Funny Mummy: February 2012- A Smart Auto-Motive

Child's dashboard toy

Driving would be child’s play if auto manufacturers would just listen to moms!!

By: Kathy Buckworth

I attended the 2012 North American International Auto Show in Detroit recently, and was pretty impressed with the range of eco-friendly cars that were being unveiled – from the tiny “smart” cars to the hybrids, the electric, and everything in between. It is of course imperative that we do all we can to protect our environment, and all of the car companies seem to get this, and are investing dollars and research in improving the way they do business, and the way the cars run.

But as a Mom, I often find that the environment inside the car can be just as offensive and polluting as the environment outside the car. If you have children, I know you agree with me. So, I am providing some helpful advice to the car manufacturers on some features they might like to start developing for 2013.

1) Purse holder for Moms: We don’t want to put our purses down on top of the sticky, dirty floor mats, and if we hand the purse to the teen in the front seat, he’ll throw it in the back (making sure first that it’s unzipped), whacking an innocent younger sibling on the way back. If we put it in the clean trunk space (let’s assume the trunk space is clean, play along, please), we can’t reach it for the inevitable stop at the coffee shop/fast food restaurant/nice officer with the ticket book in his hand.

2) Sound Barrier: Just a simple sliding glass door between the driver’s row and the back seats would suffice. On certain occasions (ultra long road trips), having one to separate the driver from the instruction-issuing passenger would also be welcome. You know who you are, Mister.

3) Self-Cleaning: I’m imagining something like the self-cleaning public toilets they have in Europe. The entire car/van gets a shower and drains out of the bottom of the floorboards perhaps once a month. Self-heating/air blowers would help hasten the progress of drying the seats prior to the next infestation. Maybe blow out a lavender scent as well.

4) Cones of Silence: These cones need to be installed over every seat. The driver needs to tune out the kids fighting in the back; the kids sitting next to each other wouldn’t be able to hear the insults being hurled at them; and Dad wouldn’t hear that child in the back row who just spilled their blue raspberry slushy. Noise pollution is a real thing; and no more real than when you’re subjected to listening to the repeating and inane video game techno-music coming from the eight year old’s latest hand held device.

5) Signal Blocking: Of course the driver should be unable to text or surf the Internet on their smartphones, but if I can’t do it, I don’t want my teens BBM’ing either. It’s not fair. Unless I’m the passenger and they’re the ones driving me around, then it’s totally fair.

Now these features would make for a really “smart” car.

Kathy BuckworthKathy Buckworth loves her Buick Enclave. Especially when it’s toxin (i.e. child) free. Follow Kathy on Twitter @KathyBuckworth. Kathy’s next book, “I Am So The Boss of You” will be released by McClelland & Stewart in Spring, 2013.

Written By

Kathy Buckworth is an award winning writer, public speaker, and television personality. She is the author of six books, including “I Am So The Boss of You: An 8 Step Guide to Giving Your Family The Business” (Random House). Warner Brothers Television has purchased the rights for this book. Her books have been translated into Chinese, Indonesian and other languages, and are available on and wherever books are sold. She is a columnist with Post City Magazines and contributes to the Metro News,, the Huffington Post, Zoomer Magazine, ParentsCanada, Canadian Living, the Travel Channel and GoodLife. She is the writer and host of the FamilyFocus series, and was a regular guest expert on CBC’s Steven and Chris, a regular contributor to the CTV Canada AM Parenting Panel, as well as appearing regularly on Breakfast Television, CanadaAM and CBC radio. She also delivers a bi-monthly travel segment (How She Travels) on Sirius/XM Canada Talks highly rated “What She Said” show. Kathy is a two time winner of the Professional Writers Association of Canada Award for Excellence in Humour, and is the recipient of the Mississauga Arts Award for Established Literary Arts. She was recently announced as one of Canada’s Favourite Moms by Canadian Living Magazine, and recognized by the Huffington Post as a top parenting Tweeter to follow. She has over 18 years of corporate marketing experience, with CIBC, Royal Bank, Telus and Coca Cola Foods. She is the Chief Family Advisor for Presidents Choice Financial and PCPlus, and has also acted as corporate/media spokesperson/social media consultant for many other companies such as Procter & Gamble, Maple Leaf Foods, Research In Motion, Pfizer and LeapFrog Toys. Kathy serves on the board of the Toronto Symphony Volunteer Committee, as their public relations advisor. She lives with her material (four kids) and husband (more material) in the Toronto area. She is a member of the Professional Writers Association of Canada, the Writers Union of Canada, the American Society of Journalists and Authors, and the Travel Media Association of Canada.