Wednesday, April 25, 2007

So Y'all Can Bear Witness To My Mad Parenting Skillz

We drive a mini-van. (Yes, a mini-van. I got over my smug, I'll-never-drive-a-mini-van phase the minute I saw the four door, one touch automatic sliding side door, keyless entry wonder that we bought the summer I was pregnant with the girls.) The seating in our van is arranged with two front captain's seats, followed by two captain's chairs in the middle, and a bench seat in the third row. For three loooong years, Bubba has been banished to the third row where it is hard to hear or be heard over the wind noise/twin chatter/Vegi-Tales singing extravaganza. The girls have occupied the two captain's chairs in the middle since before they were born. (We had their carrier/car seats installed a good month before they came.) At first this was a necessity. We needed to be able to load and unload the girls easily and also be able to reach them while sitting in the front seats.

The problem with this arrangement has only revealed itself in the last few months. I laugh when I read the stories that BooMama tells about her son that TALKS! IN! ALL! CAPS! AND! EXCLAMATIONS!. I have two of my own offspring that talk the same way. This habit is irritating at best, and it is never more annoying than in the car. Such a loud, continuous noise in such a small, compact space would make anyone want to go to the salvage yard and have them shave off the top of the van making it the first convertible minivan with an automatic sliding side door.

With all the noise going on in the middle seat, Bubba has a hard time being a part of the conversation waaaay back in the third row. Honey and I can barely hear ourselves decide where we are going out to eat for supper with all of the "MOMMY, ISN'T THAT TREE JUST SO, SO PRETTY! DADDY, DID YOU SEE THAT TREE? IT'S JUST SO, SO BUTIFUL!" (That's the girl version. Slightly less choppy, slightly more adjectives like pretty and butiful, slightly more words squeezed in between breaths, and just as loud.)

Things like, "You need to make your voice quieter." and "Use your inside voice." and "I'm sitting right here beside you." just don't register in the brains of 3 yr olds.

I recently decided to try an experiment. We moved Brooke and Mary TuTu to the third row and let Bubba start sitting in the middle row. Yes, it is a little harder to get the girls buckled in, and yes, they are far, far from reach when I need to "touch" them to get their attention, but, oh, the blissful peace that comes when I am driving down the road and hear my girls talk to me at a normal decibel. More than once over the past two weeks, I've been able to hear myself think as I sit in the driver's seat, "Man, Girl! You got some mad parenting skillz!"


Larissa said...

That was funny! It is sooo loud in the car. I completely understand. Sometimes I ever wonder if I'll be able to listen to the radio again and actually hear it.

realitymomma said...

jenni, that is not mad parenting skills, that is called sanity! before taytum was born, i would drive with earphones and my ipod. now that is bad parenting.... however, i always seemed to still hear alayna. she is louder than mom. is that possible?

Laci said...

I love it! :0)