DEAR MISS MANNERS: A lot of my friends are starting to have kids, and whereas their first priority is definitely taking care of their children, they still make time to hang out, which is really touching.
However, when I pick them up, a lot of times they prefer to sit in the back seat next to the car seat of their (usually sleeping) child instead of up front with me. This makes me feel like their cab driver instead of a friend hanging out with them.
Is this something I should be "sucking up" and going with, or would it be OK for me to communicate this to them? And if this is something I should be communicating to them, how do I approach it?
GENTLE READER: Convincing new parents that their babies will be fine without them is a fruitless task.
But with any luck, this is a short-term problem. Miss Manners is confident that most of these parents will soon outgrow this phase and want to sit up front for some adult conversation.
Until then, however, you are probably better off being annoyed by being alone in front, than by elbows -- or worse -- in your face while driving. No doubt the offending parent would be constantly reaching back to check on the child, give out bottles, and retrieve toys in the hilarious game of "Uh-oh! It dropped."
In the meantime, however, if you want to get benevolent revenge, next time the parent is driving, you can ask to sit in the back with the child to "keep her company." The parent will either be ecstatic at your enthusiasm for the child, or your point will be driven home. Literally.