Saturday, February 18, 2012

Driving Under the Influence (of babies)

While I am buried up to my eyeballs in work, this is a guest post courtesy of my friend, Kirsten, who gave birth to twin girls last year, and has two teenagers as well.  Thanks, Kirsten!

As I write this, my 16 year old son is taking his driving test. Be afraid, be very afraid.

With two teenage sons, I applaud the changes in the driving laws that have come into effect since I got my driver’s license back in 19diggity2, such as, for the first year you are not permitted to drive with any other people in the car unless there is someone over 20 among them. However, in the interest of keeping our roads safe for everyone, there is another change in the law that I would like to propose: Screw drinking and driving or texting and driving! No parent with a child at home (or in my case twins) under the age of one should be allowed to operate a motor vehicle. Let me explain.

Like many of us, I consider myself to be a responsible, considerate person and an upstanding, law-abiding citizen. When I was pregnant, I hired a safety expert to help install my car seats and make my already ultra-safe Volvo, even safer for my family. Even so, the fact remains that I am perpetually exhausted from the lack of sleep and other demands of caring for 9 month old twin babies so, unfortunately, nothing she did to make my car safe could have prevented me from ALMOST KILLING A DUDE while I was driving.

Last Thursday as I’m driving out of the parking lot of Our Lady of Perpetual DoGoodery church where I attend my weekly sanity-saving mommy group, I was thinking about how long I would need to drive around to keep my babies napping (desperate measures people!).  I watched the oncoming traffic while waiting to make a left turn and as soon as there was an opening I zoomed through the intersection. Suddenly, I saw a man in the crosswalk  - having appeared from nowhere I swear! - and I slammed on my brakes, nearly hitting him. Wearing a long black trench, sunglasses and smoking a cigarette, the rather severe looking man stopped walking, and slowly, menacingly, he turned and raised in arms up in the universal “What the F**k?!” position and just stood there staring at me while I held up traffic. Then with one hand he flipped me the bird and with the other - an even greater insult - he flicked his cigarette ashes toward me and walked on. 

Not being in a position to even try to pretend I wasn’t at fault, I yelled pathetically out my window “I’M SOOOO SORRY SIR!” and drove on withering in shame. Seeing as this incident occurred right in front of the city’s police department and court house I was doubly mortified and mentally flogging myself. My thoughts were racing with visions of myself in a very unflattering prison jumpsuit doing hard time for killing Trench-Coat Guy as my twins grew up without a mother.

So the moral of the story is...oh hell I don’t know. I’m too tired to write any more.

This is the view out of my kitchen window. I can only assume I would not have nearly as nice a view from Cell Block A."

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