I have this habit of making up games to engage The Dormouse and keep her awake in the car when we're driving back from somewhere late enough that it would ruin her bedtime if she fell asleep. It's one way my selfishness has worked to my advantage in child rearing. I don't want her to get good and rested in the car and then not want to go to sleep when we get home or wake up earlier than I do in the morning. So I keep her awake, but not throwing a fit, by saying, "Can you find the color green? Can you find an X? What's this instrument playing on the radio? Can you find a rhombus? Can you tell me what pi is to the fifteenth decimal point?" OK - maybe not those last couple, but she's getting older so don't think I'm not leaving those in my bag of tricks for later.

I'm convinced that these silly little games we play to make the car rides seem less boring have at least in part contributed to her continued interest in reading and the skills she now exhibits in that area. So let that be a lesson to all the other slacker moms out there: sometimes your shortcomings can end up being the best things about your parenting style.

It's become such a tradition that now when we get in the car, she initiates the game.

This was what we played on the way to preschool the other day:

"Momma, do you want to play a game while we're driving in the car?"

"Sure, baby. What game do you want to play?"

"Let's play Transportation Letter Think Of Game."

Another piece of advice to slacker moms: make sure some of these games involve grammar.