Where I live, you can not text and drive. Well, I should clarify: you can do it but it is against the law. Where my brother lives, you can not drive and use your hands to talk on the phone, for it is against the law. A hands-free conversation is a must. Where my husband works, once you pass the security gates, you can not talk on the phone, period. It is against the law. I can see the relevance in banning these activities, for cars have the potential to be dangerous vehicles, and the last thing we want to do is complicate the situation by adding a cell phone to the mix. Just recently, however, I have begun to think we are “barking up the wrong tree,” if you will, with these cell phone and texting bans.
How did I reach this conclusion? Well, I’m glad you asked……………
We’re in the car, my kiddos and me. It is a retched hot day. The air is on high and it is hard to hear above its blast. Wesley decides that it is time to get fussy, and in classic form, takes his paci out of his mouth and throws it. The high pitched “Tink!” of its toss is followed by wails and kicks.
Daniel then finds this to be the appropriate time to beg me for a book to read. I reach behind the passenger side seat and hand him one of the conveniently and strategically located books, at which point he informs me that he wants “the castle book.” I then have to tell him a phrase that if I have said once, I have said a thousand times: “Sorry Daniel, Mommy can’t see the books right now, she is driving. You will just have to take this one.”
Wesley continues the weeping and gnashing of teeth, so I grab a sippy cup from the front passenger seat and reach it back to him. This suits him well….for now.
“Momma…take a look at this!” says Daniel. “Momma…..Momma….Momma, look, Momma.” I respond to my son with a quick, “Yeah Daniel, that is great!”at which point he truthfully retorts, “But you did not even look, Momma!” And, if I have said once, I have said a thousand times: “Sorry Daniel, Mommy can’t look at that right now, she is driving. You will just have to wait to show me.”
“Tink” “Waaahhhhh!!!” Wesley has tossed the cup. I have no back-up and neither the paci or the cup are within reach.
“Momma! I need another book; I need the castle book this time, pllllleeeeeaaaseeeeeeeee!!”
Thank the good Lord, we’ve come to a red light. I can now lean back and find the stinkin’ castle book. Success.
I then take a right turn, amidst Wesley’s cries, only to be greeted with Daniel scolding me: “Momma! You can’t go now. It is red. You can’t go on red Momma. You need the green. Momma this is bad.”
As I begin to attempt to explain, over the tears of his little brother, to my three year old the law of “right turn on red, after stop, if clear,” it dawns on me. We do not need to ban cell phones from the car because they distract the driver, we need to ban kids.