Backseat Drivers

For some reason, Evie and Ollie have taken it upon themselves to become the new “driving monitors” for everything I do when we’re in the car. It is not uncommon to hear, “Daddy, are you going the right way?” or “Daddy, aren’t you supposed to turn there?” or “Daddy, why are you turning here?” as if they had any idea where we were going.

In fact, it seems to be stoplights in particular that get heavily monitored. The very millisecond the light turns, Oliver starts yelling, “It’s green! It’s green!” And then Evie immediately wants to know, “Why aren’t you going daddy?” “Because,” I usually tell her, “if I start going now I’m going to smash into the back of the car in front of me.”

The speed limit is often a topic of discussion as well, despite the fact that neither of them has any idea what the speed limit is, or what the speedometer says. “Dada, we’re going too fast!” shouts Ollie, or Evie questions, “Why are you driving so slow?” My favorite is when Evie casually (and passive aggressively) asks, “Are we on the highway daddy?”

Oliver seems particular concerned that I’m going to jam on the gas the second I’m in the car. He’s constantly admonishing me, “Don’t drive, dada! Don’t drive with the doors open!” or “Don’t drive without Mama!” if she’s not in the car yet. It’s like he’s absolutely certain that he’s the only thing keeping me from taking off with Sara hanging out the door only holding on by his still-unfastened seat belt. As if I’ve ever started going before everybody was ready. Usually, the car’s not even on yet.

However, the one cool thing is when we’re sitting next to a semi which starts driving. “We’re going backwards! We’re going backwards!” squeals Oliver. Oh man, I remember how much I used to love that when I was a kid!


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