This is 3: On Backseat Drivers

Yes, Stella. I know that red means stop. You don’t need to keep telling me that.

We are 30 minutes into our 300 mile drive to Denver for a girls’ trip last weekend, and already Stella is becoming her trusty backseat driver self as soon as we got to the first town with stoplights. Ever since she figured out stoplights it has been a constant litany of “Mama, you need to stop. Mama, you need to go. Mama, you need to slooooowwww dowwwwwnnnn!” Yeah, that gets old quick, especially when you know you shouldn’t tell her to pipe down because she’s just excited to share her new knowledge with the world. Ha!


Stella: Mama, that light is red. That means you can’t go yet.

Me: Yep, I got that Stella. Thanks.


Stella: Mama, you are too close to that car. We need to be WAYYYY back so we don’t hit him. (Who taught her this? My husband? My mother-in-law? STOP IT NOW!)


Stella: […in a voice filled with awe & wonder…] Mama, I see red and green everywhere! (We had just stepped onto the street in front of our apartment building in Denver in order to walk to dinner. We live in a town of 1,000 people with 1 stoplight – she was understandably impressed at the sight of stoplights as far as the eyes could see.)


Stella: YOU CAN’T GO, MAMA, IT’S RED! (I was turning right on red and actually started to slam on my brakes! #Doh)

Me: Sometimes it’s okay to turn when the light is red, Stella. It’s okay. I know what I’m doing.

Stella: No mama, you’re wrong. You can’t go on red.


Stella: Mama, is that guy going to Audrey’s house too? (everyone driving in front of us on the road was going to the same place as us, didn’t you know that?)


Stella: Mama, why aren’t your swipers [windshield wipers] on? I like when they are on. You should turn them on. They help you to see better.

Me: I’m good, Stella. There isn’t any rain or snow right now.

Stella: Well you should still turn them on, Mama.


After HOURS of non-stop talking, she thankfully fell asleep on the way home for about an hour. Thank God she’s a fun little traveler, even if she does like to tell me how to drive. 🙂



  1. What a sweetie. Chloe likes to bark orders from the backseat too. We had this game as kids and I’ve started it with Chloe – when the light is red you say greeeeeeeeeen and try to hold it until the light turns green and once it does you say LIGHT! She doesn’t understand though when she sees the light change to green (usually out of her window so it’s the traffic going across from us) why we can’t go yet.

    And swipers…adorable.

  2. slm1441 · · Reply

    Taylor understands right on red and she likes to explain that to everyone. She also loves explaining the left arrows on lights. But we have more than one traffic light in our town so she’s had a bit more exposure to them! Ha!

    Shannon (sitting in a tree)

  3. This is so my life too. Although Blakely sometimes gets confused and is looking at the light for the cross traffic. I explain it to her and she says “I was just checking to see if you were driving right, Mommy!” Lord…she’s worse than her father! She also tells me to “watch out for other cars” and “be careful” when I change the radio station or something. :/

  4. “No Mama. You’re wrong.” This cracked me up.

    G likes to yell out the colors of the lights and even if you acknowledge his observations he continues to repeat them. Loudly 🙂

    I managed to have a mommy-G outing a few weeks ago. It was awesome spending some time out of the house with just him.

  5. mcmissis · · Reply

    Both big girls have gone through a phase where they are straight-up worried that every single person going in the same direction as us is going to our house. I wonder if Poppy will, too.

    That is so cute about all the red and green everywhere 🙂

    At least she’s back-seating driving correctly! Lyla yells, “GO, Mommy! GO! Why aren’t you going?” every time we’re stopped at a red light.

  6. LOL! Lola is the same in the car, except it’s not slow down, it’s “go faster Mommy! Can you go faster Mommy, are we on the highway yet? ” And I really have to watch myself as she now says “Oh that guy is driving like a Dodo Mommy! He doesn’t know how to drive!” Oh big city living! Lol!

  7. Molly loves window wipers as well and when. They aren’t on she says “Ohhhh not raining a”

  8. Adorable!!

    Also, LOVE that scarf!!!

  9. “Not so fast, Mom!”. That’s what I get ALL the time. That and a scolding if I honk the horn. Gah!

  10. I think it’s fun when they notice things that I take for granted. Like the time E saw a bicycle on a rack on top a car “How did that get up there?!?!?!?”

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