Thursday, September 3, 2009

I'm a Better Driver Than You Think I Am (Really!)

I wish there were something I could affix to my car--a flag, a sign, a bumper sticker, anything--that could quickly and easily convey the following:
I'm not really this shitty of a driver. I do actually have a license and know how to safely operate a motor vehicle. It's just that I also have a very tired, very loud child in the back seat who keeps dropping his pacifier and doesn't understand that I can't read him a book while driving.
I'm sorry to say, this scenario happens more often than I would like. Letting other drivers know just seems like the courteous thing to do. Especially since listening to Westley fuss seems to impede my ability to see you over there, in your lane, signaling to get into my lane. Sorry, dude. I really should've let you in, but there's a direct connection between how close it is to nap time and how likely I am to speed up.

I've never done anything major-accident-worthy, but I've done a few questionable maneuvers. Enough to get honked at, glared at, and probably talked about later to loved ones over dinner. "There was this crazy woman getting off the bridge today--" I just always apologize in my head and pray that the other driver saw the car seat and thought, "Oh, well, that explains it. She has a toddler with her."

I don't know why I care so much what other people on the road think, except that I know I look like an asshole, and I swear to you I'm not! I'm all for letting people merge, limiting my car to one parking space, and I would never not use my turn signals. (Turn signals = good for humanity. C'mon, people now! Smile on your brother!) I don't own a cell phone, so it's not even possible for me to talk on the phone or text while driving. But sometimes, if I don't get out there and make an aggressive left turn, it means listening to a high-pitched, desperate lament from the back seat and risking losing my sanity. I am by no means proud of this fact.

That's why I want a sign. It's too bad Baby on Board signs are just laughable now. If we could only change the meaning from "Please don't tailgate me; I'm a yuppie" to "Please excuse me; there's a tiny screaming human in my car," that would be perfect.

Maybe I'll just get myself a "Student Driver" bumper sticker (and aim for fewer outings immediately before nap time) and call it good.