10.03.2009

Driving Myself Batty


I think I've established by now that I don't like driving. One of the nice things about the past 18 months has been taking the kids to day care on foot, and without having to deviate from my path to work, no less. Not only do I get some kid time, but Amy doesn't have to worry about drop-off or pick-up.

Fast forward to the present, and since we've put Jada in a new school, Amy's driven Jada to the new school four days a week, since she has places to go from there, while I walk or bike Aaron to the old school; once a week, Aaron stays home, and I bike Jada to school. Not as convenient of a routine, but at least from my standpoint, still no car involved in terms of me having to drive.

Last month, I did take both kids in once, as our repair shop is not far from Jada's school, and it was time to get the oil changed. I distinctly remember how frazzled I was to deal with school traffic on the way in (not only our two schools, but two other schools in between) and rush hour traffic on the way out (Jada's school is near a highway on-ramp).

Earlier this week, I was even wimpier. I only had to do the drop-off and not the pick-up, so all this entailed was dropping Jada off, dropping Aaron off, dropping off the car back at home, and taking the subway downtown to my meeting first thing in the morning.

But, now spoiled by only having to worry about one kid a morning, I was completely thrown off my game. We headed out ten minutes late, as I tried and was unsuccessful in assuring myself it would be OK for me to be late for my downtown meeting. We got one block when I realized I had forgotten to grab the kids' snacks, which Amy had left out for me. Doubling back and grabbing those, we got five blocks when I realized I had forgotten some paperwork Jada's teacher needed that morning. Doubling back yet again put me right in the sweet spot of when everyone was dropping off their kid, rather than being able to get in and out before the big rush.

I realize I am describing half of American moms' morning routine; hey, let me be the typical dad who asks for sympathy when he tries to do one little thing. Shrinking violet that I am when it comes to driving, I was so frazzled that I promptly caught a cold later that morning and had to stay home from work the next day.

Needless to say, my opinion of having to do the morning commute thing via car hasn't changed. Later that week, it was on me to pick up both kids, and despite the relatively long distance and threatening clouds, I walked the whole thing and had absolutely no regrets about not getting near our car.
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