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Carpool Questions

December 7, 2018

So the girls typically walk to school with two friends, so it’s a group of four. We live in Southern California, weather is very rarely a problem. On occasion it’s blazing hot or as has been the case the last two days, it’s been pouring down rain. Being the nice mom that I am, I have picked the girls up to spare them from some of the rain (I say some, because I do not get really close to the school because those parents are crazy! The girls still have to walk a little bit, but I save them from most of the 15- minute walk home).

Each day when I pick-up the girls, there is inevitably an argument about who sits where in the Mom-Mobile 2.0.  There is a bench seat in the very back that sits three. A split row in the middle and, of course the shot-gun seat next to me. OH! I forgot after school we often pick-up a 5th girl and drop her off at the neighborhood elementary school where her mom works.

The way this works is the Little One always calls shot-gun. The Big One always sits in “her seat,” the seat behind the driver’s seat, because this is where the AC/heat control is for the back of the car. The Big One must always be in control (we all have issues).

So that leaves the seat behind the passenger and the back bench open. On the days that we have the 5th friend, she gets middle seat next to the Big One because A) she is in 8th grade like the Big One so she sits closer to the Big One, B) she is the first one to get out so it’s easier for her to not climb over everyone and their gear, and C) because she is always polite and grateful for the ride so I don’t expect her to climb in the back.

On the days we only have the four main girls, an argument always erupts about who gets to sit where. Girl A often attempts to call shot-gun and will literally race Little One to the car in an attempt to get in the front seat of MY car. When Little One wins the race, Girl A then refuses to get in the very back bench seat. So that leaves Girl B to always have to climb all the way into the back. Normally she doesn’t mind. She is a rockstar and just climbs back there. But on some days she is not feeling it. Yesterday was one of those days. It was pouring rain so the girls all had their huge backpacks and dripping wet umbrellas as the arguing began.

I should preface this, the day before it was raining even harder. While there was no arguing neither Girl A or Girl B said “thank you” for the ride. I was a little miffed at them to begin with. The other girl (let’s call her Girl 5) said thank you at least three times during the 4-minute drive. She was so gracious and grateful.

I admit, yesterday had been a long day at work. I was tired and stressed from the traffic, rain and everything else so I was in a bit of a rotten mood when I picked up the girls. As the arguing began, I was just not feeling it. Again, it was raining, they were wet, all their stuff was wet, the sliding door to my car was open so my car was getting even more wet and these girls are arguing about where to sit in the darn car. Are you kidding me?

I snapped, I don’t like barking at other people’s kids, but c’mon get in the damn car. Eventually Girl B climbed all the way in the back, while Girl A sat next to the Big One. I went on a mini-tirade about being grateful for the ride. That which seat you sit in really doesn’t matter. You will all get where you need to be. And, by the way, neither of you said thank you for the ride the day before so they needed to straighten up their attitude and manners or they could just walk home every day.

Not my best moment, I admit it.

So here are my questions, when you drive everyone’s kids everywhere are there arguments about who sits where? Is this just a weird thing we deal with? How do you avoid it?

My frame of reference is from my own childhood, of course. Yes, the days of walking up hill in the snow, blah, blah, blah. I did live in Virginia for a few years, so there were definite snow and rain days to deal with. On the very rare occasion someone’s parent offered to drive us to or from school I just got in the car. I didn’t care which seat I sat in. I was just grateful to be out of the elements and in somebody’s car. Yes, there were days when I was stuck in that backwards facing station wagon hatchback jump seat. Yes, I tend to get car sick, but I didn’t complain. I just got in the car and accepted the ride. Have times changed that much? Maybe I am the weird one, I don’t know anymore.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. December 7, 2018 9:38 am

    I did a mile and a half bike ride, 20 minute bus ride, and a 15 minute walk to get to school. If it rained, I got wet!

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