Before I was a parent, my YCS (Younger, cooler self) was an idealistic young thang. She had very lofty plans for her future children and her role as a mother. Everything would be perfect. She would go above and beyond to be the best mom she could be. In her mind was a list of rules to which she would adhere and use to raise the healthiest, most well behaved and well adjusted children in the neighborhood. Of course, as you can guess from my previous posts, those rules all died vicious, horrendous deaths. The following is an account of how one of those rules went down in flames.
Rule #178- I Will Never Buy My Children a Portable DVD Player.
My rationale behind the rule was solid. I thought that kids should be able to entertain themselves on a road trip (OK, maybe it was an “if I had to do it you can do it too” mentality, sue me!). There are plenty of things to occupy a kid during a road trip. There are books, toys even hand-held video games (another rule; different dreadful end; we’ll talk about that one later). Looking back, my rule and the ideas that spawned it were based on a delusional idea of what it was like to have kids. I also overestimated my ability to withstand torture.
It was the middle of summer. We were embarking on our yearly trip to our state’s capital. Essentially we take the kids to the zoo so that we can see how real animals behave and feel better about our parenting skills. Plus, the boys get to see animals pooping and humping in a simulated “natural” environment. Everybody wins!
The car was packed, we hit the road and before we got off the ramp and onto the interstate the kids had been through every book, toy and snack I had packed for the 4 ½ hour drive. The Oldest was only four at the time. Now, we knew he talked a lot at home. He had developed a continuous stream of conversation that lasted throughout the day. An RSS feed, if you will, of every thought that entered his mind. And believe me, this kid has thoughts ricocheting through his brain at an unbelievable rate. We never thought about how that chatter would translate to an even smaller, enclosed environment.
Another unfortunate decision on the part of me and the Hubbin’—we chose to take the scenic route over a gorgeous pass that is so mountainous it is impassable during any other time of year. How were we to know that the road was under construction in several areas and that most of the pass was down to one lane. The trip took 5 ½ hours and that kid talked THE ENTIRE TIME! I found myself bouncing my head against my window as I fantasized about biting off a piece of the glass and chewing on it. You know, just to ease the pain I was feeling. That boy talked so much that I was actually worried about his oxygenation level. All that talking, combined with the high elevation, it couldn’t be healthy!
Before we even made it to our destination, the Hubbin’ and I looked at each other and, with a shrug of resignation, I asked, “So, we’ll get a DVD player before we head home, right?” RIP Rule #178