I love my car. Every single thing about it. It’s cool enough to drive on my own, but big enough to accommodate my family and a big run to Costco. I love that it has heat and air conditioning that works, and I love that it has a radio with functioning speakers. Therapy for me is driving around singing at the top of my lungs to my favorite songs, you may not believe me, but when I’m alone in my car? I put any famous songstress to shame, must be the acoustics of the empty car or something.
Lately car time has not been as enjoyable. Toddlers have no concept of, “I can’t turn around and get you your toy right now because I’m driving and we’ll all die if I do.” When Addie is with me she does a pretty stellar job of keeping Vivi entertained and enchanted with her eight-year-old humor and ability to reach toys without putting anyone in mortal peril. When it’s just Vivi and me? Well, those drives are a little more difficult.
Last week on a 30 minute drive home that happened an hour after naptime was supposed to start, things got ugly. Sobbing, whining, demanding; basically everything you’d expect from an overtired toddler strapped in a seat staring at the back of a chair. The only thing that kept her happy was my singing, and I’ll admit that when I sing kid tunes a capella even I can tell how terrible I am. Thankfully Vivi doesn’t care and simply demands more. MORE. MOAR!!! I can see her little “more” signs and hear her desperate, “PLEASE!” from her seat as soon as each song ends. Patty Cake, Five Little Monkeys and Row Row Row Your Boat are all favorites. While 30 minutes of singing slightly obnoxious songs, repetitively seems like small pittance, I can assure you that I have sung for much longer periods of time.
As I sang about the fifteenth naughty little monkey jumping on the bed. I started to wonder when I could drive without having to sing to the backseat anymore. Not that I mind, it’s just not my favorite thing in the world – singing to the top of a head in the backseat that I can’t really see. I’m much more of a hands-on Patty Caker. As I pulled up to one of the final stop lights, a black SUV pulled up next to me with a dad, about my age, singing “The Cat Came Back” at the top of his lungs. While the windows were tinted I could see the outline of two big car seats in the back. When he saw me looking at him, I could tell he was mortified. I just gave him a knowing nod and went on about those monkeys that don’t listen to ANYONE.
Singing in the car for our kids, we all do it, and sometimes we get busted doing it at the perfect moment.