Wednesday, August 25, 2010


There are four main reasons I revel in mini-van trips these days: click, click, click, and click. Four buckled seat-belts and five-point harnesses mean a state of relative peace and calm otherwise unattainable between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. I realize not everyone's minivan is so peaceful, and it wasn't always this way for my family, but recently our minivan has become Mommy's repose. There's no on board DVD player, just a stash of books and magna-doodles--simple, quiet, not much to fight over. I  think I owe the most, however, to the benevolent toddler seats that remind my children, "You might as well sit still and be happy because no amount of kicking or screaming is going to get you out of this seat."

Getting the kids into the van is another story. After getting everyone changed, dressed, combed, and fed comes re-stocking the diaper bag with diapers, pull-ups, wipes, sippy cups, spare outfits, snacks, and Toby's yellow lovey. Then come the last-minute potty trips and diaper changes and the putting on of shoes and hunting down of keys. Just getting everyone out the door without tripping over each other and into the correct car seats is a struggle. After prying Toby's fingers from the steering wheel and wrestling him into the toddler seat, it comes: click, click, click, and click. Ahhhhhhhh....

Naomi, pick up a book and enjoy learning about deep-sea squid. Emma, I can't possibly see your picture right now, but I'm sure it's a magna-doodle masterpiece--draw me another one. Hannah, keep on singing, sweetie--the windows are down and the radio is on. Toby, this is a little activity I like to call "sitting still," let's practice awhile longer.

Yes, I see that yellow diamond sign coming at me, "Warning, shopping trip ahead! High stress levels likely! Do not attempt with more than one child!" But I just drive on by and try to take the longest route possible. Thank you, toddler seats, for giving me the much needed respite between "everybody in" and "everybody out". I wonder how they'd work in my living room...

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