Happy Labor Day Weekend to all! In the spirit of the holiday, I thought I would share this accidental parental tip I have discovered, which has lightened my Mother Load considerably, and may do the same for you.
I was in mile twenty of a two-hour drive, with my two boys yelling at each other from their not-quite-far-apart-enough car seats, and whipping each other with their blankies. “Stop it!” I yelled. “No yelling when Mommy is driving!” (Unless it’s Mommy doing the yelling, of course.) “We won’t stop fighting unless you let us watch a show!” my elder son yelled back.
Now, I would have been glad to put a DVD on for them, honestly, but these car manufacturers make it so you can’t operate the DVD player and drive at the same time. I get their instinct, but I’m much more likely to cause an accident swerving from lane to lane, holding the remote control as far into the back seat as I can reach, and shouting, “Do you see Mickey Mouse yet? Is it still a black screen? Are you seeing ANYTHING??” I wasn’t about to start that up. And I couldn’t pull over because I was in a HOV lane. So I had no technological tools at hand to stop the madness in my car.
Perhaps it was divine intervention, then, that put these words in my mouth:
“The first one to see a big truck is a Super Awesome Guy!”
My squalling boys were immediately silenced. “A what?” my younger son asked. “A Super Awesome Guy,” I said. “Someone really cool.”
That was all they needed to hear. Both boys stared, bug-eyed, out the window, and after thirty seconds or so, my older son was crowned Super Awesome Guy. Of course, the younger one wasn’t happy about that, so I gave him the assignment of finding a red car, and then he was knighted as well. We continued this way, back and forth, for the rest of the car trip, until they both fell asleep fifteen minutes from our destination.
I have found that “Super Awesome Guy” works in almost any situation. “First one up the stairs and in the tub is Super Awesome Guy!” “First one sitting in his car seat with the top part buckled is Super Awesome Guy!” If I have a sore loser, I only need to come up with an almost-as-good second place sobriquet, like “Super Duper Guy” or “Also Quite Awesome Guy,” and any tears are quickly dried.
This is a powerful tool for a mother in her eighth month of pregnancy. I don’t know how long it will last, but I intend to wring every bit of usefulness out of it. Once in a while, moms catch a break.
What about you, readers? Do you have any mommy tricks that you’d care to share?