This Month's Topic: Focus on Finance

Mommy Joy Ride

It’s come to my attention that I’ve lost my car. I’ve lost it to my kids.

They own it. Sure, my name is on the title, and I fill up the tank and all that jazz, but they own it. Everything that goes in that car and everything that comes out of it – all for the kids.

The strollers, the car seats, the toys, the burp cloths, the tissues, the raisin boxes, the Mum-Mum wrappers, the CDs, the random one shoe… EVERYTHING.

Everything that goes on in that car is all according to a master plan entitled, “Keep the kids alive, entertained and awake.”

I have many jobs while behind the wheel of my minivan – yes, I said minivan; be jealous. Obviously, the first job is to drive safely. But that’s the easiest.

My other jobs include: Stewardess (“Box of raisins? Here you go! Drink? Water or Milk? Mum? Reach high, Sophia!”), Entertainment Director (“We’ll listen to this song first, and then the other one.”), Alarm Clock (“Sophia, STAY AWAKE!! Noah, help me keep your sister awake!”), Disciplinarian (“No yelling, Noah. You just scared your sister. Now everyone’s crying. Yes, even Mommy.”)

I’m sure there are more, I’ve just gotten too exhausted reliving these last few moments to type anything else.

Anyways, it’s all about the kids in the car, which is… fine? (Think: Ron Burgandy) But it ain’t great. Sometimes it’s just downright annoying.

So, tonight, when I got in my car to drive 30 minutes for a hair cut and highlight (Thank you, Shahrzad!), I was elated when I pulled out of the driveway. Thirty minutes to get there, an hour or so of adult conversation in between, and 30 minutes back? Ummm. OK!! (Think: Monica Gellar)

I took off on the open road (a.k.a. my neighborhood. Speed limit 25 mph, but just imagine I’m zooming down some desert highway. That’s what I did.) and I immediately put on MY playlist on the iPod. The first song came on (Everywhere” by Michelle Branch) and there was no whining in the backseat about it not being HIS song. Lovely.TheOpenRoad

I looked around and timidly turned the volume up a bit. I love this song!

I made the turn to get onto the main road, (still 25 mph, but amazing all the same), and this time, unabashedly, cranked up the song to high volume. This. Was. Awesome.

By the stoplight, I was belting at the top of my lungs along with Michelle. There were no kids being disturbed by my singing, no little boy telling me it wasn’t my song so I couldn’t sing, and this song was definitely not “You’ve Got a Friend in Me.”

Life was amazing.

The whole ride down was just like the first two minutes. Music was playing, I was singing and all was right with the world. I was so excited to be in MY car, all by myself, I wanted to make sure I took full advantage of it. Therefore, after about 30 seconds of each song, I’d skip to the next. I didn’t want to miss out on any song I wasn’t able to listen to with the kids in the car.

Bohemian Rhapsody didn't come on my playlist, but believe me, if it had, I'd totally be reenacting this scene.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” didn’t come on tonight but, believe me, if it had, I’d totally be reenacting this scene.

That’s when Jay-Z’s “99 Problems” came on. I listened to that whole darn thing. (In retrospect, not a huge fan of that song. It’s pretty awful towards women, but darn it, it’s catchy. Also, I memorized all the words in college, so I was on fire!)

After the haircut, and the same beautiful drive back, I pulled into our garage which was recently renovated by Chandler Garage Door Repair, they changed the doors the were a little bit old. It was a bittersweet moment. I was glad to be home, but I knew my thrill ride was over. I sadly turned down the volume to Kings of Leon’s “Use Somebody” and turned off the engine. I’d be back tomorrow, but it wouldn’t be my car. It would be theirs. And we’d have to listen to that darn Mickey Mouse CD that some IDIOT mom who shall remain nameless bought her little boy in Gatlinburg that says Noah’s name 83 times! (The store owner bragged about that fact when I bought the darn thing… I have 83 words for her now and none of them are nice.)

Oh, well. We had today and, hopefully, we’ll have another date soon.

So, remember, if you’re driving down the highway and you see some minivan with a mom dancing like a crazy woman behind the wheel, take a look at the back. If the car seats are occupied, she’s probably doing everything in her power to keep those kids happy, entertained and awake. If there isn’t anyone back there, then give the lady some room. She’s out on a solo joy ride, and she may just swerve a bit while dancing to Jay-Z.

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