If a rapid aging pill existed, they'd call it Dylan. The kid is determined to give me premature grays. Why else would he scream and cry every day on our car ride home from daycare? It’s no secret that I have zero idea what I’m doing when it comes to parenting. My lack of expertise is highlighted during these car rides when I do just about anything to calm him down. “Anything” entails reaching in the backseat to hand him goldfish, singing the ABC’s, playing classical music, and/or giving him whatever object is nearby and won’t kill him. And when nothing pipes him down, I withdraw and pretend I don’t care that his screams reach higher decibels than a jet take-off and will rupture the eardrums of innocent drivers three cars back. Sorry ya’ll, it’s not me it’s him.
I’m floundering here. Being stuck with a screeching child in a car is pure torture. I want to ignore his wailing the way my husband can but it’s not as easy as he makes it look. My biggest concern isn’t that there’s something wrong with Dylan that causes him to freak (because there’s not), but that the baby-me reaction I’m partaking in each day is what he’s after and that I might actually be responsible for this crappy habit. (Yeah I know, leave it to a mom to take responsibly for her kid’s shit behavior.) But really, could it be? Could my attentiveness to his cries be doing more harm than good? I don’t freaking know, but it’s not like he’s being pinched by his car seat straps, or hungry, or anything else other than bored and restless, so I can’t rule it out.
In an effort to retain the little sanity I have left, this afternoon I will be trying something different. The “what’s wrong honey bunny” attitude will be replaced by a focused and quiet mommy driver who likes to listen to a.m. radio stations loud enough to drown out the scathing sounds from the backseat. And if the brat in the back doesn’t change his lowdown ways, plan b involves the installation of a sound proof backseat divider.