Perhaps most of you know the old game of holding your breath while driving through a tunnel. Or maybe it is a superstition that if you hold your breath the entire way through a tunnel and make a wish it will come true. I don’t know where this came from, but since my childhood that is just what you did.
Some tunnels are very small and pose no threat. It is the longer ones, especially if traffic is heavy, that may interfere with your ability to, oh say, operate a motor vehicle. Now that I am a mom it is my job to suck the fun out of everything and impose ridiculous safety rules on things so, along with my kids, we created some new rules.
- When entering a tunnel all occupants of the vehicle must raise their hands. In the event of heavy traffic and due to the fact that our car is a stick shift, the driver may choose to exercise the one hand up rule.
- All hands must remain up for the duration of the tunnel.
- Cheering and hollering is optional
Since we live in an area with very few tunnels the boys decided to add a few rules of their own.
- All bridges must be treated like tunnels.
- All railroad crossings must be treated like tunnels.
Every time one sees a trash can by the side of the road, it must be treated like a tunnel.
Carter, who is three, tried unsuccessfully to instill the trash can rule. It was short-lived and may have had a better chance for success if he had not created it on a Monday – trash pick up day in our neighborhood.
If this all sounds like fun and you are itching to get out there and find a tunnel, bridge or railroad crossing, I beg you to rethink. Remember that the rules apply to every tunnel, bridge or railroad crossing; you can’t just pick and choose. You must be consistent. Also consider the looks you may receive from passersby because lets face it, this hands up phenomenon had not yet spread worldwide and people might wonder what the hell you are doing. There is also the blood flow issue that can occur when going over bridges close to a mile long (we have a few long bridges around our parts) that can result in numb and tired arms. But at least no one in our car is passing out due to lack of oxygen so I suppose it makes for a good alternative to the holding your breath rule.
I just want to state for the record, that I have been known, while exercising the one hand rule, to hold onto the grab handle (that interior handle thingy attached to the ceiling in some cars). While there is no specific mention of such a maneuver in the rules, I do feel a bit like I am cheating.
Shhhh, don’t tell my kids. *wink*