Friday, October 06, 2006
How do commuters do it?
Today, I went to visit a friend and her kids in Brampton. We had lunch, we played with the kids and we chatted. And then around 2:30, Austin wanted a nap. So, I put him down in her son’s crib – figuring he’d sleep for 45 minutes or so and then we’d go. But no. Austin decided today was the day for another marathon nap.
At 3:45, I thought about waking him. But as you know, Austin is not much of a napper – so waking him seemed horrible when half the time I complain that he doesn’t nap enough. So I let him sleep and he woke on his own at 4:15 – just in time for a snack.
By the time he had his snack, and we packed up, it was 4:45 – just in time for rush hour. I dreaded the drive, but figured it couldn’t be THAT bad. Ryan drives from roughly the same place I was at every day and it takes him about an hour.
I cruised down Highway 410 at 110 km/h and merged onto Highway 401 thinking maybe this won’t be so bad. Almost as soon as I got on the 401, I came to a dead stop. And I continued to creep along for the next hour.
I hit the Keele Street exit at 6 p.m., and with Ryan’s advice (who was calling to say he was leaving work), I decided to get off and take Wilson across (which turns into York Mills once you hit Yonge Street.) I’ll never know if the decision helped or not, but I was spending more time idling on the 401 than actually driving, so I figured what the hell.
Wilson was moving well until I hit Bathurst. Now, I must add, that until this point, Austin was being pretty good. He played with his toys, looked out the window and sucked on his soother every time I shoved it in his mouth to keep him quiet. But by this point he had had enough. Now he wanted out – or, if nothing else, he wanted to be entertained. So, what do you do when you’re alone in the car, stuck in bumper to bumper traffic (again) and have a screaming baby in the car? Start singing nursery rhymes of course!
After several verses of ‘Row your boat’, ‘When you're happy and you know it’, ‘Skinamarink’ and others like it, he was happier and I was going crazier. But by Yonge Street, he had had enough of that too, so I moved to nice calming lullabies. Unfortunately, I only know two and I’ll be hearing them over and over and over in my sleep tonight.
At Bayview, my gas light went on. I had spent so much time idling in the SUV that I went through almost a quarter tank of gas.
Finally, after 2 hours and 8 minutes, I pulled up to my house. I drove a total of 52 km.
Oh, and to make matters worse, Ryan, who left work (at the 401 and the 403) at 6 p.m. took Highway 407 on my advice, and got home before I did.