Back Seat Parenting

Posted: September 15, 2011 in Words

Liz and I are still getting adjusted to our “family of four” status. Yesterday was a real test. We took both boys down to Beaumont (about a 90 minute drive) to visit family for the day. Things went well on the way down there- Nate slept, Sam watched an Elmo DVD and played with some cars. But the drive home was a different story.

We had spent the whole day making visits- two different houses, and then the hospital, where Liz’s grandma was. By the time we got to the hospital, both boys were asleep. I offered to stay in the car while Liz ran up and made a “quick” visit.

45 minutes later, Nate was getting hungry and starting to cry, Sam woke up cranky and farting like a grown man, we all were getting hungry, and Liz was still inside. I called her and, as sweetly as I could, told her to “get out here before I give someone a reason to call the authorities.” She came out, we put both boys back in car seats, and took off again.

Fifteen minutes later, Nate’s crying had reached a ridiculous decibel level, and the car was beginning to smell like a hot garbage bag full of Thai food. We pulled over to investigate, and sure enough, Boy 2 had loaded up his diaper like a carry-on suitcase: it was bursting at the seams. We laid a blanket down in the back of the car, changed him, and realized we didn’t have any “stink-bags.” (If you’ve had a kid recently, you know what I’m talking about. “Stink-bags” are little scented baggies specifically made to dispose of dirty diapers in.) What we did have was a ziploc bag of Fruit Loops that Sam was eating. I dumped the rest of his Fruit Loops onto a to-go coffee cup lid, we used the ziploc to lock in the freshness of the diaper, and began to discuss how to feed Nate while in the car.

I offered to squeeze into the back seat, between the car seats, and feed him while Liz drove home. I mixed up a bottle, and wedged myself in. Keep in mind I’m about 6’1″ and 210 lbs. Me squeezing in the middle was like trying to cram an orange between the tines of a salad fork. It took a while, but I got in there.

Cute, right?

For the next 45 minutes, I tried to feed Nate while he yelled at me and threw up on me. Sam was no help. He wanted to play, so he kept grabbing (pinching) the back of my arm, sneezing on my face, screaming, “DADDY!” when I wasn’t giving him the undivided attention that he so desperately wanted.

It. Was. Exhausting.

But, by the time we got home, Nate was fed, Sam was happy, and we all- miraculously -were still alive.

And I couldn’t help but think about John 1:10-11, which says,

He (Jesus) was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. He came to that which was His own, yet the world did not receive Him.

I thought about these verses because Jesus did the same thing for us that I did for my boys. He was willing to climb into the back seat and take care of us when we were in trouble. Like my friend Craig said once, he didn’t create the world and step back from it- he created the world and stepped into it. And when he came to us, he got sneezed on and spit on and beaten up and (SPOILER ALERT) eventually killed. But he’d do it all again just to take care of his children.

God is a good father. I like that about Him.

  1. Mandy Rausch says:

    Jared…hahahahaha! This post is awesome. “like trying to cram an orange between the tines of a salad fork” made me LOL. Honestly though, I love that you look back on this kind of thing and not only laugh about it (and make others laugh) but also find a way to relate it to the way we probably seem to our Heavenly Father sometimes…like…farting children? I don’t know. But anyway. I loved this.

    and you also seem to be quite a good father. 🙂

  2. April says:

    This post resonates with me in so many ways. I feel you.

  3. dianemkeller says:

    This is hilarious! I do believe the term “stink-bags” will now be used at our house as well. We have only called them diaper bag things until now. 🙂 Luckily we have yet to use one but since our child is only 6 days old and we pretty much stay home, I feel sure we will be needing them in the near future.

  4. Joel Hollier says:

    Ah, the joys of parenthood… I sympathize and empathize. Parenting can be the most stressful and most rewarding thing a person ever does; it’s just unfortunate that so few make it through the ordeal with their sanity. I’m afraid you in particular are doomed since you had a very tenuous grasp on your sanity before even Sam was born. I can’t wait to see what happens in about 4-5 years when they start conspiring against you.


    • Jared says:

      I think as long as I can handle them physically, I’ll be alright. But when the two of them can partner up and take me down, I’ll just check myself into a home.

  5. I love BDB and the friend behind it! You’re a great dad! I love my win too!

  6. Jared, this is great! And I’m so glad those days are behind my wife and I. If God wants us to have more kids, I believe I’m going ask Him for some ID on that directive! 😉

    Oh, and you should totally think about getting a Diaper Genie for your car. 😉

  7. John Drouillard says:

    Great post Jared! This is the first time I’ve been to your blog. I think this is so funny because I have 5 kids and have been through this scenario a few times. The worst was when my first cried for three hours on the way home from my parents. I broke the speed limit a few times that night 🙂 Keep up the good work. There is nothing better than being a father! God Bless!!

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