Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Bretheren of the minivan

Today, as I was driving along, I passed a minivan going in the other direction. Same make and model as mine. I had the urge to wave to the other minivan, a bit of minivan camaraderie. I started wondering why minivan drivers DON'T wave to each other. Motorcyclists will wave as they pass each other. A little salute to fellow riders, a nod to how cool they are. It's as though they are all in a club together. We own a 1971 Volkswagen Super beetle. It's the same with that. If one of us is driving it, and we pass another beetle driver, or even just a Volkswagen driver, you wave a little or nod your head. An acknowledgment of the commonality you two have.

Why is it not this way with minivans? Are we not all the same? Are we not all driving along, in our family wagon, our grocery getter as my friend calls it. Aren't living the same lives. There are ultimately cheerios spilled on a seat, some time a childhood paraphernalia in the back, a petrified chicken nugget fallen and lost under a seat somewhere. Aren't we all in a rush, trying to get it all done. Aren't we wishing we could listen to our own music, tired of listening to the Wiggles Live CD yet again. I realize there are a few exceptions. Grandparents are buying minivans now, and sometimes the drivers are teenagers taking their parent's very uncool vehicle for a drive. But mostly, we all know what the others are going through. Maybe we should acknowledge it. Maybe we should smile. Hell, as parents, what we should do, is just stop the vans, get out, and give each other a hug. Lord knows one of us probably needs it. As my friend said today, every day is annoy mom day.

Speaking of teenagers driving their parents minivan. Another thought occurred to me. Minivans are wasted on the responsible. I could fit 6 of my closest friends, a cooler a food and a big ass cooler of beer in my minivan, along with a small suitcase for each of us. It would be a tight fit, but who cares. Here's the thing. I can't go anywhere. I have too many kids. How often am I really going to do a road trip. But when I was younger, early 20s, that would have been the life.

Imagine, you're 21, you have your boyfriend and two other couples in the car. You each have a bag packed for the beach. All you need is a small bag because all you need is a towel, your string bikini, and a bottle of suntan oil. skin cancer be damned, you're too young to think of that. In your cooler is filled to the brim with PBR and ice. The music is playing, and you're all singing along to something like Boys of Summer from Don Henley. It's an old tune, but everyone knows it. There is laughter, there is bad singing, there is the freedom of kids who don't have any clue what lays ahead, and don't really care yet.

But no, when we're kids, we think cool cars are the way to go. Little economical 4cylinder coupes or sedans. A civic, a carolla, or if you're really cool, a nice little sports car. We wanna COOOOL. Listen to me now kids, the minivan is the way to go. Trust me on this.

Plus, when you're old and have a gaggle of kids, it's one more disappointment you can avoid. It's not so hard to get of that cute little sports car and trade it in for a minivan when you don't know any different.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Please stop throwing the cat

So, when our supposedly infertile cat turned up pregnant after escaping the house, we all obviously fell in love with the kittens. There were three of them, plus the mom. That's four cats for those that are a little slow this morning. I informed my oldest children that I would NOT be cleaning the litter box or feeding them. If they wanted them, it was their job (not that I did it with one cat, but I just wanted to make it clear that I was not going to start). They have to be reminded constantly, but it does get done. This I anticipated.

What I did NOT anticipate was having to tell my sons to stop throwing the cat. What is wrong with them? They throw them, carry them around, close them in the microwave of their little tykes kitchen set (thankfully I caught them in time when they tried to shove the cat in OUR microwave), shove them under couch cushions, and generally just poke and prod at them. I don't know why I think telling them to stop is going to actually make them, you know, stop. Nothing else they do has been remedied with a stern "Don't do that again!" . Here is a short list of the things I say EVERY. FREAKING.DAY.

"Put the cat down"
"Go to your room, we do NOT throw the kittens!"
"Shut the refrigerator"
"Get out of the kitchen"
"Stop playing in the toilet"
"Stop running the cars down the hallway"
"Cars don't drive on walls"
"We do NOT unroll toilet paper (can be substituted for paper towels) all over the house"
"Stop running up and down the hallway, your father is sleeping!!" (he works nights)
"Put the milk back in the fridge. It's too heavy and you'll drop it and break it. If you want something to drink, ask!"
"Get off of mommy's computer. You have your own and you need to ask"
"Stop throwing things out your window!"
"Your top bunk is NOT there to jump off of onto the bottom bunk!"
"Oh, good, you hate me again. That's new" can also be substitued with "Oh, you hate me, good, my job is done"
"Get OUT of your sister's room"
"Leave eachother alone"
"Keep your hands to yourself....feet too!"
"Would you PLEASE stop grabbing your penis. If you have to pee, go pee, if you want to play with it, go to your room"
"No, you may NOT sleep on the couch, get in your bed!"

This is just a short list. One day I honestly think I may record myself, and then just play the appropriate track to the boys when necessary. It would save me from talking as much as I do.

Oh, and this list doesn't include the daily repeats for the kids. I get that children learn by repetition...does it need to be THIS repetative?