It’s Not a Trick Question.

Driving in the car used to be a relaxing time away for me. In high school and college (when gas was $0.79) I would just roll down my windows and crank up some Jimmy Eat World or Dashboard Confessional. If I was with my friend Eric it would be Limp Bizket or Kid Rock but that is an intervention for another day. But you remember what that was like, right? When “cruising” was a thing and you could actually go for a drive without anyone saying a word and let the smells, sights and sounds of your journey be the only dialogue in your life. Those days are over…

1950s_family_lifeNow every time I climb in the car with my family it is a whole different kind of adventure. Like most naïve people who don’t have kids, I swore I was not going to be one of those parents that gave their kid a screen to sit in front of for long periods of time. We still don’t at home, but when we get in the van I am armed with DVD players, MP3 Playlists of kids’ songs and Taylor Swift and iPads. Because if I’m not… the questions start.  The following are real things that happened in the car that I will never forget. These stories will also resurface when they start dating.

V -“Dad are we going to get ice cream?
L -“Yes.”
L – “Yes?”
O-“Is this dinner?”
L-“No. It’s Ice Cream. We had pizza for dinner.”
V-“Wait. Are we getting ice cream?”
L-“I said yes. We will go through the drive up at McDonalds.”
V-“Good, I want chocolate with cookie dough.”
L-“They don’t have that here. We can just get hot fudge sundaes.”
V-“So they DON’T have cookie dough?”
V-“Like the cookie dough they put on top of the ice cream.”
V-“So then what are we getting?”
L-“Hot fudge sundaes.”
V-“What is that?!?” (not the first time she has had one)
L- sigh
V-“Will they give us our ice cream in a cup?”
V-“What is the difference between chocolate and fudge?”
L-(not having any idea but can’t admit that because they will see it as weakness from the alpha) Well… remember at the fudge shop at the mall where they make fudge?
L-“That is fudge. Chocolate is made differently.”
V-“Oh. So is it going to come in a cup?”
L-“I said Yes.”
V-“What kind of cup?”
V-“What kind of cup?”
L-“What do you mean?”
V-“What kind of cup?”
L-“You want me to describe the cup to you?”
V-“Yeah. What kind of cup?”
L-“It will come in a plastic cup with a lid and a spoon.”
V-“Then what do we do?”
V-“What do we do with it then?”
L-“You eat it.”

Of course at this point Olivia is laughing at her sister. How silly. But as her laughter is ringing through the car all I can see in my head is what happened to her not to long ago.

After going through the McDonalds drive-thru (we really don’t eat there very often) she was armed with nuggets and sweet and sour sauce. One minute she was fine. The next she says, “Uh Oh, I need a napkin.” “We don’t have any napkins honey.” Charissa looks back to see what is wrong and Olivia has a pile of sweet and sour sauce on the top of her head that is slowly oozing down her face. Olivia, nugget in one hand, sauce cup in the other, headphones on says, “I had an itch.” spaghetti-headSo she decided to scratch it with the hand the sauce cup was in without remembering she was holding a sauce cup. To bad we were traveling in the middle of nowhere without napkins. So she just had to be sauce face while she finished her dinner and watched a movie.

This kind of stuff happens almost everyday in the car. I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

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