Sunday, February 28, 2010

Oh....Driving to Preschool. How it Sucks.

When do kids fully understand The Quiet Game and sincerely want to win? I want my children at that point, ASAP.

I have been spending a lot of time alone with the boys and honestly their incessant conversation and questions are about to drive me over the edge. I do admit that I prefer their chatter to their fighting or tears, but my children are incapable of keeping a thought to themselves these days. We have six 40 minute trips in the car per week for preschool and these are the most brutal.

Things usually start with just one or two questions from Aiden about something I say to myself in a mildly frustrated flurry of trying to get us all out the door. I should know by now that I should never, ever say anything to myself because I will be asked to explain it. It will not make sense to Aiden. I will have a series of why questions thrown at me that will make me confused about what the hell I was saying to begin with....was I really talking to myself about the location of the charger for my phone in relation to the bathroom?

For being two years old Cole can talk almost as well as Aiden. Unfortunately he doesn't have a lot of original thoughts so he finds most of his amusement in the car by repeating portions of Aiden's comments and questions. This not only often doesn't make sense, but it infuriates Aiden....much to Cole's delight. Cole has perfected his timing so that he can start speaking a mere second or two after Aiden has begun his next comment or question, confusing and frustrating Aiden so much that Aiden loses his train of thought. Cole really is pretty smart about it and reminds me to a frightening degree of my brother. If you know him, you understand my fear...really funny but often teetering on or fully is annoying.

Frequent fights will begin not only due to the over talking. Mere observations can turn into vicious verbal wars. Aiden might see a dump truck (a highlight of any car ride) and simply say, "I see a dump truck." Cole will quickly say, "you didn't see a dump truck." And it begins.

Periodically they get confused about which side they are fighting for and are forced to switch sides or join together to fight one another while saying the exact same thing. I no longer interfere with these discussions/arguments because fighting crazy never works, it's a lesson I feel they are going to have to learn on their own.

I am extremely skilled at locating ambulances, police cars, any and all types of machinery and anything else with a light on top of the vehicle. These are my best bet for a moment of silence. I never, ever should point out anything obscure like someone with a flat tire or I will never be able to talk about anything else for the duration of the ride. It will take quite a while to satisfy every angle of that problem for Aiden.

Turning on "kid" music should only be done once things have already gotten to a negative point. Any music turned on during peaceful times will promptly be the source of frustration. Requests for songs will range from the reasonable, "Can we listen to Ants Go Marching?," to the indecipherable, "I want The Hanging Song!" (The Hanging Song does not exist in my world, though when asked Cole will sing a few bars of the song...usually the title he made up set to a tune he created. My kids do not have a future in music making.)

I readily admit to giving them all sorts of "treats" in order to improve the chances of a peaceful drive. Chocolate milk, chewing gum and trail mix are currently on the rotation for the highest success rates of quiet. None of these choices are positive for their sugar intake or the appearance of my vehicle...something I more or less gave up on after some musical baby toys leaked battery gunk down the back of the driver's seat. I have resigned to driving a vehicle with Cars stickers stuck to the back windows for the next 5 years, at least.

At the end of May I will no longer have to make the 40 minute drive to preschool in Austin as they are registered for school 10 minutes from our house for the fall. I wonder what kind of argument or confusing discussions we can cram in during that time? Maybe by they they will be up for playing The Quiet Game and I can get 20 minutes of silence? Oh....except I bet that new baby will want to cry, she'll only get 10 minutes though.


Anonymous said...

My favorite new mantra "Fighting crazy never works"

I will be repeating this over and over at school/work.

Lindsay said...

Hilarious!!! I have to agree with Laurie. I will even use that with my husband.