By Gwen Rockwood, syndicated columnist and mama of 3
As most parents know, one of the requirements of the job is to drive. Especially as kids get older and have more activities, the driving demands go way up.
Often, time alone in the car with a kid can produce some of the best conversations a parent ever has. But sometimes, the miles are long and the conversations are either brutally brief or non-existent.
During one of my recent trips, I started wondering what it would be like if moms and kids could post reviews of each other – much like drivers and riders do on transportation apps like Lyft and Uber. Here are a few of the reviews I imagine you’d see from both sides of the car.
Review of riders, posted by 44-year-old mom: Picked up a group of three riders today from three different schools. Their command of the English language seems limited. When I asked how their day at school went, all they said was “fine.” One of them just grunted in my general direction. That’s rude if you ask me. What ever happened to polite conversation?
Review of driver, posted by 3 kids: Our driver today was one of the last ones in the school pick-up line, which was annoying because we have important things to do after school, like play Xbox and eat everything in the kitchen. She was also far too chatty for our taste. What’s with all the questions, lady? If we want to give a blow-by-blow of our day to the Barbara Walters of drivers, we’ll let you know.
Review of 12-year-old rider, posted by thirsty mom: Be aware that this rider has serious boundary issues. When I picked him up, he got into the passenger seat of my car and immediately took the Chick-fil-A tea I had sitting in the cup holder and proceeded to drink it – without even asking! That’s tea theft! I mean, who raised this kid?
Review of touchy driver, posted by 12-year-old boy: Watch out for this driver because she’s way too sensitive about her beverages. She freaked out because I drank her Chick-fil-A tea after a long, hot day at school. How was I supposed to know that the drink wasn’t a complimentary beverage service for riders? After I finished the tea, she said she’d already given me a free ride around in her womb for 9 months so the least I could do was let her drink her tea in peace. She should post a sign to let riders know that those aren’t community cup holders. Poor communication skills.
Review of 15-year-old rider, posted by mom holding her nose: If you’re picking this rider up from a gym, be aware that the smell might be intense – as puberty and intense physical exertion combine to produce an odor not easily removed from a car’s interior. Even though the rider claimed to be going home, he altered the requested route and insisted I go through a drive-through so he could get a chicken sandwich and a chocolate milkshake as a “snack.” He also unplugged my smartphone so he could charge his own phone with my charging cord, claiming his battery was lower than mine. Outrageous!
Review of driver, posted by 15-year-old gym rat: This driver is nice enough, but she seems to have a “regular showers policy” for riders. I didn’t smell a thing so I’m not sure what she was talking about. I did appreciate the detour she took through the Chick-fil-A drive-through, but she’s overly protective of that charging cord. She should understand that a growing teenager needs a constant supply of two things – food and battery life. She asks a lot of questions, too, so I advise grunting a one-word reply to humor her while maintaining your shield of privacy and teenage mystique.
Happy trails, fellow parents, and Godspeed.
Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of nwaMotherlode.com. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.