I used to have terrible road rage. I would yell at other drivers from behind the wheel, shout at pedestrians and cyclists and flip off people at every chance I got. Basically, I was the person you would see swerving in and out of traffic and acting like a total asshole. You probably called me a bitch once or twice if you encountered me in traffic, and I totally deserved it.
After I had a baby, my road rage disappeared. Suddenly I became that crazy nervous driver. I never used to understand it before, but I totally get it now. If you’ve never understood why the person in front of you who has the ‘Baby on Board Sign’, is driving like an asshole then please let me explain. You may not fully appreciate why they are driving that way, but at least you’ll have a slight understanding.
First of all, if someone has a Baby on Board sign, they are going to drive slower. That’s a fact. We have precious cargo in the vehicle and don’t want to take any risks. When my daughter is in the car with me I go at least 10 km/h below the speed limit. If she isn’t with me, I go at least 10 km/h above the speed limit. Really, I should just be obeying the speed limit at all times but when my baby girl is with me I take every precaution necessary.
Also, when she’s in the car, I slow down for everything. I slow down at every intersection whether the light is red, green or yellow. I slow down when the car in front of me even just taps their breaks and I especially slow down if I am going over railroad tracks or about to hit a pothole. I know I don’t drive a Lexus and don’t need to worry about damaging my Kia, but when the baby is asleep, I go about 2 km/h over potholes. I know it’s irritating and I know you are probably cursing me and saying things like “lady please, your car isn’t worth shit.” And that’s true! I get that! But what you may not get is that I just spent 45 minutes driving around trying to get my baby to sleep. And I will lose my mind if she wakes up. So if that means that I have to slow down for every pothole, bump and leaf on the road then I am going to do it and you’re going to have to deal with it or just flip me off. Seriously though, go ahead, flip me off. I’d flip me off too. I honestly won’t mind if you do it.
Another annoying thing about the Baby on Board people is that they don’t seem to understand that green means go. I remember once in my pre-baby days I saw a woman at a red light who was turned around and trying to console a screaming baby while her toddler was pounding on the windows. I gave her a dirty look and thought to myself, ‘Get your shit together and go! The light just turned green!’ I really wish I could take back that asshole thought. Because I have tied up more green lights than I can count. I am constantly turned around at red lights trying to pick up toys and sippy cups and whatever else my daughter has thrown on the floor. Sometimes I think she just likes to play fetch with me and is testing me to see how many things I can pick up during a red light. It’s kind of like a red light challenge, like they do in Cash Cab (Canadian game show, folks!). Quite often people honk at me and I know that means that I need to haul ass and get a move on, but if baby wants her lalaloopsy doll and it’s on the floor, I am getting it. Because if I don’t get it, she will scream and howl till I get to the next red light or pull over. So, there’s another reason to flip me off.
As if that’s not annoying enough, Baby on Board drivers also play annoying music and sometimes have DVDs playing in their vehicles. Believe me; we don’t do this by choice. We do it to save our sanity. Do you really think any mother wants to listen to the Wiggles while she is driving? I would rather walk home in the pouring rain than listen to that crap but sometimes it’s not an option. So before you laugh at the parents with the ridiculous music or kids shows, know that they are just trying to survive their time on the road and sometimes survival means doing stuff that you don’t want to do!
I know the Baby on Board people can be annoying. I totally get that. Honestly, we don’t try to annoy other drivers, it just happens. Next time you’re behind the wheel and see a Baby on Board sign, just know that it’s probably a mom or dad who is likely having a hell of a time getting from Point A to Point B with a child in tow. And if it happens to be me that you see and I’m driving like a train wreck, you have full permission to flip me off! Honestly, I won’t mind…. unless the baby isn’t on board with me, in which case, I’ll flip you off too, because sometimes there’s a bitch on board; and that’s me!