continue for many years and is not restricted to babies.
2. THE STINKY NAPPY: Now, there seem to be two favourite moments for a baby/toddler to do a massive, stinking number two. The first is just as you're strapping them in and of course, are already late for wherever you are going. Samuel has perfected this timing. The other is whilst you are already on the road. You are trapped with a smell that threatens to make everyone throw up. Again, there's usually nowhere convenient to pull over and if you manage to, where in the hell are you supposed to change them? Some resort to the boot of the car...but let me tell you, it's not easy!
3. TOILET EMERGENCY: One is not safe once children are out of nappies. From the dreaded toilet training stage and a few years beyond, a trip in the car will set alarm bells off in their little brains telling them that they must go to the toilet and must go now. Of course, the most fun time for them to make this declaration is when you are miles from any toilet or toilet-like structure. In this regard, I am blessed to have boys as they seem to have no trouble relieving themselves anywhere :)
4. THE PROJECTILE: Aaahhh, the good old projectile. I can see you all nodding. Projectiles take two forms - liquid and solid. Liquid projectile may include vomit and who can deny the torturous qualities of vomit, in all its many colourful forms and smells? I believe it is worse than number twos and lingers for a long, long time. This type of projectile unfortunately is not limited to children, making it even more painful and torturous. The solid variety of projectile can include toys and shoes. They are flung with such velocity from the back seat that they have been known to cause injury and near-accidents. If you possess one of these children, it's best to refrain from giving them heavy, metal toys - unless not giving them the toy, causes scene number 1 above, in which case you must decide which is worse.
5. FOOD: Sounds innocent enough but can be quite stressful, especially to Sam who prides himself on a clean car. The resolve to not let children eat in the car is an admirable one. Surely, anything that needs to be consumed can be consumed before departing for a destination or upon arrival at a destination? Yep, sounds logical but trying to reason with a toddler or child or even a starving baby puts a whole new perspective on things. Sticky lollies, cascading chips, crumbly biscuits...it's enough to send you into hysterics.
6. STARVATION & DEHYDRATION: At some point, you will experience your children crying and moaning, telling you they need food or drink immediately. Don't be fooled into thinking this phenomena only occurs on long trips. It can occur unexpectedly within minutes of leaving home. Yes, that place which is usually stocked with food and has plenty of running water. Of course nobody thought to have a drink before leaving, or nobody bothered to listen to mum telling them to have a drink before leaving. And if a miracle happened and everyone had a drink before leaving, it will usually cause number 3 above, so you just can't win!
7. THE ARGUMENT: Arguing from the back seat does not have to be logical or make any sense. The only requirements seem to be mad yelling, accusations, whingeing and crying. I will give you an example:
Thomas: Oh, I just saw a dog!
Thomas: You didn't see it Daniel. You missed it.
Daniel: (folding his arms and raising his voice) I did see it! And I saw a duck!
Thomas: (yelling) You didn't see a duck! You're lying!! Mum, Daniel's lying!!
Daniel: (crying) I'm not lying. I did see a duck!!
Mum: (screaming like a madwoman)
The things my boys argue about never fails to surprise and amuse me. An absence of siblings can reduce this form of torture...but children are just as likely to argue with you about the most bizarre things! And if you attempt to ignore them or happen to "win" the argument, child will resort to number 1 - so again, you're stuffed! Special mention for Samuel here who screams hysterically if I haven't let him "press the button" for the garage door or given him the car keys...ummm, yes, I need them to drive the car! And kids are smart, a toy set of keys just won't cut it!
8. THE PHYSICAL FIGHT: Sometimes "The Argument" can turn physical. Seatbelts do not seem to be a deterrent in this regard. They will swing arms and legs wildly in all directions as they try to hit and kick their sibling. Again, this brings us back to number 1. Are you seeing a pattern here?
9. CONTROL OF THE MUSIC: I warn everyone against playing children's CDs in the car! The last thing you want is to have Chugga Chugga Big Red Car or some such ditty on high rotation. It's a slow excruciating form of torture! Just as bad is when they argue about other songs (it's a given that they will not like the same song) and want those played over and over again. At one point, we had Johnny Cash's "Ring of Fire" playing over and over and over ...can't say I really like the song anymore. That one was Sam's fault. I also get very frustrated when they are indulging in number 1, 6, 7 or 8 and I'm trying to listen to a snippet of news...is it too much to ask for silence for just a few seconds?! Turning the radio up does not help (I've tried).
10. TRAFFIC LIGHTS: Sometimes you may even possess a unique child that inflicts a whole new form of torture on you when travelling in the family car. We went through a short period when Thomas was much younger where he insisted we "go" when the lights were red and "stop" when the lights were green!! Aaaarrrggghhhhh!!!! You guessed it - there was plenty of number 1 when we didn't comply with his orders!
|An old pic of the boys that reminded me of another thing... the wailing |
that goes on when the sun is in their eyes!
Samuel screams, "My eyes,
Can you relate to any of the above?
Do you have any other forms of torture you can add to the list?