When our children were younger, I used to love taking them in the truck with me to run errands. With so many kids, the trips were a necessity and provided rare one-on-one time with whichever child agreed to go. I loved it right up until one unfortunate ride with my youngest. Here is text from that fateful trip.
Dad, drivers have all kinds of signs don’t they?
Yes, there are road signs to tell us when to stop and how fast to go.
No, that’s not what I mean. I mean drivers have signs they give…with their hands.
Sure, they wave to each other after one lets the other in front of them. That’s a kind thing to do.
Yes, but what does this mean? (giving me the perfect one finger salute)
Where did you see that? (Spoken calmly so she wouldn’t adopt this as a favorite gesture)
That man over there did it. Did you let him in front of you?
No, that means I must have done something wrong and he was telling me about it.
What did you do?
I don’t know, maybe I cut him off or he thought I drove too close to him.
Do you use that sign?
No, honey, I don’t use that sign.
No, Mommy doesn’t use that sign.
What if Mommy does something wrong, would you do that to show her? (Once again, saluting me in the mirror)
No, we would never use that sign to Mommy. It isn’t a nice sign.
Oh. So we shouldn’t use that sign?
No, we shouldn’t use that sign. (she examines her finger wonderingly)
How about we listen to the radio?
Okay! I like the radio.
(I fumble through the dial and settle on a station where the song quickly yields to a woman’s voice)
Women, do you suffer from low libido… (frantic push of the search button)
Daddy, what’s a libido?
Um, I think it’s an animal found in darkest Peru.
I’ve never heard of it in his books.
Maybe we haven’t gotten to that one yet.
Why is it low?
I don’t know, Sweety (how is this kid hearing every stinking thing? New station)
Men, listen to me. erectile disfunction is a serious problem… (FRANTIC PUSH as I fall victim to a conspiracy of the evil gods of radio)
…Er…How would you like to go to McDonalds for a chocolate milkshake?
But it’s almost lunchtime. Will it be okay with Mommy?
Baby, if all Mommy hears about from this trip is the milkshake, I’m in great shape.