Monday, July 9, 2012

Riding in Cars With Boys

Going anywhere with a two and four year-old is a scary proposition.  If one isn't kicking the back of your seat, the other is making faces or lewd gestures at oncoming traffic.  Or if you're especially lucky like me, one will throw a sandals that will get lodged under the brake pedal of your car and you'll have a minor heart attack when you think you might smash into the back of a trailer of smelly hogs.  And even though you might manage to remove said shoe and stop the vehicle before impact, you can rest assured that one will have some choice words about your driving skills.

"Jeez, Mommy.  Watch where you're going."

In our van, the words are the main source of any angst we experience as we drive down the road.  The boys are constantly egging one another along, slinging insults and epithets.  Surprisingly, we hung on for two years before crying "uncle" and moving Cael to the third row of the van and plunging us all into virtual silence.  Graham fell asleep.  Cael looked hypnotized.  I reminisced about life before children. 

It was glorious.

It was also short-lived.  It took all of about two car rides for Cael to discover that if he couldn't physically target Graham from a distance, it would be just as pleasurable to torment me with words as repetitively mind-numbing as water torture.

"Mommy, whose house is that?"

"I don't know, honey."

"But whose house is that?"

"I don't know those people either."

"Why you don't know ANYBODY?"

"I know lots of people, but I didn't know the people in those two houses."

"Okay, who lives in that house?"

"That's not a house, it's a garage."

"Whose garage is that?"

"I don't know, Cael."

"I thought you knew people, Mommy."

"How about I show you a house of some people I do know?"


I thought about pointing to the next house we approached and claiming an acquaintance with the inhabitants, but knowing Cael, during our next walk he'd promptly approach their door and, given our close personal "friendship" with these people, forgo any formalities and either ask to poop in their toilet or see their nuts.  We wouldn't be friends for long, I'm afraid.

"Okay, I know the people that live in this brick house."

"Who are they?"

"They go to our church.  Maybe they'll be there this morning." 

"What about that house?" Cael asked, while pointing to a house one block over.

"Nope, I don't know them."

Cael let out an exasperated huff and launched in on me with the same tone he used to chastise me about my driving. 

"Mom!  This is ridiculous!  Don't you know any people at all?  I thought you were a grown-up!  Don't all grown-ups know the other grown-ups?  When I'm a grown-up I'm going to know all of the other grown-ups and I'll know where everybody lives and I'll go in everyone's house every day.  And then when I'm a Daddy I'll tell my kids where everybody lives and where their houses are and who lives there in that house, there.  I'm gonna know people.  And grown-ups.  And adults, too.  But not squirrels."

There really wasn't much to say after an outburst like that, and I was just happy for the quiet anyway, so I reveled in the brief silence as we pulled into church.  But like all good things, it too was short-lived.

"Mommy, I know who lives here."

"This isn't a house, honey, it's our church."

"Yeah, but God lives here.  And He's a grown-up.  And He knows people.  And squirrels."


  1. My brain hurts for you after that virtual car ride ;-)

  2. LOL!!! Made my day! I quite enjoyed the outburst, but I really feel for you too. :)


Leave your own "ism". Cael and Graham double-dog dare you.