It is always an adventure getting out of the house in the morning, even on days like today where things work pretty well. After we're all loaded into the car and have each kissed daddy as he circles the car, opening both rear doors to give us "one more kiss, daddy!" we pull out and head into town. We never meet any traffic until we're off the gravel -- fine by me -- there's a 25 foot stretch around an uphill curve that has gotten narrower and narrower all winter as the plows heap the snow into taller and taller walls. It's down to a lane and a quarter, so meeting someone headfirst around the blind curve would be, well, not good.
In fact, we rarely meet any traffic on our way in most mornings. It's probably because most families are a little better about getting out of the house on time than we are. Occasionally we'll pass someone going the other direction, but we seldom follow anyone into town and it's even more unlikely that anyone follows us.
This morning, however, someone did follow us. Actually, this driver wasn't so much following, but tailgating. Considering I was already driving five over, I was none too happy to see in my rear-view mirror, the driver sighing impatiently and shaking his head. I double checked to make sure that this fella wasn't a volunteer firefighter/ambulance responder, but he didn't have a flasher going and he was so close I couldn't see his front license plate.
About this time, Violet starts calling, "Look, mommy! My shoe is not tied!" After the fifth time, I answered, "Violet, mommy cannot tie your shoes while she's driving."
"Mommy, just look! Please look! I not tie my shoes. Please, look?"
Normally I wouldn't consider a quick glance into the backseat a driving hazard, but the driver behind me was closing the very small gap between our cars. I lifted my foot from the accelerator to slow down as we exited a "no passing" zone, hoping that he would pass me. I saw him make that ultimate of impatient driving gestures, the Steering Wheel Pound. And yet he would not pass me.
"Mommy! Mommy! Please, my shoe! Mommy! Look!"
"Violet, mommy can't look right now. There is a bad driver behind us and I need to be safe."
Just then, the exasperated driver decided to FINALLY pass me. Finally. Not like we were a quarter of a mile past the end of the double yellow lines or anything. Sheesh...
Milo observed, "Hey, the bad driver is in front of us now! You can see Violet's shoes!"
And I glanced back to see that Violet, had, just as she said she had, untied her pink tennis shoes. "I can't tie them when I'm driving, sweet pea, so let's sing some songs instead!" She readily agreed and we all happily sang along to the Phineas and Ferb soundtrack. "He's Perry... Perry the Platypus (You can call him Agent P)."
We pulled up to the railroad crossing just as the end of a long train was clearing the intersection. Who was in front of us, having likely watched the entire train go by? Mr. Patience himself. I guess it was worth tailgating a mother and her two small children to get to watch more of the train, huh?