How do you feel about gong-show car journeys with the kids? You know the ones, where all hell breaks loose? They usually involve a diaper blow-out or a screaming match over who gets the last of the goldfish crackers. Oh, let’s not forget the ear-piercing crying to get your adrenaline pumping while en route.
There’s no doubt about it: all five senses can suffer an assault during crazy car rides. And, as the chauffeur of a hell-bound minivan with places to be, you are quite simply trapped. In there. With them.
Just wondering: During such chaotic occasions, do you ever contemplate magically ejecting yourself from your own sunroof as an immediate means of escape? As long as you don’t actually do it, this is a perfectly healthy fantasy. Isn’t it? Asking for a friend…
Of course, not all car rides are total gong-shows. In fact, sometimes the backseat is filled with the perfect picture of sibling togetherness the kind of snapshot that makes people who are on the fence about having kids say: “Let’s DO this!” Yet, with little notice, that perfect picture can come completely undone. And, if the afore mentioned people –on the fence about parenthood– were to witness this, they would surely opt out immediately.
It never ceases to amaze me how quickly things can go from peachy keen to a scene from Scream. And, when you’re up in the front seat –while scenes from a horror film unravel behind you– it’s not so easy to stay calm. But you need to get your little cherubs safely from A to B, right? But also, you cannot help feel an instant appreciation for every school bus driver who has ever lived and you wonder how it’s even legal for them to drive and be held responsible for the safety and well-being of an entire busload of kids?!
Repeating the same words or songs or complaints or questions over and over and over.
Any number of things can be happening back there (in your crumb-invested backseats) forcing you to navigate the roads while simultaneously managing total kid-chaos with nothing but your voice and your rear-view mirror. It can get pretty stressful driving your kids around, sometimes.
Lately, two of my kids have been fighting over who gets to be the first to tell me about their day at school. Therefore, as a solution, I keep track of who got to talk first the day before so they can take turns. It seems easy enough, right? But it doesn’t always play out as it should.
I pick them up from school. We all pile happily into the car. And then: BOOM! If it’s my middle one’s chance to talk first, the younger one cannot stay quiet. It is an impossible task, and too much to ask, apparently. Whether she’s throat clearing or injecting unsolicited comments, my youngest feels compelled (like it’s her sisterly duty) to sabotage the moment. The outcome is frustration and anger for my middle child, who then starts shouting at her little sis. Understandably, so.
But I’m not always ready to navigate these disputes. And sometimes, I can feel my heart starting to race, as sweat beads threaten to form on my brow. BUT, guess what?! I have a go-to solution to this car-based insanity! It’s slightly unconventional but it does the trick. I keep a spray bottle filled with essential lavender oil in my car. That’s right, lavender is my secret parenting weapon!
If the in-car situation is on a downward spiral, I pull out my lavender and I spray the heck out of my immediate air supply,making sure to toss a few in the direction of the kids. I then change the radio station to classical and breathe in the calm.
Sometimes the kids even gag from the lavender but they are almost always sidetracked from their battles with one another.
Aromatherapy + kids gagging but no longer fighting =a win/win.
So go on, give it a try!
You can buy it or make your own.