Home > Family, Los Angeles, Parenting, Silly, Youth > “Don’t make me turn the car around!”

“Don’t make me turn the car around!”

Long before I lived in Los Angeles, I spent a lot of time in the car. A lot.

Maybe my mom was trying to prep me for future commutes to come. Whatever the reason, I heard hundreds of statements like this growing up:

  • “OK, kids, I’m just running into the store for a second. Sit tight!”
  • “I just have one quick question for about this sale coming up. Don’t you dare move!”
  • “I’m just gonna grab a shirt with shoulder pads to replace the last one you destroyed, Deborah. Wait right here and don’t open the door for anyone.”

I learned young that “one minute” was never really just one minute. Several supposedly one-minute stops could take up an entire day, so I learned to bring books with me all the time. (That’s right, parents: the key to creating a reader today is lots of long electronics-free car trips! Go ahead, try it. It’ll be fun for everyone!)

Even books could grow tiresome after a while, and I learned to equate cars with the misery of endless waiting. Waiting made me whiney then, but I’m usually mature enough to withstand a couple of hours in the car these days. Occasionally, though, my younger self makes an appearance and says things like:

  • “We’re still here? In the car? Let me out!”
  • “Whyyyyyy isn’t traffic moving? This sucks! Let me out so I can walk.”
  • “If I realized this was gonna turn into a freeway camping trip, I wouldn’t have come!”

A couple of weeks back, I grumbled to my fiancee, “Get me out of the car! I want out of the car!”

Until recently, Anthony has only responded to such outbursts with gentle encouragement like, “Almost there, sweetheart. It won’t be long at all.” This time, I had finally complained one time too many. I earned The Look. Every child had seen it.

the look

“I can deal with one of you,” Anthony cautioned with a glance in the rear-view mirror at our noisy three-year-old. “Not two.” As if to complete my transportation back in time, he added, “Don’t make me turn the car around!”

Feeling chastised, but not so much that I could repress my laughter, I apologized, and then promptly took the picture above. There’s something so sweet about The Look when given by one’s S.O. In fact, there’s something so sweet about it that I complained a little harder–albeit with barely stifled giggles–the last few minutes of our trip so I could keep earning it.

Now I know just what to do to bring back the good ol’ days in the car with my mom.

Lucky Anthony!

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  1. January 8, 2013 at 5:09 am

    “Don’t make me turn this car around!” How that brings back memories of my mother yelling that at the three of us as we squabbled in the back seat of our car. Of course she never did. You brought back many memories today.

    • January 8, 2013 at 5:14 am

      I don’t think my mom ever did turn the car around, either. I’d like to say that’s because the four of us stop driving her bonkers, but that wouldn’t be truthful.

      Recently Li’l D cried out about our dog, “Mom, Sai’s too close to me!” Before I could process it, Anthony had started laughing . . . and then, wouldn’t you know it, I was laughing too.

      It begins. 🙂

  2. January 8, 2013 at 8:34 am

    Your S.O. is really cute, especially with that look. My oldest child would get car sick and my youngest was so antsy, and wouldn’t let me out of the car for a second without wailing to get out with me.

    • January 9, 2013 at 5:53 am

      I love it when he wears that jacket and hat. It reminds me of my grandpa. Add in The Look and the fit is all the more perfect!

  3. January 8, 2013 at 8:49 am

    Loved waking up to this story! Mommies really are BIG little girls. I think it’s adorable that Anthony cautioned you with the LOOK. Even cuter that it caused you to revert to your childhood memories. I can relate. Never liked be locked up in the car. Come to think of it, I don’t think I was physically restrained. The seat belt laws probably weren’t in effect back in the late 70’s.

    • January 9, 2013 at 5:57 am

      Mommies really are BIG little girls.
      Amen! There are many moments where we’ve got to put on our stern hats, but beneath that we’re still the same girls we were before. 🙂

      Being locked up in the car was one of my least favorite things–even worse than chores, I think. I’d rather have cleaned my mom’s terrifying basement than spend the same amount of time locked in the car. I have many recollections of being stuck in the car, but not so many recollections of seat belts. Some of my first memories involve waking up sprawled across the backseat of my parents’ car . . .

  4. January 8, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    You captured “the look” at the perfect moment. It says “I know you know I know you know better.” lol

    For me it’s easier to get through long trips when I’m the one driving. Plus, having a good selection of music is helpful. I had a friend who once got a ticket and as the police officer pulled away he dolefully commented “well I probably cost myself a few albums, but if I drive slower I guess I can listen to an extra one too.”

  5. January 8, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    Hi Deb, I enjoy your tales so much and am in awe of how you find time to write in your busy life! Keep ’em coming!

  6. January 9, 2013 at 6:02 am

    Haha! This is adorable! And I have actually abandoned the car, gotten out, and jogged to my destination in a fit of pure pique more than once. Also, good on you for discouraging electronics in cars. It alarms me that so many people not only allow but encourage their children to play video games or even (gasp) watch movies. Yep–still makes me gasp, but maybe I’m a dinosaur!

  7. January 9, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Glad you caught the look in a photo……that’s a keeper!

  8. January 9, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Oh, I love this, and I love the picture. So happy that he let you take it. 🙂 Maycee could not stand being the car most of the time…she doesn’t like having to get in and out of it if we are running errands. This made getting anything done quite difficult, as I tried so hard to do my running around only when she was at her dad’s every other weekend. HOWEVER…during my staycation (still lamenting Disneyland), I traded my little old Kia for a newer, slightly bigger Kia, of which Maycee picked out, and now….she can’t wait to get in the car! Who woulda thunk it? I only needed to incur a few thousand dollars of debt to get rid of the, “Ahhh, Mom, do we have to go there? How long is it gonna take? What?! Two hours? Ahhhhh…” 🙂

  9. January 10, 2013 at 4:52 am

    Awww, you guys are so in love! If you think bickering in the car is endearing, you really do have the gift of finding the treasures hidden in everyday life.

  10. January 10, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    LOL. “I can deal with one of you…” That statement says it all, especially when delivered with ‘the look’.

  11. January 11, 2013 at 5:48 am

    I hate being in the car. I’m headed out to LA next week to visit my brother…I’m sure the car time is going to be awful!

    • January 11, 2013 at 6:31 am

      LA? As in, this LA? I hope you’re not stuck in traffic too long! If you have any spare time, feel free to drop me a line. I’m the LBC but I’d be happy to drive up, traffic and all. 🙂

  12. January 14, 2013 at 11:25 am

    Oh, I SO remember that look. It seems like only yesterday when I said something wrong, and got that look…..
    Hmm. Matter of fact, it WAS yesterday. And this morning. And about 5 minutes ago….

  13. January 21, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    My very noisy brother and I (also noisy) had the car turned around on us a few times in our childhood! He’s really a cutie, Deb, I can see why you would continue to make him issue that look! I don’t think I could handle LA traffic. I shudder when I have to drive on the beltway or in DC and I’m sure it’s not nearly as bad. You’re a brave woman!

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