Driving under the influence [of my child]

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Oprah recently did a show about texting while driving. To be honest, I didn't watch it. It looked depressing and I'm more of an "ambush makeover of a grandma" or "George Clooney cooks us meatloaf" or "Twins separated at birth who lost a thousand pounds and are reuniting" kind of Oprah-show-watcher...but, the preview was pretty straight forward: texting while driving kills people. (I don't know why Oprah doesn't hire me to do her marketing for her?)
I've heard the stats and the stories and I totally get it - it's bad, so we don't do it in our house. Honest to goodness, we no longer text while driving (Go Oprah!)
But, it made me think about how MUCH we still do while driving. It is just crazy! And, it seems to only be getting worse since having a baby. The latest trick-while-driving is the pacifier competition I hold with Matilda. Argh. She is usually very happy in her carseat. She travels well and I'm so thankful for that. But, darn if she doesn't lose it when that pacifier falls out of her mouth.
The trick is to get it back IN her mouth from the front seat. Even if you can find the pacifier in the first place, you then begin the game we like to call "where the heck is your mouth?" I'm driving along, arm reached back over the carseat, stabbing my poor child's face with this stupid pacifier and yelling "Where is your mouth? Take it! Where is your mouth?" while she is like a barracuda chomping at the bit and dodging my hand every which way.
No wonder women are such terrible drivers. Sorry ladies, it's not even a stereotype any more. It's just the truth.
And that's not a bad thing - I'd rather be a good mom than a good driver...BUT, if I'm taking my eyes off the road to help my child, doesn't that defeat the purpose???
Maybe in addition to a no-phone-zone we need to make the car a no-paci-zone. I don't know if this will be as easy a habit to break...but I'm going to have a "use it or lose it" talk with Matilda and see if she will understand (ha). Let's keep our kiddos safe and watch out for those other cars with the "baby on board" sign in the back window. Afterall, we don't want to end up in a world where the car becomes a no-kid-zone.

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