The car dramas all parents know too well

Kids have a special knack of taking the most everyday situation and transforming it into something altogether different.

Take getting in the car and hitting the road, for instance. Some days it’s a joy and you’re a little dream team. Other days, not so much.

Here’s a cheat sheet to just a few of the dramas you might face when you head out with your child.

The wrong song

You know this one, right? You get in the car, you press play, you smile at your beautiful child and… giant tears are rolling down their cheeks. They did not want ‘Fruit Salad’, today they wanted ‘Hot Potato’. They thought you KNEW them. Gasp! Cue heartbroken pout.

The wrong song is a disaster and has the power to set a teary, snotty tone for the entire day. Avoid any issues by choosing the right song and note that the wrong song may be the right song tomorrow. You know what I mean.

The buckle fuss

You’ve probably fastened your child into their car seat hundreds of times in your life, but don’t let the familiarity of the ritual lull you into a false sense of security. The majority of babies, toddlers and preschoolers are poised to have a major meltdown over the click-clack routine and any random moment will do.

Buckling up is the kid version of doing taxes and they’ll be heart-wrenchingly vocal about it to ensure you understand that. Prepare for buckle fuss by carrying tissues every time you go out. These are for your own tears of frustration, as well as your child’s. They’re also helpful for wiping the beads of sweat you summon as you gently wrestle your child to car safety. Godspeed to you.

The epic spill

Kids have pretty inspiring game when it comes to spilling all the things in the car. They know how to empty a juice box in under a minute. They can fill the entire car with a wrinkly cascade of sultanas in the time it takes you to check your rear vision mirror. They have the sort of magical powers that allow them to disappear bananas, grapes and rice crackers in a second, with the follow-up trick of revealing the lost snacks months later in a completely different (quite disgusting) form!

The epic spill has the power to transform you, your child and your car into a kind of world-beating, toddler-inspired swamp.

The ‘you can’t touch this’

If your child has a sibling and that sibling sits beside them in the back of the car, you are probably familiar with the ‘you can’t touch this’ drama. Sadly it doesn’t involve shiny, drop-crotch pants and bustier-clad ladies (unless you are VERY fly). It’s more likely to involve hysterical yelping, finger-pointing and deeply furrowed brows, accompanied by optional tears, angry swotting and the occasional hair pull.

We’ve seen parents go to great lengths to keep their kids apart and avoid these back seat battles and we can’t say we blame them.

The wrong person is driving

Little people know just how to break our hearts into one zillion pieces in an instant. They can do it by pointing at us as we attempt to do something useful for them and wailing with horror, “NOT YOU!!!!”.

Despite the fact that we want to get them from A to B for something fun or important, sometimes being ourselves is just not enough and our child would prefer we shape-shifted into a different parent or a grandparent. Ugh.

Buckle up!

Now, it’s all very well to have a laugh at our kids’ backseat antics, but the hard truth is, because of the incorrect use of child restraints, there have been NSW legislation changes made recently which aim to reduce the number of child passenger casualties.

With this in mind, Transport for NSW have teamed up with The Wiggles to raise awareness about the correct fitting technique for child car seats – because after all, our kids are counting on us to get this right.

(This is a sponsored post for Transport for NSW)

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