"There's no way I'm sitting in this..." I mutter under my breath, tapping the steering wheel in bumper-to- bumper traffic on the famously congested 405 Freeway in Southern California.
"What Mom? Why are you so upset?" my 5-year-old asks. My 1-year-old is chewing on a piece of toasted bagel from three days ago he found in the crevice of his baby seat. I wouldn't pull it out of his mouth if you promised me a week at a spa--since it's the only thing that's stopped him from crying for the last five miles. Which has taken us 25 minutes to travel.
Camp, school, after-school camp, art programs, music lessons--the prospect of my children participating in these activities has started to terrify me. They all add up to me sitting in my car motionless for hours on end.
Other people must handle traffic better than I do--I think. They sing songs, or listen to books on tape or--as one of my friends suggested--"use the time to pray."
I tried that one--and all I could pray for is for the traffic to break. I literally start to sweat if I am stuck in one place in my car for more than six minutes.
But I don't want my son's experience of me in the car to scar him for life, so I am starting to use the time to ask him questions and really listen to his answers before he grows up--and drives away all by himself.