Okay, I’m not certain about you and your experiences with a road trip and the family, but our experiences are less than The Cleavers-perfect. A few weeks ago, we took a little family trip to northern Cal on the tails of my Pottery Barn Facebook chat in San Francisco. So we drove around the Bay Area a bit and up to Napa.
I’m almost certain most of your children are little gems in the car, but mine, not so much on this trip. In fact, by the end of the two-hour jaunt to Napa Valley from Berkeley (in Friday afternoon traffic, no less), I seriously appreciated having arrived at the renowned wine mecca. My glass of Jack Quinn Cabernet was just the ticket for the two hours of posturing my kids performed for my husband and I in the back seat during our drive.
Here’s how it went…to start things off, although each of the three back seats appear to have very similar attributes, there seems to be hierarchy to the passenger seating chart. My son declares, “No, I’m not sitting there. I’ll get car sick.” To which my daughter replies, “That’s ridiculous, it doesn’t matter which side of the car you’re on. You just want this seat because you can charge your phone. Mom! He just wants to charge his phone and I’m not going to move. I was here first!” Hmmm, I thought. “Isn’t the charger in the middle of the both of you? How is this an issue?” “Mom, he always gets to pick the seat even if I’m here first. I was here first and it’s my turn.” My husband then chimes in, “GET IN THE CAR!” And although those four firmly, but softly spoken words produced the two sparing partners to jump right in the car, the debate continued. And after about ten minutes of what I consider a senseless argument that had so little for me to even piece together a retort, I decide to crank up the tunes and sing an ear-piercing a Broadway-worthy rendition of one of my favorite songs, Happy Endings—I really should have been a singer. At any rate, that seemed to distract from the bickering for a bit. Whew! Score! I’m a brilliant mother…
Nope, not so brilliant…”Mom, play ‘Somebody That I Used to Know.’” And you guessed it….”No, yuck! Don’t play that again. I’m sick of that. Why do you always get to pick the songs? Mom, here, here’s my ipod. Use my songs. “ Oy vey. Really? We are now arguing over songs? And may I note, my kids “share” the itunes account. So their ipods look exactly alike. Exactly.
What is it with siblings and the arguing? Is this nature’s way of turning our precious little bundles of joy into world savvy adults able to defend themselves with situations like buying a car or negotiating a lease? Probably so, but boy how I wish they could just take a class at school on the skills of arguing much like learning the courses in Philosophy and Chemistry and spare the parents the “lab” work during our two hour road trips!!
Live the moment,