Why is it that kids have to fight and get loud in the back seat of the car, just when you need it the quietest? I was driving through the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado with a 7-year-old and 4-year-old in the back seat. Although the view was beautiful, what was happening in the back seat of the car, was not. The kids were poking each other and giggling. The giggling was fine, but then water bottles and other objects were being hurled across the back seat until items eventually hit the front windshield and landed on the dashboard.
I realized that firm words and tones were not having the intended effect. All I got was more giggling and more mayhem in the back seat. Finally I pulled the car over to make my point and I screamed in the faces of the kids like a Marine Drill Sargent. I actually think the Drill Sargent would have been less scary and intimidating than I was at that particular moment. Surely I lost my mind for a minute, but don’t most parents have those embarrassing moments where the kids have driven you to complete insanity because they were not listening to a word you said? Then again, I have work colleagues and a spouse that act the same way and I don’t scream at them.
I don’t know exactly what to call what those kids were doing in the back seat. “Backseat Boogie” maybe? It was just annoying, frustrating and pure insanity. At least it drove ME to insanity. The reason it made me so crazy, was because I was driving on the edge of a windy mountain road with little margin for error. I was worried that if I drove a few inches off the road, the car would plummet down the mountain. We would probably take out some elk feeding on the hill as well during our free fall. At least that would have put me out of my misery of having to listen to the little monsters fighting in the back.
Why do I get so angry with the kids? Why can kids make you so angry? Is it anger with yourself because you have created your own hell? Is their behavior your own punishment for your past bad deeds (meaning what you did as a child?). Maybe it is just a stage the kids are in that makes them behave this way. I have to ask – will this stage last until they are 18? Maybe like any relationship there are days you are happy and days you are in not. Since then I have tried to be more relaxed and not get upset with the kids. One thing is for sure, the kids quieted down after my tirade, so I had some impact on their behavior. Something tells me that after enough miles, they will be back at the fighting. They are just kids after all.