I say probably, because there are two critical and sacrosanct golden rules that must be followed for people to ride in my car.
I don’t like cigarettes. Not the smell, not the ashes and certainly not the smoke. My last girlfriend was a smoker (don’t ask me how I ended up with a smoker…five years later I’m still scratching my head) and she managed to survive my first rule of driving: no smoking in the car.
She would smoke before she got in the car and frantically light up as soon as we arrived, but she held to the no smoking rule while we drove. We never went anywhere far enough to require stops, but I would have had no issue with that.
To her credit, she would even use a mint after her late night smoke before coming to bed (it didn’t really work, but I loved her for trying). The problem with smoking in a car is it just lingers everywhere, long after the smoke has dissipated (as I found out during years of league bowling).
We’re pretty safe that neither my late-pregnancy friend’s daughter nor her 4-year old will be lighting up in the car. That only leaves golden rule number two: no eating in the car.
I’ve had plenty of experience with youngsters, from my last girlfriend’s kids to my nieces to a variety of others. Kids are messy. Now, I’m not even saying kids are messier than adults. Given the genetic klutziness of my family, I’d say it’s too close to call.
The problem comes from communication. Kids don’t always tell you when they spill, drop or smear something. It’s not always intentional, it just probably never seems that important to them. Remembering the look of various “Mom” cars I’ve ridden in over the years, I think it’s a given that it has to be all or nothing.
Again, I’m cool with plenty of stops, bathroom breaks and the like. Drinks are cool, too (though I’ll keep a roll of paper towels for the eventual spillage). I just don’t want the overactive ants on my driveway to have any reason to build a home in my car.
That’s all, though, just the two rules. Yelling, crying, whining, singing…knock yourself out. Just no smoking or eating. Considering my car is younger than her son, I think she’ll understand.