Traveling with four and unders, before the use of electronic devices, armed with only paper, books, and crayons, one might assume harmony was about. As Carol Kane yelled at Billy Crystal in “the Princess Bride”, “Liar!”
For the first few miles with a destination seeming not so far away, all was merry. After a few hundred miles, the “he’s touching me” phase starts. Then the shoving, pushing extremes when the car travels a sharp curve, and soon there is mayhem in the backseat. Of course traveling with three children, two strapped in and one in a car seat, who can blame them? There was no Candy Crush or Walkmans ( must I explain Walkman?), even to distract them from the everpresent needling from the siblings.
The car seat occupant was the youngest and of course, hated being contained in the seat, so started kicking her legs and flailing her arms while her brothers tried to avoid being smacked. The parents were not the capital punishment type, so invented a mythical creature that would enter the car if the poor behavior continued.
Now I realize you’re probably thinking, how cruel! Psychological damage will occur. Well when you’re a parent with three children and you’re all crammed into a small car on a long trip, we’ll see what your solution might be…..but I digress…heehee, used it again!
The smallest of the children was fascinated by the idea and the older ones skeptical, but decided to err on the side of caution. There were huge dark grey clouds and the car seat occupant was told to stop flailing about or the Gobble would come. It was explained further that if the behavior improved, he would stay outside the car, otherwise, Dum, dum dum, DUM! It took a minute for this to sink in. While curiously peering outside the car windows, it was getting quieter in the rear seat of the car.
After this, if the powers that be put clouds in the sky, it only took a click of the windows to start rolling down and the misbehavior ceased.
I have to add, this tiny tantrum thrower is now a graduate from college studying to be a doctor.😂