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Wicked giggles in the backseat

November 17, 2008

by Jen Bakken

With my son, a freshman in college, home for a long weekend, I had the pleasure of driving him back to St. Cloud last week.

Well, initially I thought of it as something enjoyable, and I even offered to provide the transportation back to school.

However, when all three kids were packed into the little two-door car, it became immediately apparent that this would be a hectic trip.

We stopped at the local McDonald’s for a “mom’s in a hurry dinner” and spent far too long in the drive-thru deciding what everyone wanted. One child insisted they were too old for Happy Meals, and another changed their drink choice three times.

Right off the bat, there were arguments over what radio station we would listen to. This caused chaos the entire trip because every song that came on, one child loved, and another hated.

My younger son complained about having to listen to his little sister sing in the car, and kept telling her she should breathe better when she is singing. Needless to say this irritated little sister, who then punched her brother in the arm.

And my little actor put on quite a show, complete with tears, to try and get his sister in more trouble.

While they were bickering back and forth, my college-aged son yelled at both of them, “knock it off!” and told us he was glad to be going back to his dorm.

There was some whimpering in the back seat and more complaining when my younger son announced, “I have to go to the bathroom!”

I couldn’t help rolling my eyes and sighing (which no one noticed). We had only made it from Delano to Monticello, and I didn’t want to stop.

I was trying to get my son back to college and then quickly make it to Delano Elementary School for its Reader’s Theater presentation.

Of course my son couldn’t “hold it,” so we found a gas station to stop at. Usually I feel bad using a restroom without making a purchase, but this time I didn’t need to, because my son bought a Slim Jim.

While we were waiting in the car, we couldn’t figure out what was taking our bathroom break boy so long. Little did we know he was trying to decide what type of snack he wanted. I don’t even know if he actually used the restroom. They can be so surprisingly sneaky!

There was quiet in the car while everyone was stuffing their mouths full, but once the remnants of our quick dinner were all over the floor of the car, the chaos ensued.

Little sister began singing rather loudly to annoy her middle brother. He, in turn, took his McDonald’s cup, removed the bottom and used it like a mega-phone to sing even louder.

My oldest said, “Oh, are you kidding me? Shut up!” The other two went silent while they looked my way trying to figure out what I was going to do. (Shut up is a big no-no in our family.)

Instead of fighting this battle, I decided to just concentrate on the road. I thought maybe if I ignored everything, and they weren’t getting a reaction out of me, we would end up having peace the rest of our trip.

Just as I was beginning to wonder if this was actually working, my oldest son, in the front seat, grabbed his neck and yelled, “What the heck was that?”

Wicked giggles from the back seat enveloped the car. Then, something whipped by my head and landed on the dash. More wicked giggles from the backseat.

Spit balls.

Let’s just say it didn’t take long to confiscate the straw, use my talent of giving a great evil eye, and put a stop to any future chaos. There were no more wicked giggles from the backseat – at least not on this trip, and though we were a little late, we did make it to Reader’s Theater at Delano Elementary School.

Next time my son comes home from college, he just may re-think having us bring him back to school, and may want to avoid those wicked giggles from the backseat.