I am enamored of the idea of having a checklist for any possible situation, mostly because they usually reinforce my belief that I have all bases covered. I need to maintain my delusions of grandeur. It occurred to me, finally, that if I made the lists, that reassuring complacency that I feel after checking everything off would always be mine. It’s such a relief that I no longer have to live up to anyone else’s standards.
Safe Driver Checklist
- In order to avoid distracted driving, sedate any children with whom you will be travelling. If you’re fortunate, you’ll have a Schedule III narcotic prescription available to you. Speak with your pediatrician about the best choice.
- Don crash helmet. In addition to protecting your head, the helmet sends a message to other motorists: you will not be intimidated.
- To further reinforce the anti-intimidation message, fly a flag from your windows. Consider your options carefully here. The Jolly Roger: good. Kittens with big eyes: bad. Cuddly is not the image you want to project.
- Place coffee in spill-proof, leak-proof travel mug. Ensure that mug is in vehicle, not on top of vehicle before driving. (Ditto for very expensive prescription sunglasses.)
- Dogs=not good passengers. That goes double, no, triple, for cats. Eject all non-humans from vehicle. Especially spiders. They are the very worst passengers.
- Do not eat soup or chili while driving.
- On the off-chance that your pediatrician refuses to sedate the children, you need to prepare by completing the following: have audiobook ready, pack snacks that they can reach, open and eat without your assistance. Consider earplugs.
- Remove child’s car seat, shake upside down for approximately seven and a half minutes or until no more crumbs fall from it. Replace seat and secure child in seat according to manufacturer instructions.
- Repeat number eight for each child.
- Do not swear at other drivers, even if they are very bad drivers, or, as my son once said, “Nassholes. Right, Mom? They’re Nassholes.”