Here's a bit of news that might surprise you: a new study has found that driving with children is 12 times more distracting than driving while talking on your cellphone. Twelve times! While I'm all for the villainization of the use of a phone while driving, it seems like my general outrage has been misdirected. This whole time it wasn't the iPhone that was the problem, it was those little monsters in the backseat causing most of the safety concerns.
So, what's a mom to do?
Whenever there's an errand to run, moms should just lock their kids in the bathroom with a phone and a bag of pretzels because, I mean, it sounds like everyone's safer when children don't come along for the ride.
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But since there are "laws" against "abandoning" your kids and "locking them in a bathroom", it seems like we're stuck in the ultimate catch-22: leave our kids at home, face possible arrest. Take our kids with us, face possible car accident and death.
I guess that means we've gotta become creative with our problem-solving. I'll be honest -- I turned my nose up at those in-car DVD players because I assume they stifle conversation, prohibit imagination, and further corrupt our kids into thinking that TV is their calming, soothing friend when really it's rotting their brains, etc., but now? Shoot. If Aladdin will save a life, I'm all for kids watching a movie while Mom or Dad's behind the wheel.
Or you could hire an entertainer to sit back there with them. A local magician could work, or I know kids who are strangely fascinated with the mailman, so if he's not opposed, maybe he could come along for the ride and as long as you promise to drop off a few letters along the way.
Other than that, I think the only solution might be to install one of those limo driver's windows. Knock twice for crackers, three times if there's blood, four times if your bladder has reached its threshold, five times if you see red and blue spinny lights.
Then again, there's always some sleeping pills.
How do you keep your kids calmly entertained in the car while you're driving?
Photo via jen cu/Flickr