Trying Not To Kill My Child On Our Family Road Trip

It was around mile 454 that I first had the urge to strangle my child. It was Day 2 of our weeklong family adventure on the open road. I was in the backseat, sandwiched between two car seats, my feet were perched on a carton of juice boxes and my eldest was tapping my arms.

I logged many miles sitting in this seat between my two boys.

Incessantly tapping.

On the surface, tapping someone on their upper arms doesn’t seem so bad. Then 30 tappity-tap-tap-filled minutes go by and I start to wonder if my husband would mind if I break our no-hitting policy. (We don’t spank.) Tap tap.

Then I wondered how much time I’d serve for wrapping my fingers around his scrawny neck. Tap. Tap. Tap.

I threatened to take away his iPod and put him in time out. As the words left my lips, I knew it was an empty threat. Tappy-tap-tap.

The whole reason I was back there was to keep my overtired 6 month old from shrieking. (T-t-t-t-taaaap.) Following through on either threat meant that we’d soon have two screaming banshees in the backseat as we torpedoed down Interstate 70. That, tap, also was not a sustainable option.

Yet there I sat trapped like a caged rat, in the back trying not to kill my son.

“I have an unwarranted amount of rage right now.” I told my husband. He laughed. His son tapped.

“C’mon. You pride yourself on creative parenting solutions. Come up with one!” A little voice in my head said.

“Why do you want to tap my arm when you know I don’t like it?” I asked in the fakest nice voice that I have. (It was either that or hissing through clenched teeth.)

“Because your armies are so softy and I love to touch them.” (He calls my arms “armies” and is always petting, kissing or, as in this case, tapping them.)

I sighed. Then asked him if he could rub my arms instead since I liked it when he did that. “If you don’t want to rub them, then I’ll go sit up by Dad where you won’t be able to touch them.”

The tap-tap-tapping stopped, he kissed my arm and slowly stroked my bicep. We both smiled. I was still cramped in the back seat and my feet remained atop the carton of juice boxes, but at least I was no longer plotting my child’s death.

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3 responses to “Trying Not To Kill My Child On Our Family Road Trip

  1. That would have definitely pushed me to the edge, but I’m not sure I could have held on like you did. I can’t stand to be patted or tapped.

  2. LOL! I would’ve been right there with you. We don’t spank either, but there have been a few times when I think “Kid, I am going to whack you one!”…but then I know there’d just be more crying and I’d still be irritated.

    Actually, this weekend my daughter just learned the word compromise and it’s meaning! She’ll actually say it and everything. I’ve used it twice today, once to get her to clean up toys before getting another out…and another time to allow her to safely play with a semi-dangerous artificial butterfly on a stick (because I’m a really good mom ;)). I’m shocked that she kept to the conditions of our bargains both times and there was nary a tear shed (by either of us!). I hope this is something that will keep working for awhile because I’m so tired during this pregnancy I’m about to start using M&Ms to get my way (and a little peace and quiet) around here!

  3. Pingback: A Family Reunion: Laughs, Dancing and A Lot of Love | She'sWrite

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