The Level of Conversation in the Car

>> Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don’t let the following exchange fool you. Valuable lessons were learned about personal respect and appreciation for one another and what we have. Oh, yes. I’m almost sure of it.

Elizabeth: “Mommy, I’m going to have a party and you’re invited.”

Me: “Great, thanks.”

Elizabeth: “And Samantha, too.”

I brake as I come to a stop light.

Samantha: “Mommeee! You made my breakfast baggy fall to the floor!!”

Me: “I did not.”

Samantha: “Yes you did!”

Me: “Samantha, I braked normally and it flew off your lap,” I say while reaching behind the front seat to retrieve the breakfast baggy.

Samantha: “You made it fall!”

Me: “I did not!”

We pull away.

Elizabeth: “I want a party at school so everyone can come.”

Me: “Sounds good.”

I brake again for another stop light. Samantha’s baggy falls to the floor.

Samantha: “Mommeeee! You did it again!”

Me: “No I didn’t!”

Samantha: “Yes you did!”

Me: “Samantha, you can’t blame people every time something goes wrong. Stuff just happens -- it’s an accident.”

I reach around again to pick up the baggy, only this time it’s upside down and all the cereal falls out of it and onto the floor.

Samantha: “MOMMMMEEE!!!” She starts to cry. “You dropped my cereal on the floor!”

Me: “I’m sorry, it was an accident.

Samantha: “I’m hungry. I want YOUR food!”

Me: “No way! You already ate half of yours and this bagel is all I get. You get a-whole-nother breakfast at school. They don’t serve me breakfast at work. ”

Samantha: “But I want more food now. You dropped my cereal!”

Me: “No, what I did was brake safely and then I pulled a muscle trying to get your baggy that YOU let fly off your lap because YOU weren’t holding on to it tightly! I was being helpful!”

Samantha: “Well... YOU’RE going to a Poo-Poo Party!

Me: “Well that’s just GREAT, because I LOVE Poo-Poo and I can’t wait to go!”

We pull away and drive on in silence.

Elizabeth: “They don’t give you breakfast at work?”

Me: “Nope.”

Samantha: “You have a Poo-Poo work.”

Me: “Yep. I just move Poo-Poo around from one place to the other.”

It begins to drizzle. I turn on the wipers. Elizabeth is restless and makes a noise with her cup holder that involves lifting it up and banging it down and lifting it up and banging it down, faster and faster, louder and louder, until:

Me: “Elizabeth, please stop making that noise with your cup holder. Remember what happened last time?” (You know, the time I detached it and threw it into the trunk?)

Elizabeth: “Well,” she says, “I wanted someone to see my tattoo.”

And like the sound of a single hand clapping, or a tree falling in the woods when no one is around, I am enlightened.

It lasts until I get to work.


debawriter February 20, 2008 at 3:24 PM  

And so how was the poo-poo party?


kim February 20, 2008 at 7:29 PM  

That sounds like me in the car with my boys, 4 and 8 -- like every time I cause Max's lego set to crash to the floor, pieces scattering about.

When Matthew was that age I had a strict no-legos-in-the-car rule. But now it's really: Anything To Get Them In The Car.

Rima February 21, 2008 at 11:33 AM  

Sometimes "poo-poo" is just the perfect adjective.

I would love to be a fly on the window during your morning car ride.

Michele February 21, 2008 at 1:51 PM  

You know, I think poo poo work describes my job perfectly this week. I'm going to use that phrase before the end of day tomorrow somehow, someway.

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