Thursday, May 03, 2007

Laughter, the road to insanity

I have posted before about driving with baby but that was back when getting into a car with him made my tongue swell up in fear. Now of course I throw him into his car seat and he's barely buckled in before I'm daring buses in the oncoming lane.

Just kidding, Ma, just kidding.

No, the trouble I have now with driving Charlie about is to do with his car seat. Since he passed the 9kg mark (so fast that until I got a good look I thought the trolls had left a changeling in the night) he has moved up to a forward-facing armchair that is supposed to last until he is three. How long it will actually last my little spud is another matter entirely however, as usual I digress. The point is that he is no longer facing backwards but temptingly, facing forward. Where I can see him. If I turn around.

This isn't the problem, it's just the cause of the problem. The problem is that the car seat is so low that unless one is standing by my car looking in, it's impossible to see, (say, while you're walking towards my car), that there's a baby seat in it. This means that while sitting at the light and making faces at him in the rear view mirror, it looks to any oncoming pedestrian or any particularly vigilant driver in the car ahead of me as if I am making faces at them.

This means that, the instant that I see I have confused some poor innocent who is now wondering a: if he knows me or b: if he should pull a face back, I have then got to turn around and continue making faces at Charlie face-to-face just to prove my sanity, which in turn confuses him because he has only just worked out that I have moved the mirror temporarily so he can see me in it and is now looking in the wrong direction. By this point of course the lights have changed and the person in the car behind me has now seen me poking out my tongue at them making them wonder what they can possibly have done to me. I then drive off in embarrassment down the next convenient side-street adjusting my rear-view mirror in shame and it takes me five times as long as normal to drive home. That's the problem.

The solution is of course to stop making faces at my son while we're in the car but I can't bear to stop at a light and not look at him just in case he's looking at me and thinks I've forgotten his existence. If he's looking at me, I have then got to make a face. If he's not looking at me then I start worrying that he's forgotten my existence so I blow raspberries at him until he gives me a big gummy grin and then I start making faces.

The reason I make faces at my son when we're in the car is that for some reason, he is particularly easy to amuse when we're driving and I may have a teensy baby-laugh substance abuse problem. I realise this is as bad as me coming out in public wearing a baby-pink princess dress and and stating "I Heart Fluffy Bunnies" while tap-dancing and I may now discover that I have put my Mother in a wheelchair from shock, however the truth is now out and I must face the consequences.

It's so bad that I put my neck out the other week while the frog was driving and I was in the passenger seat because I played 'peek-a-boo' with C around the head-rest for about half an hour just to hear him laugh. I'm not going to go all out and state that baby laughs are better than crack because I have never actually tried crack, however I think I can safely state that they are less harmful to one's general health, unless, of course, one is driving and using at the same time.

I know this makes me sound insane however luckily that doesn't seem to affect me personally, only those unfortunate enough to come within range. However i did briefly wonder (just shoot me) if public perception of my sanity would be saved by sticking one of those 'baby on board' signs in our car window. No, really, shoot me.


Always Jen said...

You are too funny! I am also hooked on the same drug (baby laughter, not crack, to clarify). My advice - DON'T GET THE SIGN! Keep them guessing - and be CAREFUL!

DJ Kirkby said...

Too funny as usual! My contradictory adivce is, get a 'little monkey on board (or variation thereof)' sign, there is lashings of road rage in this country remember?! Perhaps making faces without a blatent excuse is not always the wisest idea...? Besides which (the real truth always comes out!), I had a damn sign and I want everyone else to do the same so I feel better about myself... now where did I put that perscription?

Krissie said...

The thing is, people in those cars DON'T KNOW YOU so why would you care about their opinion of you?
Keep making faces. It makes C happy, right?

Elsie Button said...

PLEASE DON'T GET THE SIGN - my opinion of you (which is currently sky high) would plummet. The danger I have in the car with my baby daughter is that she cries if i don't get up to a certain speed! And living amongst winding, narrow lanes in the countryside, this is a problem. Since having Betty as a passenger though I have become a very careful driver. The other day I was asking a friend of mine his advice on where to get a replacement windscreen (ours had a big crack in it) and he said that at the speed I go, clingfilm would do!

BOSSY said...

Um. Sure. You are making faces. To your son. The one no one but you can see. In the back of your car. Uh-huhhhh. said...

How about make a sign that says "I'm not making faces at you"? Covers them being offended *and* keeps the mystery ;)

Lindystar said...

I used to think it was so hilarious that you call him names like spud, frog and lump, but now I have a sinking feeling that you are just using those to try and cover up your insane super-mommy-love feelings.

You are entitled to those super yucky mommy feelings and it's a GOOD thing that you have them so I guess I'll just keep on laughing at the names you come up for him. (even though I know the truth of their origins)

OMG you WERE kidding about the sign right? .....Right?????!!!

The Good Woman said...

My favourite parenting moment was watching my shy, reserved husband do a gorilla dance across a crowded parking lot for the benefit of our baby girl who was sitting with me in the car shrieking with laughter.

So everyone there thought he'd lost the plot. So what. It's worth it to hear those laughs.

darth sardonic said...

this was beyond hilarious! i was rolling. and i too am guilty of this.

i have done it with my toddler in a seat in the passenger seat (in a car without a passenger-side airbag, sheesh, i'm not THAT dumb), and we pumped our arms to nofx and acted goofy, and i kept looking over. until this rather pretty young thing thought i was trying in some odd, dorks-run-amok kind of way to woo her.

which my son thought was hilarious.

baby laughs, toddler laughs, and without a doubt the crazy crap that kids say without warning or provocation are the best ever.

i should also add that some of the stuff that people like yourself and lady above's hubby have done to amuse their kids, i do for my own amusement and to make people around me wonder WTF? yes, i am insane, no i am not seeking help.

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lady macleod said...

Brilliant. I love this post because it brought me back to the memories of all the crazy things I did to get my daughter to laugh. You are so right, better than any drug. She is twenty-three as of two days ago (I can not believe that!) and I am still trying to make her laugh. The faces don't work any more so I have to come up with witty lines! My opinion is, you keep doing anything to bring out that laughter, it is great for his immune system and yours as well.

DJ Kirkby said...

Hello! I have nominated someone for entry into The Bad Mothers Club in my blog. I am considering making it a regular feature and welocme submissions that describe behaviour only, no nominee names please. :-)

Chantay said...

I devoted lots of drive-time shenanigans to my daughter when she was a baby, until the day my distractiive activity led me to rear-end a Volvo. Lesson to me: designate a driver or install TV nanny cam.

conceited_bytch said...

Keep making faces at your son. He is 8 months...this is the only time you will have this chance...Just imagine what kinds of looks you will get when he is 15 (from him included) and is clearly visible from the outside. Enjoy, and know that you are not alone...You may find strength in the fact that while you are making faces at your son, so are about 10 billion other people. Join the sisterhood!!!!

ushmi said...

BAM! BAM! you're dead :)
no really, you are really really funny!

emma-lou said...

Hi, came across your blog while browsing and I am hooked. I can relate to so much of what you say, and you say it so well.
I too make silly faces, noises, songs at my baby girl while driving. For me however it's usually a vain attempt to stop her screaming uncontrolably, which she inevitably does as soon as she's buckled into her seat ( which luckily for me is high enough for even the casual observor to see ).
I shall definitey be dropping by again soon.

Bringer of Peace said...

My brother shared your blogspot with me. I can relate. :)
Thanks for the humor.
My blog is a little less humorous but if you like come visit some time.

Suki said...

Jeez! And I thought my boyfriend's sis walking in on us making faces at each other was funny!


Keep up with the faces, Momma!