Guest post of the week: From Rajni Arunkumar

Here is the second in the series of guest posts on the blog, a post by Rajni Iyer on why role-reversals aren’t all that they’re cracked up to be:

Now, I admit I’m not the best of drivers, but I’ve always thought of myself at a competent driver,
most of the time. The kids always make it to school without mishaps , and the car is largely scrape-
free for  the most part – and that’s saying something in this city. But I’m not someone who enjoys
driving and if given a choice, I’d gladly prop my feet up while I’m being ferried about.
So, normally our roles during long drives are pretty set.
Husband: Driver’s seat. Focussing on ONLY the driving.
Kids: Back seat, bickering away.  Occasionally snickering away and the clueless adults up front.
Me: Front right, playing navigator, Judge and Jury.
And it usually works great. Until one fine day, on our way back from a weekend away, after a particularly sleepless night (hey, don’t look at me- I was in a completely different room, tending to one of the bickering babies) and a calorie laden lunch of epic proportions, the hubby finally couldn’t keep his eyes open despite trying to fold eyelids backwards. With the greatest of reluctance the car keys were handed to me.  I, on my part accepted with the greatest of reluctance as well.
Right. I shall describe the scene after that and leave you to be the judge.
So, setting  the scene:
Driver: Self.
Back seat driver: Husband
Kids: Back seat, bickering away.  Occasionally snickering away and the clueless adults up front.
Moving on.
Husband: Wait! Whatchoo doing??
Me: Er… adjusting the rear view – You are a bit taller than me you know and do the seats have to be
so far away? How on earth are you supposed to reach the pedals? And will you please settle down kids? No, you cannot have another smartie. Are you sure you don’t want to go to the loo?
Husband: Please! Focus on the driving. I’ll handle the kids!
Me: Yes, I know… that’s what I thought I was doing. Ooo- Look- they’re selling fresh cheese!
Hub: Whoa! What? Will you look where you’re going? You nearly mowed that poor woman down!
Me: That lady came out of nowhere! Popping up like a blooming vampire.
Just then,
Child 1: Ammmaa! She took my most-precious-ever-in-the-world-ever volcanic rock
Child 2: I didn’ted . It’s miiiiiiiiiiiiine. Maaaaa!
Followed by an ear-splitting scream in my ear.
Hub: DON’T TURN AROUND! Can you PLEASE focus on the road? I’ll HANDLE them.
Me: Yes, I can see what a fine job you’re doing too! Gosh, what is with all that honking. *rolling down the window* I’m only as fast as the person in front of me, fool!
After the husband threatened to offload the pair of them from where they’d have to find their own way home, things settled down for a bit in the back of the car.  No such luck in the front of the car.
Between the ‘ooooh, Too close!’ and ‘The kerb! The kerb!!’ and ‘slow down!’ and ‘speed up!’ and ‘watch out!’  and ‘Big truck!’ and ‘Pothooooole’, it was like sitting next to an overly caffeinated navigator for the blind.  Not the most pleasant journey.
The kids were watching in rapt attention at this very Jerry Springer-esque drama unfolding in front of their eyes and had forgotten temporarily that they hate each other.  Two hours of this shindig and I was more exhausted than an entire day of rock climbing could make me. The husband wasn’t quite as fresh as a daisy either because apparently he hadn’t counted on being the eyes and ears for the BOTH of us. We needed to stop before the police was called in for homicide in a moving vehicle.  By unspoken agreement I pulled up at the next gas station. We quietly unbuckled ourselves. Car doors were opened in beautiful synchronicity. And while I hauled the youngest to the bathroom (which was followed by a loud ‘How’d you know I wanted to pee, ma?’) , the husband headed to the expresso machine for a double shot. Five minutes later, the world tilted back to its axis as the baby was once again strapped into the back, the husband was once again holding  the steering wheel like he’d never let it go and I was once again in the passenger seat playing navigator, judge and jury. And that is how we made it back home in one piece to tell the tale. The husband thinks it’s a minor miracle we survived my driving and I think it’s a pretty major miracle he isn’t divorced yet.

Rajni blogs at http://www.senseslenses.com/

About the author:
Rajni is currently enjoying her stint as a global nomad with her spouse and two kids in Romania. She’s recently had her first book published and when she’s not blogging or writing, she’d busy tweeting or clicking pictures of her sundry adventures.
If you would like to send in a Guest Post for this blog, do mail me at kiranmanral@gmail.com. I publish a guest post by invitation once a week.
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