No, it’s not an endorsement by the national highway safety administration (although from a quick Google search driving 55 mph is great for general safety and gas mileage). It’s the edict that my five month old daughter handed down to me last week.
She has never been a big fan of the car, which was a surprise because that’s completely unlike my son. From the moment she was born she would scream off and on in the car, which made doing errands…challenging. Lately, though, she’s allowed me some random stretches of quiet (sometimes I even get some cooing), provided I am driving a minimum of 55 miles per hour. This has led my our babysitter to compare her to the bomb in the movie “Speed”.
It’s a pity that Keanu Reeves is missing from my vehicle while we try to figure out how to keep said “bomb” from going off.
As a second-time mom, I have to admit that the screaming has much less of an effect on me. My threshold for crying, knowing that she is not hungry or dirty but just doesn’t like the fact that we have to leave the house to gather sustenance, has increased considerably. But there is still a threshold. And once it is passed, I find myself taking deep breaths while she wails as if the world is ending and my son, unsure if I am actually aware that there is a situation in the backseat, says “Uh oh” repeatedly. It’s almost enough to make me wish that there was some sort of human bomb disarming robot that I could get my hands on. That would be really helpful during our car rides to and from Costco.
This recent development has resulted in my avoiding slowing down and really avoiding stopping the car whenever I can. For example, when there is a stop light coming up, knowing impending doom, I often will slow down about half a block ahead so that I can roll up to the light, hoping desperately that it will turn green again before I actually have to stop. One of my best girlfriends has a son who exhibits this same preference and says that when she sees a red light coming up she actually starts pumping the brakes in order to rock the car, also hoping to avoid the inevitable and wonders if passersby think that she suffers from the most extreme variety of DWA (Driving While Asian).
I will admit there are benefits. The other day someone with his top down and one of those fish indicating a strong commitment to Christianity on his car sped up and cut me off while blaring loud music from his convertible. The hypocrisy was too much for me. I rolled up next to him at the next light, timing detonation as the light was just turning red, and rolled down the window next to my daughter (who incidentally was lined up right next to the driver). He tried to inch away but there was nowhere to run unless he was willing to risk the two points on his driver’s license. I figure if I’ve got to listen to what’s going on in his car, it’s only fair…