Fighting the Urge to Drive Into Oncoming Traffic During Family Car Rides

I really like my wife and kids individually. When we’re all together, though, I quickly begin to fantasize about anything other than being with them. I don’t even fantasize good things. I fantasize about terrible things that I’d rather be doing at any given moment than being stuck in a car with my entire family. “Nazi war criminal defense attorney” is an old standby fantasy, just to give you an idea. I think the basis for my feeling is that I don’t have a lot of free time and I am often stressed about that or about finances being tight before we even leave the house. So, every annoying thing the kids do is magnified. When I’m working, I’m focused on work and I simply don’t have the time, energy or freedom to focus on myself.

I normally have one day off each week. Mornings are generally laid back, but when we start to progress into going out mode, my home turns into a goddamn circus, forcing me to use the word “goddamn” as an adjective in every sentence I use. Suddenly, the kids forget how to fucking do anything. As often as the kids forget where they put their friggin’ shoes, you’d think they were spending nights getting blackout drunk in Japanese homes. Truth be told, Jaime is almost always the one helping them find their shoes while I sit in my office and construct plans for a time machine that I’ll use to go into my past to trick my old self into using condoms.

Once shoes are taken care of, everyone heads outside and either gets into my car, a pretty sweet ride typically reserved for old Italian men, or our new minivan, which came with a lifetime pussy repellent warranty. Even though the minivan is more spacious, the kids are equally obnoxious in each. The volume that the children produce is somewhere between “Puerto Rican Pride Parade” and “Transformers having make-up sex.” The car ride quickly turns into a fight between my brain and hands to keep from steering into oncoming traffic.

We eventually get to where we need to go, and those experiences are normally fun. But then I have to gear it up again for the car ride home. Normally, the kids will thank me for taking them to wherever we went and that reminds me how much I love them in the first place. Then it’s time for them to get back to their backseat union meeting screaming.

By the time we pull into the driveway at home, I feel like I just gave birth to a Prius. Everyone gets out of the car except for me. I sit there with the engine still running, staring at the gas gauge, fantasizing about how far I could get if I just abandoned them right then and there. Last weekend, I took the fantasy a little further and pulled out of the driveway and drove down the block, telling myself the entire time that I was taking off for good. It felt awesome. Well, it felt awesome until I got to a stop sign about a block away and a kid with a skateboard and an Arcade Fire t-shirt yelled, “Nice minivan, pussy.” Then I just sped back home, fantasizing about beating the Arcade Fire kid with his own skateboard until I pulled back into my driveway.

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