I was raised an only child, so I don't have many of those "stop touching me" or "stop looking at me" stories from the back seat.
And, since Francine and I only have one child, I don't really have many of those "father yelling from the front seat at the children" stories to share.
So I'll do what I do best - I'll use my imagination to create some.
Saturday morning, our bunny Scotty (Mr. Scotty Nibbles III) found a new friend: Herman. (Herman is a stuffed ape that my Dad bought for me for Valentine's Day just a week before he died; so, though Herman is a bit goofy looking and gigantic -- yes, it was my Dad's idea of a joke, because when I was a child I had always wanted a monkey -- he means a lot to me)
Scotty, who rarely sits for long, sat for half an hour beside Herman. It was so cute that I had to take a picture. Then, he started to get cozy and nest himself between Herman's legs, pulling down the ape's arms to cover himself. It was quite adorable until Scotty started to chew on Herman's legs and pull the stuffing out of him to further pad his nest.
"Scotty, stop chewing on your brother!" I scolded. I didn't take a picture of that mess.
Then, later that day, we went as a family to see Iron Man 3. I moved Barnaby from the front seat to the back so that Francine could ride shotgun. (Yes, Barnaby, my skeleton, rides with me - not so I can get in the HOV lanes, but simply because there's no good place in the house to store him, and, since Barnaby comes with me to book signings, it's easier to have him in the car already.
Besides, it's fun to make the other motorists do a double-take, and it's a great ice-breaker when I'm at the gas station or getting in to my car in a public parking lot. (And yes, I have a small front cover image of my book Haunted Hamilton within site -- I figure, if people are looking, they might as well see some self-promotional stuff)
Barnaby's head sometimes shifts around when I'm driving (a great side-effect to help further freak out fellow motorists), but Alexander gets angry whenever the skeleton's head shifts over to look at him.
"Dad, tell Barnaby to stop looking at me!" Alexander was yelling from the back seat. When the skeleton didn't comply (how could he, after all?), Alexander started poking him in the head until the head swiveled away from him.
I imagined Barnaby replying, "Dad, tell Alexander to stop poking me!"
"Alright," I yelled. "Knock it off, both of you. Barnaby, stop staring blankly at Alexander, you know he doesn't like that. And wipe that goofy grin off your face. And Alexander, stop punching your brother in the head."
At that point Francine did what she always does: she shook her head and wondered why she ever married me.