• J Mess

BACKSEAT DRIVER

After colors, letters, and numbers, we need to learn basic rules of the road.


Dear Mr. Policeman, I apologize profusely for running every one of those red lights. Obviously I know better, however my very impatient toddler screams bloody murder and yells "GO GO GO!" every time our car comes to a stop. Yes, of course I tried to explain to him that I, in fact, cannot go because the light is red, or there is a car in front of us, but alas my insistence that red means stop and green means go apparently means nothing to him. As he quite emphatically insisted back to me that actually red means go through his blood-curdling and unending RED GO, RED GO, RED GO whines. Maybe you can talk some sense into him, or scare him straight with baby jail or something, so I can return to normal vehicle operation? Please and thank you. Love, a very tired

7-month pregnant toddler mom.


Don't worry I really didn't run any red lights, but I wish I could.

Nathan's always been pretty good in the car. When it's moving. When he was a baby, he went into his car seat with ease and was always quiet and usually asleep, that is until the car would stop. Then he would immediately wake up and start crying. I remember trying to slow down so insanely slowly and roll up to the red lights so we'd never actually have to come to a real stop and I wouldn't have to deal with him getting upset. And just forget it in traffic. Complete nightmare. So I guess in hindsight none of what's happening right now should be surprising to me. And now that we are cat-cat free, our mouth has nothing better to do than yell at me for not continuously driving home. How dare I obey legal traffic signals.


Isn't there a YouTube kids video or something that can teach him about stoplights?

Besides not truly grasping the fact that I cannot just plow through other cars or run red lights while driving, Nathan also doesn't seem to understand that I can't really do much else while operating a motor vehicle. I'm strapped into the front seat, the only other person in the car, and solely responsible for us arriving safely at our destination. That means unfortunately no matter how loud you scream, whine, and insist I give you milk, I cannot actually accomplish that while I'm driving. Nor can I obtain all of the "Neat cars" i.e., the Matchbox cars you purposely threw on the floor and then required be returned to you immediately. Also while I agree it would be very nice, I cannot sit next to you in the backseat, "Mama sit der," and manage to drive the car. Apparently all of these things are too much for him to wrap his little toddler brain around.


So I've actually begun just ignoring him and his many, many requests, because engaging with him every time and saying things like "Nathan, I cannot get your milk right now, mommy is busy driving the car," or "Yes Nathan, I hear you. Mommy will go when the light is green," is exhausting, and only seems to incite him more. And once he's incited, I inevitably hit every single red light on the drive home giving him ample time to continue demanding things that I have no way of delivering. Either that, or I need to find another way home that has way less stop lights. Because this tiny, rule-breaking, backwards-facing, back-seat dictator-driver is driving me crazy while I'm driving....



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