I don't carpool much. Part of the reason is that I drive a small car that just seats two in the back. I believe I'm the only stay at home mom in the neighborhood that does not haul the kiddos around in a minivan (to their dismay - their dream is a simple one: for mommy to get a minivan). My husband though drives a Honda Ridgeline truck - which can fit 3 across in the backseat. So on occasion, I swap cars with him so that I can carpool. Today, I learned a lot while carpooling. The topic was car games. It's always satisfying to learn something new, and the added bonus was that for the entire drive, my carpool buddies made my heart smile.
We picked up Addie's friend Jay. He hopped in the car, and we were off to drop my daughter and him off at summer camp. Addie and Jay started chatting when Addie mentioned, "Oh no, I think I missed the porter potty." Then shortly thereafter, I hear Taylor yell out, "Porter Potty!" I realized in that moment Jay was probably trying to figure out what my kids' fascination with porter potties was all about, so I gave him some background context.
"Earlier in the year when I was potty training Taylor, he couldn't hold his pee for very long, so I started finding myself in lots of porter potties. Soon, every time the kids saw a porter potty, they'd yell out, 'Porter potty!' So we turned it into a car game. If you're the first person to spot a porter potty and call it out, you get a point. Each porter potty equals one point. The person who gets the most points by the time we get to our destination wins."
In response, Jay told us about the car game he plays. "It's called the alphabet game. You have to find words that start with each letter in the alphabet, and you have to go in order. So first you find a word that starts with A. Then B. Do you know, one time we made it through the whole alphabet all the way to Z???!!!"
"Wow," I responded, thinking about the difference in the types of car games we play.
"Jay! Jay! Excuse me! Jay! Do you play the red car game?" That was my 3 year old trying to get Jay's attention. It probably sounded more like this, "Jay! Jay! Coos me! Jay! Do you pway the wed caw game?"
Here was Jay's response. "What did Taylor say?" I noticed every time Taylor spoke to Jay, I had to translate. Jay doesn't have any younger siblings, and I can tell he isn't used to the speech patterns of a 3 year old. So I explained that red car game is just like our porter potty game, except you get a point every time you see a red car.
"No we don't play that game. But we play the addition game. So you pick a number, let's say 5. And then you have to find two numbers that add up to 5. You can look at license plates, signs, anything that has numbers on it."
"Wow." That's me, of course, once again thinking about the lack of educational qualities of our games.
"And we also play the number game in the car. You have to find numbers in order, just like with the alphabet game. For bigger numbers, like 22, you can find each number separately like 2 and 2 to make 22. But if you find 2 and 2 next to each other, you get to skip the next number, 23, and move onto finding 24. Oh, and you can't use the numbers you see in the car. That would make it too easy."
"Porto potty!!!" Taylor yells out.
Now I'm well versed on car games. All different kinds. Makes me look forward to hanging out with my carpool buddies.