Don’t text and drive. Don’t drink and drive. Hell, in some places they warn you having a cold can affect your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. Why, then, is it legal to drive as a parent?
You want to talk impaired state of judgment? I haven’t had a full night’s sleep since 2008. I ate half a granola bar and slammed a Diet Coke for breakfast. While driving. My wits are so dull I often can’t pick the correct “mouseketool” on Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. (“Could a glue stick help us reach the highest shelf?” HOW THE F–K SHOULD I KNOW, MICKEY? Do I look like a, um, you know, an astro-physical engineer to you?)
You want to talk distraction? I have two champion talkers in the back seat. The questions, taunting and arguments would throw Earnhardt off his game. Think it’s easy trying to navigate rush hour on the highway with one child belting “Let It Go” in your ear while screaming at the other one, “Put your penis away NOW!!!”?
I may not talk on the phone or text while driving. But I have done everything short of prepare a three-course meal while piloting that two-ton death machine. I can pour juice into cups clutched between my knees, shoot the correct lunch to each child over my shoulder and dutifully accept handfuls of chewed food that have been returned to sender, all while making a three-point turn and digging for change because a toll is coming up.
The fact that I am chauffeuring around the two most precious beings in my entire existence makes me, shall we say, hyper aware of how crappily some people choose to operate their cars.
This doesn’t make me a safer driver, just a really angry one. I have such bad road rage my children think our car is voice activated. Now that they’re old enough to repeat after me, I have the added distraction of trying to mumble my expletives instead of shouting them at the top of my lungs.
Not that it works.
“Did you see another dipshit, Mommy?” my son innocently asked the other day, after I quietly cursed a flaming scrotal sack who had just cut across three lanes of traffic to keep an urgent appointment at the Kwik-E-Mart.
Of course, DWP will never become a prosecutable offense. Like it or not, parents have to get places and if we had to wait for the day they were well-rested and recharged enough to operate a motor vehicle, it would never come.
This doesn’t mean I’m not tempted some days to flag down a cop and beg her/him to take me in. Because I hear they have beds in jail. But no children.