The other morning, Callum and I had a conversation while in the car, similar to one we’ve had many a time before, that went like this:
Me: “Can you stop talking to me for a minute I need to concentrate on driving”
Callum: “Why, Mummy?” completely ignoring my request!
Me: “I need to concentrate to make sure I don’t crash”
Callum: “Why don’t you want to crash?”
Me: [sigh] “because people could get hurt in a crash and then they’d need to go to hospital. It is also very expensive & costs lots of money if the cars get damaged”
Callum: “I want to crash”
Me: “We don’t want to crash because it could hurt lots”
I’m not adverse to talking while driving, unless I am doing something that needs more concentration like driving somewhere I’ve not been before or parking, at which point I politely ask my passenger(s) to pause a moment while I concentrate then let them carry on. But Callum, because of his hearing loss, asks me constant questions but can’t hear my reply so will keep repeating the question until he hears the answer. This then causes me to try to twist my head towards him so he can hear me better and I get exasperated at keep answering the same question 20 times. Not to mention the constant questions is quite a distraction from driving. The easiest thing is to ask him to ask me when we stop the car.
Anyway, on the same journey, just near home, the traffic had started to build up and I could see there was an ambulance and there had been an accident on the roundabout ahead. The same roundabout I had a bump on just before Christmas (Callum was at nursery). The next conversation went like this:
Callum: “Why aren’t we driving?”
Me: “Because there is a traffic jam – the cars ahead have stopped because there has been an accident. A crash!"
Callum: “Did they crash because someone was talking to them?”
Me: “Maybe, I don’t know”
Callum: “I can see the ambulance”
Me: “Yes, they might be hurt and going to the hospital”
Callum: “Can we ask them?”
Me: “Ask them what?”
Callum: “Can we go to the octipool (hospital) and ask them if someone was talking to them”
Me: “No they may be too poorly and need to rest”
For ease of reading, I’ve missed out the many “I can’t hear you mummy” etc and repeats of questions and answers.
Anyway – I just wondered if anyone else has had to tackle a similar issue and how have you prevented your children distracting you whilst you are driving?
I’m hoping the issue will get better when his hearing gets better but in the meantime, I want to ensure we drive safely. At the moment I just keep having the same conversations with him about not talking in the car and it doesn’t make the blindest bit of difference! He does not stop nattering and asking me questions! I’ve tried not answering him but, like I say, he just keeps repeating until he hears an answer getting louder and shouting.
Would love to hear your thoughts, experiences and possible solutions please.