Monday, March 31, 2008

Back seat discipline

When K&K were about 4 and 6 years old we were living in a fairly rural location in mid-Michigan. The setting was very pretty, on a lake, but boy it was really inconvenient. There was a burg about 7 miles away but the closest real town was about 20 miles away.

Due to that fact, running errands of any substance required a lot of forethought. First you had to time it just right leaving after lunch so the bellies were full but arriving back home in time to throw something in the oven quick for dinner. Otherwise you spent an arm and a leg at fast food places. You lined up as many errands as possible to make sure you were using your gas and time as efficiently as you could.

One day I think I had tried to fit in just one too many stops and both kids had just gotten darn right ornery. In general they were good travelers but I must have pushed them just a little beyond their capacity that day. They started bickering with each other and whining and basically being little brats and would not let up. My usual tactics to get them to quit were not working. I was fed up. Hey, they weren't the only ones sick of being in the car and hungry to boot. I was too. After several times reprimanding them and reminding them of the good behavior I expected, the bickering continued. That's when I lost it with them.

I started raising my voice angrily, not quite yelling , but almost. They continued on. They were both in booster seats buckled in the back. Keeping my eye on the dirt road that I was on, I stuck my hand in between the front seats, reaching back and started to swat at their legs. I smacked one of them, but they got wise and dodged my groping hand. I was swatting uncontrollably. They started giggling at my vain attempts. Oooh boy, that really raised my ire. My voice continued to raise as I hurdled empty threats at them. By this time, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I was yelling. The louder I yelled, the madder I got and the more I swatted and the harder my foot was pressing on the accelerator.

Just then in a quick glance to the rear view mirror I spotted it . . .flashing lights . . .yes, my angry foot had us going 55 mph in a 40 mph zone. In retrospect it would have been much more cost effective to have just given in for once and stopped at Micky Ds.

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