Tuesday, January 11, 2011


A while back Lilly was complaining that I repeat myself a lot. I do. I repeat myself a lot. So I said, "Look, tell me the top three things I repeat the most and I'll try not to say them too much."

She cocked her head and thought a minute. "Make me a Cosmo. I'm going to take a nap. Can't you get a ride?"

In my defense, I never say, "Make me a Cosmo," to the kids. Not one of my kids can handle a martini shaker properly. No, I say that to Jeff. Or more accurately, I say "Cosmo me." But I do announce I'm taking a nap a lot and for sure I ask, "Can't you get a ride?"

That's because here in Glenview, the kids need a ride ALL THE FLIPPING TIME and even though they are all going to the same three places--The Glen (our shopping area); the High School; or back to our neighborhood--and even though they all have cell phones with the number programmed in of every kid they have met since pre-school, not one of them, no not one single one will use said cell phone to text a friend and say, "Hey, can I catch a ride with you?"

Which is why all of us moms are driving the same two miles to and from and saying "Can't you get a ride?" and waving to each other. Of course, we're almost as bad because at nearly every cocktail party and school event, we talk about the absurdity and wastefulness of this practice and say, "Call me if you need me to get the kids," but we never really do it and I don't know why except no one wants to be the mom of the kid who is constantly bumming rides.

This little scenario gets worse this time of year because it gets dark at 4:30. And it turns out that even though electricity has been around a long time and we all stay up much past 4:30 in the winter, our bodies don't really like it. We don't care to go out in the freezing cold and wipe large amounts of snow off our cars and drive around on roads like ice-rinks in the wintry darkness. We have no problem in the summer when it is light until 9:30 dropping kids and picking kids up but this time of year we rather hate this part of the job.

Recently I learned that a lot of my mom friends hate the winter for just this reason. I learned I am not the only one who counts the trips off in her head during the winter, "One trip to middle school, one round trip to piano, then one last trip to the high school," and then when that last trip is done, after counting heads and making sure all the kids are home, I lock the door so none will escape and race upstairs to throw my pajamas on.

So today, if you are wishing it were summer or light out or that your children weren't quite so active as you shuttle them around, please know you aren't the only one that feels that way this time of year. And also know that tonight, if all goes well, I'll be in my pajamas by around 6:30.


  1. Get them a bike, like here in the Netherlands. Start a new trend!
    I biked to school at 0 F once...

  2. I´m almost all with Laurent. The guy takes the words right out of my mouth.

    The almost-part is the fact that Laurent is getting himself used to being uncool these days. So it's easy talking for him (if that's an English expression at all). I for my part do suppose that riding a bike is insurmountably uncool for teenagers in a surrounding where no kid rides a bike. And maybe even dangerous, in a surrounding where no driver expects a cyclist.

  3. @Frankie, it isn't the cool factor that is the problem but more what you said--it is not safe. Some people do bike but we aren't set up for it like they are in The Netherlands. We almost lost a 10 year old who lives a few houses down in a bad accident last summer. She was just trying to cross the street coming from school but the driver didn't see her.