Saturday, January 17, 2015

Anatomy of Getting in the Car

In light of the fact that my Facebook feed is full of women utterly fed up with their two-year-olds, I thought I would do a little breakdown of our daily routine of Getting in the Car.

Bobby, it's time to get our shoes on.
Come on, Bobby, don't you want to wear your Thomas shoes?
Nooo! I playing! Continues to run Dollar Store dump truck across coffee table. At this point I decide to put the baby in the Ergo even though bending over to put Bobby's shoes on while the baby is on my chest kills my back. Wrap up baby in Ergo, stick his wubbanub in the pocket, then retrieve socks and shoes from bedroom.
Come on, Bobby! Let's get on socks and shoes!
Bobby runs into bedroom, starts jumping on the bed.
I jumping!
Yeah, that's great. Let's put on shoes, hon.
No, I jumping!
Ok, see you later!
I walk out, fill his sippy cup with water, and put it in the bag. 
Come on, Bobby! You don't want to go out with no shoes and socks, your feet'll get cold!
From bedroom: I jumping!
Bobby appears in the kitchen dragging my duvet on the floor. 
I driving! He says, plunking down in the middle of the white duvet and steering.
Oh, Bobby, put that back, hon, I don't want it to get dirty!
Bobby ignores me and runs into the living room, jumping into the glider and rocking it so hard it is in danger of toppling backwards. But his bare feet are out so I take this opportunity to squat down in front of his kicking feet and hastily shove his socks and shoes on. Then I run into the kitchen, grab the duvet and throw it onto the bed.
Ok, here we go! I set the alarm, sling the bag over my shoulder, throw some sunglasses on my head, and unlock the door. Bobby, don't push the screen-" 
Bobby pushes the screen through the screen door so it hangs loose for the bajillionth time. Mental note I will have to painstakingly repair this later. For the bajillionth time.
Oh! Hi kitty! Hi kitty! Bobby sees the stray cat that hangs out on our porch. Runs to it, cat wisely runs away. Bobby attempts to climb on the dirty porch swing. 
Come on, buddy, we gotta go!
I walk down the house steps to the first landing. Baby pulls his arms out of the Ergo and starts lunging and whining. 
Come on, buddy! I urge him as he hesitates at the top step - pointing at the sky, he says, it's raining!
No, it's sunny today.
It's too hot.
Yes, it's too hot. Come on down, buddy!
He takes a cautious step.
I wanna- help.
I walk back up the steps and offer my hand. He refuses it.
I doing it myself. He takes a sip of his sippy cup and starts down the stairs. He stops at the large succulent.
What's this?
That's our plant.
Plant. What's this?
That's our plant. Come on, buddy!
I start down the second set of stairs. The baby lunges suddenly and nearly throws me off balance. 
Come on, buddy!
No, I playing!
Bobby stops and sits down on a step, running his truck along the cement.
Do you need help? I walk back up the steps and offer my hand.
No, mama, I doing it. Bobby finishes the second set of steps, jumps off the final step and stumbles forward.
You ok, buddy?
Bobby gets up and starts for the third set of steps. My nose starts running. I fish in my back pocket for a wadded up tissue and wipe it. I sing to him:
Take a step. Take a step. Cause we're going down the stairs we'll take a step.
He marches right along to the song. Works like a charm. I open the front gate and step into the street, checking for cars or trucks racing dangerously fast down our street. I stand in the street with the lunging baby and beckon Bobby.
Come on, buddy. Let's get in the car!
Bobby gets to the gate and starts fingering the metal.
What's this? What's this?
That's the hole part.
Hole part.
What's this? What's this?
The hole part.
Hole part.
Bobby finally steps onto the sidewalk. Victory. Until.
I need-a jump.
Climbs back up the stairs, jumps off final step.
Me: whoa! Big jump!
Bobby runs down the street to my garage, giving me a minor heart attack as a bus whizzes by just feet away, stirring up a giant dust cloud. I wipe my nose again.
We squeeze around the driver's side of the car into the dark, damp garage.
Wet! Bobby says, stomping in the puddles that could be from my sprinklers or could be homeless pee.
Oh, don't get your Thomas shoes all wet, hon!
I scramble for my keys and unlock the front door, throwing my giant awkward diaper bag onto the front seat.
Bobby is running his hands all over the car's sides and wheels. His hands are now black. He wipes his running nose all over his face. He now has black streaks on his face. I'll have to get those later.
I open his back door.
Come on, hon, let's get in!
What's this? What's this? What's this?
Bobby touches every part of the car. I make things up. I put my keys and sunglasses on top of the car where I won't have to stoop to retrieve them. Baby lunges and whines. I think the same thing every single day - I wish I could put the baby in his car seat first. But this would be far too dangerous with the cars zipping by inches away. Can't take the risk.
Bobby discovers the toys left along the sides of his car seat and starts playing with them. 
Come on, hon, let's get in! 
No, I playing!
Do you need help???
No, I doing it!
Magic. He starts climbing up to his seat. 
I wanna touch-a buttons!
Climbs back down, starts pushing buttons in car door.
Do you need help?
I lean over and start to lift him by his ribs. He shakes me off.
No, I doing it!
The baby has made a break for it and is trying to touch the filthy cement wall of the garage.
Bebess is touching the wall!
Yup, he sure is!
Bobby scrambles back down from the car and starts patting the garage wall.
Oh, come on, Bobby, we gotta go, hon!
I start to lift him and he finally squirms into his seat, starts fiddling with the mirror, and turning the dome light on and off.
Come on, gotta sit!
I try to put his car seat straps on but he fights his way out, I wanna touch-a hande!
He grabs the handle and lets it go several times. Doesn't clunk!
Nope, doesn't clunk!
He finally lets me grab his feet and pull him down into his seat. I do his straps as fast as I can while the baby paws him and he slaps the baby's hands off. 
Here - drink, books, etch-a-sketch...I throw everything I can think of into his lap so I don't have to do it while driving. I shut the door and run to the other side, putting the baby in his seat in about half a second. I get in my seat, get my phone ready for playing various Beatles songs on request, turn on my talk show, and head out. 

Getting out of the car and up the stairs takes about twice as long. Ah, two!


  1. Wow! That is an ordeal! I'm so frustrated with E right now taking so long getting in the car because it is to-the-bone cold & she just wants to jump in the snow which means my seats get covered in slush! Ah, kids!

  2. UGHHHH. Good lord. Evelyn is really starting to show signs of defiance and not listening. How will I manage two years (or more) of toddlerhood?

  3. Oh my gosh! That sounds HORRIBLE. I think I would have a nervous breakdown.

    Can you at least put the baby on your back??? All that lurching around when Bumpus tugs on your sounds scary. I found the back carry SO much more comfortable, even if it's harder to get on and off.

  4. Could you put Bobby in the car, but not in his seat, and then put the baby in his seat before you wrestle with Bobby to actually get him in his seat and fastened in? Just a thought.

    Another thought I had while reading this is that you could be a writer. Like, write a book. You do such a great job painting a scene. I could see this entire thing play out in my head, so easily, as I read it!