Over the summer we replaced our hardy old minivan Ruby (~200,000 miles!) with a brand new family mobile. This was a long-awaited event and, as we cleared out the flotsam and jetsam from the trusty but stained Ruby, G extracted a promise from each of us:
No food in the new car.
The kids tried different techniques to test the paternal rule resolve. They sneaked snacks aboard in their pockets, for one. Oh, the folly of youth. These things are always discovered and woe!WOE! unto the child who sneakily munches in the back seat. By their crumbs they are judged.
Eventually we all got used to the new reign of foodlessness and all was well. We took 6-hour summer trips where water was the only allowed substance to touch our lips while inside the new vehicle. If sometimes I brought a therapeutic can of Diet Coke into the car, I claimed parental exemption and crossed my fingers.
So imagine my horror when I got into the car recently and found that the gear shift between the two front seats was verrrry difficult to move. It stuck and was almost impossible to shift into reverse or drive, especially first thing in the morning. Like something had been spilled nearby. I was pretty sure I hadn't spilled my soda. Had I? HAD I?! Looking closer, I noticed several sticky spots on and around and in(!) the shifter.
I scrambled into the house to get something to wipe up the evidence.
G: (casually) What are you doing?
A: (slamming cupboards and rushing around) oh...I just noticed something needed to be wiped up in the car
G: (his interest piqued) Oh? What?
A: Um. Well. I just tried to shift the car into reverse and--I don't know how this happened--it seems like there's something spilled and sticky.
A: Yeah. I can't figure it out because we really haven't had anything in the car like that.
A: And it's REALLY sticky. So, you know, I don't even think it would be...a drink...or anything.
A: (still getting towels and water)
G: So...it is sticky like honey?
A: Yeah! That's exactly what it's like. I even tasted it and it's sweet. Why?
G: I had a peanut butter and honey sandwich in the car.
A: (laughing) YOU did?
G: (meekly laughing) Yes...I didn't have time to eat before soccer practice so I grabbed a sandwich.
A: (still laughing) Okay Mr. No Food in the Car! A peanut butter and honey sandwich?!
And so it is that every morning when I get in the car, I wrestle the somewhat sticky gearshift into reverse and chuckle a little that it was G who was the first to usher the new car into "broken in" status.
. . .
Thankful for: my funny (+ honest!) G, the 10 a.m. schedule at church, great car conversations with my kids.