You probably saw the news from the United States Department of Agriculture that middle class families with a child born in 2011 can expect to spend $234,900 over the next 17 years.
You may not have heard that $200,000 of that goes for gasoline.
They don't tell you when you have kids that you're starting your own taxi service. High schoolers take home baby dolls that cry every 20 minutes to simulate the travails of parenthood. But unless they take home two or more dolls that demand to be driven to opposite ends of the metro area simultaneously, they really have no idea what they're in for.
On Wednesday, my 15-year-old fired me as taxi driver. The day before, I'd chauffered him and three of his friends, ironically enough, to driver's ed class. They wouldn't want a ride again because I'd been late, he explained—though he didn't say whether that was on our way there, when none of them were ready at their houses, or after class, when he'd called to say class had ended early.
In a way, being fired was a relief. I took pride in my job but I didn't mind seeing it in the rear view mirror.
I didn't stay fired long, of course. Within five hours, there was an emergency trip from the science museum in St. Paul to a soccer field across town at rush hour. And a couple hours later rain was falling from the sky, making travel by any other means than my car impossible.
Being a laid-off chauffer was nice while it lasted.
Oh no, look at the time—I'll never get home in time to get my 11-year-old to tennis class by 10 a.m.!
Maybe she'll fire me.
Are you satisfied with your lot in life as a taxi driver to your children? Tell us in the comments below.