We Are For You.

A couple of months ago, I took my car in for an oil change. I had the kids with me, but knew that this car shop had crayons and coffee so I figured we'd all be happy for at least a little while.

A thorough diagnostic test revealed that my car would immediately combust the very next time I drove it.  The combustion would inevitably lead me to flee the vehicle after the miraculous rescue of my children from the flames. Naturally, the combustion would occur along the interstate on the coldest day in winter. That is, unless I repaired the Anti-Combustion Valve immediately. 

I consented. I don't want to make the headlines of tomorrow's paper. Even for a miraculous rescue.
Our supposed 30 minute stay turned into a two-hour ordeal. The crayons lost their interest after minute four and the coffee was gone. No one was happy anymore.

There was another Mama there with her three children. One of her kids was in a wheelchair because of a leg injury. He looked about eleven years old. He amused himself by using his wheelchair to run over his little sister. His mama looked at him and politely asked him to stop being a jerk. He did not comply.

Meanwhile, her three year old alternated throwing crayons across the room and tearing pages out of books.  

She looked like she was at the end of her rope, but we both kept to the Mom Code by not making eye contact while the children were misbehaving. There's no sense in noticing that another person notices you noticing that your children are behaving noticeably awful.

Glennon Doyle Melton (who I recently discovered and love) has the perfect thing to say for this moment: "It's helluva hard isn't it? You're a good mom, I can tell. And I like your kids, especially the one peeing in the corner. She's my favorite. Carry on, warrior. Six hours 'til bedtime." 

Her car was done and she went to the counter to pay. The three-year old took all the brochures out and threw them on the floor. Mom begged him to pick them up. 

"No!"  The three year old threw his toy car too.

"Pick that up!" yells Mom, who's Anti-Combustion Valve is clearly starting to blow.
"No!" yells Three Year Old.

Mom runs for the toy car, which is laying on the floor next to me and Three Year Old runs for it at the same time. There is a short but dramatic power struggle for the car. Mom wins, triumphantly holds the car over her head, and informs Three Year Old that he will never see this car again. Presumably because Mom plans to crush it under the tires of her car as soon as she leaves this godforsaken place. 
She picks up the brochures too and puts them away.

I try to catch her eye to let her know that I totally get it. I have been there. I am for you. You are a good mama. 

She makes a quick exit and I can only imagine what the car ride home sounds like. I'm sure it would sound the same in my car under those circumstances.

Fast forward one hour to the time my car is fixed. I go to the counter to pay, and my Two Year Old takes the brochures and throws them all over the floor.

"Pick those up!" I say with a hard look in her direction.

Two Year Old has gone deaf and cannot hear my request. Also, she has gone blind because she cannot feel the heat of my smoldering stare down. She is impervious, untouchable by my wrath because of the sudden and acute blindness and deafness.

"Pick those up!"

"No!" she replies, now that her hearing has returned. (It's a miracle!)

I pick up the brochures and make a quick exit and our car ride home is mostly silent. I'm fuming because my Two Year Old only speaks broken English and can't even understand most of the things I'd really like to say. 

I share this story because I just want you all to know that I am For You. Don't let your job, or your offspring, or the car shop get you down today. It's helluva hard isn't it? Only 14 hours until bedtime.

P.S. To car shops everywhere. Please be for us by ditching the brochures within reaching height of our children. If we really wanted to know information about your shop, we will look it up on the internet.



  1. Funny! No bonding or venting over the struggle and chaos of your children??! Such a shame;)