November 1, 2005

Did You Change The Way You Drive When The Kid Was Born?

Because I apparently didn't. At least not all the way. It's not like I was going to run out and buy a "baby on board" sign for the rear window, but I think my driving has become a bit more conscientious and a bit less aggressive since the kid arrived. After all, driving alone in the car--or with one other adult--is a different proposition from driving with a kid.

For example, on the cusp of the evening rush hour today, I was getting back onto the Merritt Parkway in Connecticut from one of those roadside Mobil stations with zero merge lane. Looking, looking, I saw a gap in traffic, so I punched it, laid down a big cloud of black smoke, and took off. It's the kind of thing an adult could anticipate, but not a kid. Becasue if she had, she would not have chosen that very moment to bring a bottle of sparkling water to her little lips. The bottle's contents leapt out at her face so fast, it was like a re-enactment of that scene from Alien, only with water.

[in less amusing news, the kid also hurled--twice--in the car. If it hadn't happened between New Haven and Cambridge, I'd have sworn it was Greek Week.]

11 Comments

Nice move! I moved to the East Coast almost 20 years ago in order to increase the level of difficulty in driving. Who needs merge lanes anyways?

I like to think that the kids appreciate my mad driving skillz - it's like going to the amusement park without all those pesky lines!

BTW, if you get a chance, check out (yet another) daddy blog. I just started about two months ago, but I'm still enjoying it!

We went out and bought the "Baby on Board" suction-cup thing (I know, I know...how 80's!) Although, we all know, at least in the DC area, that no one pays attention to these little signs. I used to tailgate and try to push the limits of the X5 before baby came but now, I'm a little more cautious. I do have to initiate evasive maneuvers once in a while to avoid the crazy DC drivers!

Maybe she's hurling BECAUSE of your driving? Hmmm?

As someone who frequently uses the Merritt for the BOS/NYC run, I too wonder what's up with the Mobil merge lanes.

I used to drive the Merrit between New Haven and Stamford for a couple of years. You have to drive aggressively on the Merrit.

Can't say I've changed my driving habits much, but the wife usually drives when the kid is in the car. She definitely has become a safer driver.

Greg - next time you're passing through New Haven, let me know - I'll take you for some of the best pizza in the world...

[we found the greatest dollar store in the world in NH last night--when we got off after the first hurl. Of course, it was our first dollar store, so we were easily impressed. -ed]

Merritt is real risky traffic wise, even more so than 95 due to only 2 lanes but it is the nicer looking highway. The question is though, why were you getting gas on the Merritt? It has to be prohibitively expensive and I wouldn't stop there unless I had to use the can just because of those merger (or lack of merger) lanes.

[B: use the can. and that is my final answer, Bobo -ed.]

I learned to drive in Manhattan, so defensive driving is natural. What I learned is to take the turns slower. I'm not talking Starsky & Hutch doughnuts, but take the turn from the FDR onto the Triboro at 30 instead of 50. Your child can get a much more fun speed rush in the shopping cart at the market.

Daddy driving in West Hollywood and LA is much different than what I imagine it is back East. I don't worry about driving more conservatively but I have become hyper-vigilant about wannabe's in pimped-out Escalades and the blue-tooth enabled Mercedes crowd. There is definitely an East-Coast West-Coast driving dichotomy. I definitely prefer the East but am stuck in the West. Nobody pays attention while they drive out here, now that I have the little guy in the back I have become aware of the fact that I am sharing the road with 13 million Helen Kellers!

Greg,
So as the self-designated New Haven dollar store critic, I have to know: which dollar store was it?

And next time you are in the neighborhood (sans hurling baby, please!), I want to join you and Kaz for pizza. (:

[Dollar Heaven or Dollar Dream or something, next to shop'n'go, just north of the parkway (exited right before the tunnel) -ed.]

Change my driving habits? Never!

I used to joke with my wife that I was buying Madeleine a HANS device and a crash helmet. I considered the Nomex suit, too, but I couldn't find one that small...

Seriously, though, I take my driving very seriously, and I always have. Probably comes from so many years riding motorcycles, but although I drive fast and hard, we always get there, no muss, no fuss, ahead of everyone else, and safely, to boot.

And yes, there is a "Baby On Board" sign hanging in the rear window...I figure if it makes the stupid tailgaters back off even one foot, it's done it's job.

Now I am intrigued. What made this dollar store so great?

I also could have pointed you to a nice little Malaysian restaurant near there.. and the waiter loves kids..

[there were brands I'd actually heard of: salted nut roll and moon pie. All we needed was fresh air and more diaper wipes, really, so everything beyond that was a bonus. Except for a 100-yen store I went to on the fervent recommendations of several friends--and which looked like a dump to me--I'd never set foot in a store like that, so to connoisseurs, it may be nothing special. -ed.]

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