My 3-year-old is driving

The View From Camano Island

Sometimes I think my almost-3-year-old is in charge of me, versus the other way around. Today were in the parking lot at daycare, after loading ourselves and all our Stuff up. I climbed into the driver’s seat, started the ignition, put on my snazzy new sunglasses and buckled up. As I pulled into reverse, I hear Punkernoodle One from the backseat, in a semi-delighted, semi-outraged tone: “Mommy! YOU FORGOT TO BUCKLE ME UP.” Holy *&@#. I did forget to buckle her in. What am I thinking? Long day. I get out, buckle her purple-flowered Britax in all its complicated glory, and tell her she did a great job reminding me. Silly Mommy, I say, mocking myself with an exaggerated eye roll.

Then this, on the ride home: “I want a snack.” (Nothing new here). “Do you have any fruit leather?” Nope, I say, no fruit leather, and besides that’s not a healthy snack so close to supper. I tell her I have an apple in my lunchbox. No, she says. Are you sure, I ask. A pause. “Ok, eat the outside for me, then I eat inside.”

Excuse me? Are you telling me I am to basically peel this apple with my own teeth and eat the refuse so you can then eat it sans skin? Of course I start gobbling away. Then I pass it back. She munches happily for a few minutes. Then, barking over my NPR broadcast: “Eat more.”

Yes, she’s a bossy one. But too cute to get mad at much. She’s still relishing in her sun-soaked beach weekend. We rented a little cabin overlooking the most spectacular spit of sand, rimmed by a stunning driftwood logjam, on Camano Island. Both Punkernoodle One and Two had a blast, scooping sand, hunting for shells and crabs, and eating their first roasted marshmallows. It was a bittersweet weekend, because Punkernoodle Two turned 1, technically meaning the end of babyhood in our home. She’s taking to it with gusto, perfecting a new scream that emanates every time frustration strikes and a new back arch that would rival a Seattle rioter. We used disposables, 7th Generation, to make the weekend easier – plus the car was so stuffed I don’t think we could have gotten a cloth diaper in there. Hopefully we made up for it carbon-footprint-wise with all the walking and playing locally.

And now it’s back to real life. And taking orders from my not-quite-3-year-old. Here’s to toddlers – now I have two. 🙂

Natalie

2 responses to “My 3-year-old is driving

  1. Dude. You know I love any story that includes the word “sans,” especially if it includes your adorable ones!

  2. I’m so happy that I’m not the only mom who has forgotten to buckle in her kid — the best part is when they pipe up and remind you (so cute). I’m still sorta nostalgic for the days of rolling around in the very back of our station wagon — we used to see how many kids we could fit back there for a trip to McDonald’s. And no seat belts at all, of course.
    Very best of luck to you on your new venture!

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