Friday, October 21, 2005

Mother, Jugs and Speed.

Life is tough and life is not fair. This is a difficult lesson to learn when you are a little kid. Some of us parents teach it better than others...

My husband is tool clueless. I own and use all the power tools in my house. When it comes to car maintenance we are at the mercy of Jiffy Lube. Justin and I so love the Jiffy Lube. There is something about a virile grease monkey under your car that makes the Newsweek you are reading in the waiting area seem like trashy erotica.

What makes it difficult to enjoy your Newsweek in the waiting area is other people's children. Waiting areas at Jiffy Lubes are located between two car bays; a 10 by 10 foot space. Half of this space is taken up by drink machines and a behind the counter area for employees. This leaves enough room for four chairs each on opposite sides of the room. These chairs are placed so you can look out the windows into the car bays and make sure your car is being serviced (giggle) in a timely manner.

My family had taken up two of the chairs. Justin and I sat with our middle child on my lap and my oldest kid standing behind a soda machine watching them run a monster truck on that spindle doo-hickey. Next to us sat a business man. Across from us sat two more men and a Daddy with two kids, a boy (we'll call him Johnny-Poo) and a girl (we'll call her Widdle Janey), both around age 4.

When we entered the waiting area and sat down we were told loudly by Johnny-Poo that "those are my seats!" and then "Daddy, they sat in our seats!" Daddy explained that no one was sitting there and that Johnny-Poo wasn't using the seats. Johnny-Poo flung himself on the floor and kicked. Widdle Janey, laughing, declared, "Johnny is being a bumhead again!" to which Daddy admonished her because nice people don't use the word bumhead.

Justin and I raised our eyebrows at each other. This wait was going to be FUN.

Johnny-Poo forgot his indignation when he noticed that he could get behind the counter if he crawled under the counter gate. There are plusses to perspective when you fling yourself on the floor. Johnny pssssttts at his sister and Widdle Janey quickly joins him. They giggle for a bit and then wreak complete havoc on whatever office supplies and computer gadgets they keep back there. Daddy is oblivious. Jiffy Lube Hunk tries to get back there to do whatever hunks do back there and can't, so he shoos Johnny-Poo and Widdle Janey out. Johnny again flings himself to the floor and Janey starts wailing. This gets Daddy's attention and he promises candy bars at their next stop for good behavior.

This works for all of two seconds. Excited by the threat of chocolate Johnny and Janey run about the waiting room playing "monkey" and stepping on everyone's toes. My middle child, then about the same age, looks at me with a "what the hell are these tards doin?" face. Daddy looks at my children with disdain, calls back his beasts and tells them to sit...or no candy bars.

Two cars finished. The man sitting next to us and the two men by Daddy sprint out like it's a 100m race. Daddy glares at them on their way out.

Sitting lasts a little longer. Johnny's bottom half sits rather nicely but his top half proceeds to twirl his ragged baby blanket over his head helicopter style. Janey has a baby doll which she flips about her like a possessed Mary Lou Retton. I swear, Daddy swiped my Newsweek fantasy because his nose is buried in the magazine and again he's oblivious. Twirling and flipping are joined by loud "whirrrrrssss" and "ahhhhhhhhsss" because helicopters should whirr and gymnasts should get applause. When poor Betsy Wetsy manages to land on Daddy's Newsweek he shouts, "No candy now!" and buries his nose again.

Justin and I look at each other and roll our eyes. It's a good thing their car is almost done.

Since they will be getting candy anyway, Johnny-Poo and Widdle Janey keep on with their twirl-whirring and flip-ahhing. The volume rises to a level that Daddy can't ignore anymore. He confiscates blanky and he confiscates baby. Johnny and Janey wail in protest...and that's when Daddy comes up with this little gem...he turns to Johnny-Poo and says in his most authoratative voice...


Justin and I look at each other and no way could we hold this in. We laughed so hard that we had to cross our legs tight to keep from peeing. We were still wiping the tears from our eyes when the relieved Jiffy Lube Hunk told them their car was done.

Snuggly was back in the arms of Johnny-Poo within a minute, of course and ice Cream was promised for good behavior at their next destination. Daddy glared at us on his way out. We made a note of which direction they turned so we wouldn't follow them. We didn't bring any spare pants with us.

When life is tough and things don't go your way, just remember that Snuggly is a privilege, then go read a Newsweek. Have a good weekend folkies.


  1. Hilarious...well, reading it is anyway. I can't stand "bratty" kids. Well, not much for the parents of "bratty" kids either.

  2. Hehehe...I hate to be sexist, but it seems that men can often not "hear," their children's bru-ha-ha in progress until too late and they seem to always lash out with a statement like your guy did!!! I can just imagine you sitting there with hubby laughing your asses makes you wonder...where was mama? "Resting" in the local psych ward no doubt.

  3. this is why i still do not have the desire to have kids. i've run into too many of these families out in public. i. can't. handle. it.

  4. From what I gathered Mommy was home with infant aged demon spawn #3. I have no idea if she got rested or not.

  5. Hahaha, wow. Makes you feel SO much better about your own kids, huh?

  6. mmmmmm...
    the term we parents of bratty kids prefer to use is "active."

    thank you, thank you very much.

    Ladies and Gentleman the manic brats have LEFT the building.

  7. there is NOTHING more entertaining than REAL life....reality TV shows can't touch lines like "Snuggly is a privilege"

  8. Amen,Jerry, Amen.


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