Tips and Tricks from Mama’s Playbook
Today’s edition of Parenting Tips and Tricks is brought to you by our car radio, overused by default due to the coins jammed into the tape deck by a small child simulating a Vegas gambler hot on the slots.
When I’m driving and the backseat dwellers are performing a double concerto of whining, or if the front seat is hankering for a brief cessation of kiddie-demands, I crank up the radio and say “Listen! Did you hear that!?!”
The kids get quiet, instantly forgetting about the demands and questions stacked in their mouths like airplanes on the runway waiting to launch.
“It’s the angels!” I gasp, as the soprano choir leads us into the Rolling Stones classic You can’t always get what you want.
“Do you hear them? Aren’t the angels bea-uuuu-tiful?”
The kids are transfixed, disarmed, as the high notes chime into their open seashell ears. I’m a wee bit worried that total mayhem will resume when the angels segue to Jagger and friends. But when Mick Jagger scratches out “I saw her today at the reception...” Rose asks, with all her two-year old sincerity, “Is that the Daddy angel?”
Why yes, baby girl, it is.
It’s pure serendipity when the radio cranks out a Bob Marley tune while Rose is frothing with the injustices of being two. “Rosie! He’s singing to you!” And then I sing “every little thing’s gonna be alright...” loud enough to bar the entrances in her mind where toddler-complaints sneak in.
But when all hell’s breaking loose in a synchronized backseat fit and there’s no radio angels to be found, Dan will belt out “Paradise” by John Prine in a car-shaking decibel. Col is instantly calmed by the line “The air smells like snakes and we shoot with our pistols,” while Rose can be counted on to bravely sniff out “But, who Mr. Peabody? What Mr. Peabody’s coal train?”
To which an irreverent parents says: “What Mr. Potty Col train?”
We all fall apart laughing. Rose bursts into tears.
What are your tips and tricks for getting wayward car rides back on track?