“If you two don’t stop fighting I will stop this car and make you walk home.”
I could not believe those words actually came out of my mouth.
Was I insane?
Had the bickering and screeching and scrapping and whining finally made me lose my mind?
As soon as the words left my mouth I regretted them.
“We’re ages away from home. No way you would leave us here.” Came the retort from the very back row.
She knew she was right and she knew I knew she was right, but for one brief moment I thought about jamming on the brakes and tossing them both out onto the side of the road and driving off. Just to see what would happen.
Don’t worry, I wasn’t going to do it. I wouldn’t actually leave my eight year olds on the side of the freeway… but I did think about it.
For one, brief moment I saw the looks on their faces, I saw the tears well up in their eyes, I saw the terror in their expressions as I drove off… and then I was back where I had begun, berating myself for saying something so stupid.
I don’t know why they are fighting so much right now and I don’t know why it grates against my very being like nails down a black board. It’s as if some cosmic alignment has converged to make everything more intense and annoying, and in that confined space, stuck in The Big White Bus with the constant “Don’t…. get off.. stop it… I did not… you did… did not… did… ouch… stop it” I felt every muscle in my body tense up and I wished so badly to be alone.
It is not often that I am alone.
Alone and not directly responsible for another human life, or four.
Mostly I am ok with never being alone… but sometimes… sometimes I wish I could stop the car and make me walk home…. alone.
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
Jo @Countrylifeexperiment says
I have been tempted to do a similar thing several times. Once I got sick of the arguing, and stopped the car, and I got out and told them we wouldn’t keep going until they stopped arguing. I then sat on the side of the road until they were quiet. It was rather funny, but now they know that I am serious!
I once pulled a “the accelerator doesn’t work unless everyone’s seatbelt is done up” on a passenger’s child.
I often dream of stopping the car and hopping out and walking myself.
I too have been craving some alone time lately, and I only have three. But they’re young and dependent and sometimes, I want to walk across the street to the cricket ground, sit in the middle and just close my eyes. It’s an urge that often feels physical. I am in constant negotiation mode as you describe whether it’s negotiating between bickering children or negotiating with them directly. It IS exhausting and it is invasive and it’s totally ok to want out. Totally. Ok. Because, you know that you will always want back in, in probably less time than you think.
Great post, thank you.
I’ve thought about doing it. I think many parents have completed doing it. Most of us haven’t actually done it.
Thankfully mine don’t fight so much in the car anymore but I hated dealing with them while driving.
haha ! I have said this a few times too, and felt stupid. Just like I said once “what you think this is, bushweek? ” I have no idea why, just that my parents said it to me, and without thinking it just rolled off my tongue. I even laughed as I said it !
Dont take this the wrong way, but, when you finally get alone – its not as great as you imagined.