I don’t know about these iPod’s and stuff. What the hell ever happened to sitting in the car hour after hour as a kid and looking out the window? Now the kids are all hooked into their stupid devices where they squint (maybe that’s just me) at a screen hour after hour while the scenery goes by.
Listen, I totally get the drown out the parents thing. Back in the day it was all about having my hand-me-down Sony Walkman and listening to my tunes instead of the endless classical music my parents played on the radio, from which relief was granted every half hour by way of the news that would drone on for what felt like forever.
With my Walkman and head phones on, I would gaze out of the window and take in the landscape, the wildlife and the other vehicles sharing the road. The only time I looked down was to flip the tape and press play. Sing it to me, Billy Idol. Screw you classical boring shit.
If my kids just listened to music I wouldn’t be perturbed because they’d be happy yet still engaging with the world outside the window. I’d be happy listening to my own cool tunes – and no not classical – I haven’t become my parents… yet. However, their way of passing time in the car has morphed into screen time. I don’t think they ever look up.
“Kids! Check out that hawk sitting on that post. It looks like he has a mouse in his talons.”
Nothing. I look in the rear view mirror and see ear buds firmly in place, heads down and busy fingers.
“Kids! Look at that crazy car shaped like a flower with some lady sitting right in the centre of it waving to everybody.”
“Kids! Look at that incredibly skinny, stick-like French clown with a British cap kayaking in that roadside bog beside a field of angry-looking bulls.”
Silence. I’m getting worked up into a sweat.
“Kids! It’s a fucking unicorn flying over a pack of wolves that are howling at the moon because they can’t get a bite of that god damn piece of white meat. Holy fuck and that shit is crazy!”
My one kid pulls a bud out of one ear, leans forward and says, “did you say something, Mom?”
I’ve really got to wean them off these things. They’re missing out on the joy of road trips and it’s just about killing me.