Monday, May 15, 2006

I was driving down the road...

with a screaming baby behind me! You probably know that baby + car ride = sleeping baby. Julia is commonly referred to as “Speed Baby”. No, not that speed, the movie Speed with Sandra Bullock. Sometimes if you are driving too slow she’ll explode! Julia’s magic number is 40 mph. If I’m driving any speed over that she’s good. I don’t know if it’s the vibrations of the van or just the thrill of the ride! She’s also a big fan of bumpy roads and there are plenty of those to choose from around here.

This brings about some challenges during our daily outings. On the way to take Coan to school there are several school zones. Since I can’t afford another ticket and defensive driving is painfully boring, it’s a must to make sure Julia is tanked up on Mama’s milk before we hit the road. Being full makes her happy and I think she’s unaware of the 20 mph zones I’m going through. Most of the other roads in suburbia are between 35 and 45 mph, so I get up to that speed quickly when necessary. I know it’s not good for fuel consumption to have a lead foot, but I’m willing to spend the few extra dollars a month to keep my eardrums from bleeding. I look at it as my contribution to Big Oil’s executive retirement plans. They love drivers like me. My mother doesn’t, however, so I try and slow it down some when she’s riding along.

I've realized that I change my route while driving to make sure I am in a constant flow of traffic with her. Instead of taking what might be the quickest way somewhere, I’ll take the path of least resistance. It’s usually the faster route, although I have a hard time convincing Stephanie it’s true. This action is known in our family as the famous Grayson Shortcut. My Grandpa used to drive so far out of the way that it added several hours to a road trip, or an extra 20 minutes to the drive home from a restaurant. This was painful as a kid if I drank 5 Dr. Pepper's at dinner. He called it the scenic route and the road less travelled. You get to see things you normally wouldn't if you took the main roads. All I wanted to see was a bathroom so I didn't pee in his back seat! My Dad and his brothers do it, too. It’s an inherited gene and one that came in handy when I worked as a courier. It now comes in handy when Julia starts screeching like a little piglet.

It’s funny to think about the ways our children train us to do what they want. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around?

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