I love my car. And I love to drive. I always have except for a brief time when my anxiety was undiagnosed and raging. During that time, driving got kind of heavy. Why did everyone have to drive their cars so close to mine?
But mostly, me + car = happy.
And this has never been more true since becoming a mother. Luca was a baby who loved the car and all three of my babes could generally be counted on to fall asleep if I travelled far enough and didn't stop at too many traffic lights.
When shit gets too hectic around here, I throw everyone into the vehicle and drive around until someone passes out. Sometimes I am the only one even CLOSE to doing this which is disappointing....and a little dangerous. That's when everyone gets a chocolate thickshake from McDonalds because Mummy likes to eat her feelings.
So come on into this strange little world, the alternate existence of "In The Car".
Ahh, Mumma? Forgetting something?
I don't want to admit how many times Luca has cried "Mumma! I'm not strapped in!" as I've turned the key in the ignition. I blame the fact that there are altogether too many children requiring my attention at any one time, and also that we are invariably running late on most occasions.
Of course, I can not allow my child to think I have forgotten such a crucial safety measure and that is why I always reply, "Well done, young man! You passed Mumma's seatbelt test. Because I was totally testing you. On purpose."
Yes, being that I often take to my car in times of kid-overload, it is also very likely that I am hungry and/or eating my angst which means that many a sneaky cheeseburger has been mashed into my face as I drive one-handed. In my manual car.
See above and wonder no more why my car looks like a tip - or an eighteen-year-old boy's Commodore - minus the ciggy butts and bong water aroma. Mine is more a mix of cheeseburger wrappers, Coke cans, toy cars and important notices from kindergarten that I couldn't find anywhere and that's why I missed the fundraiser/school photo day/end of term early pick-up.
And why don't I clean the car out, you ask? Well, by the time I wrangle two little boys and a newborn baby into the house, I ain't going back out there. Time passes, it rains, I need a garage with internal access, whatever - the next thing you know, someone slaps a Haz Chem sticker on your family truckster, and you're on A Current Affair blaming the whole thing on the Carbon Tax and welfare cheats.
Turning it Up to Eleven
I am occasionally guilty of playing my music too loud in the car. But in my defense, I only do it to drown out the crying.
I don't know why air guitar gets all the glory. In my experience, air drumming is far more satisfying and I enjoy a spot of it in the car when my music is up too loud. You might think this makes it difficult to drive a manual car but as I noted above, I can change gears and mash a cheeseburger into my face with relative ease, and actually, if you want to be really impressed, did you know that I used to roll my own cigarettes - filtered! - while driving stick?
No, I have never had an accident.
Yes, I just knocked on wood.
I See You
So I bought one of those mirrors that allows you to see what your kids are doing in the back seat without having to move the rearview mirror you use for driving or turning around and ignoring the road ahead - because I am all about the safety whilst in the car with my children.*
I do observe my children with this additional mirror, but I find it's especially nifty for observing...me! It's true that the desperate state that often leads me to the car in the first place means that what is reflected back to me in that little mirror is the haggard face of a woman on the edge. I have discovered I frown A LOT, the lighting in my bathroom is shocking and/or the bathroom mirror is a filthy liar, I often drive with a rabbit face (aka white man's overbite) and also, I really need to shop around for some Botox quotes.
But sometimes, just sometimes, what's reflected back does not destroy my soul. On those occasions? I go to town.
No, really, I am in control at all times.
So if you see an air-drumming, mirror-posing, cheeseburger-mashing woman with three crying kids in the car, be sure to wave hello!
* It's important to know that while everything written in this post is true, I have used an element of exaggeration for the purpose of humour. I am very mindful of having my children in the car with me and am a goody two shoes adherer of speed limits (but a terrible maker-upper of words). Of course, if you did not find this post funny in any way then that's awkward and I apologise profoundly. xxx