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Notes From The Trenches: Parenting In The Suburbs Is Way Hard

Pardon me while I stare at the wall for a few minutes. We just got back from a half-day road trip, and I, uh . . . my brain won’t . . . buhhhh.

Do you know what is super exhausting? Being a mom in the suburbs is super exhausting. Really I don’t know how you all manage it. Lugging car seats places, being in cars for, like, FOREVER, having to entertain your child while he is buckled in car seats . . . really, I suppose it is the car seat I have beef with. CAR SEATS. Really, how do you guys do this? Car seats easily weigh, like, a million pounds!

I’m in Oregon for two weeks–visiting family and going to Target every day like it is my religion–and lugging my fat child around in a car seat like he is the King of All People and I am his humble servant. Shall I fan you with a palm frond, good sir Huck?

I am surprised by how many times I can happily sing the same song over and over when he is trapped in our car prison, by how few minutes of peace a new toy will buy me, and by how quickly I reach the “need to stare at a wall” phase of parenting out here that I normally only see every now and then in the city.

I guess what it comes down to is stimulation: I am used to letting the many sounds and smells and lights of the city entertain my baby. And aside from my sparkling rendition of “B-I-N-G-O,” there is not so much stimulation happening in the cab of a Volvo, Steve.

So, parents of suburbanite children, spill it: How do you keep your children entertained on long car trips? And how on earth do you steer a shopping cart with your car seat strapped to the top?

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