Friday, July 4, 2014

Yes, I Guess I Am Mean


I had to take my car in to the small-town dealer where I originally got it because there was a recall item that needed to be fixed.

What a total pain in the rear.

So I figured that as long as it was there, I'd get the oil changed and the 50,000 mile inspection done. (My car just turned over 50,000 miles. Sniff, sniff.). We've already done the blah, blah and the blah, blah (air coolant and something else?), so all we need to do is the fuel injection, he says.


I am so dumb sometimes.

Because that fuel injection inspection (does or does not inspection mean to look at something? I'm looking it up.) ended up costing me $149. When I saw the line item, I questioned it, because the labor (for looking--no, inspecting said fuel injection pump) was $96 and there were parts involved, which I totally did not expect for a simple look-see. I don't know what this car jargon is supposed to mean. So the guy, of course, says to me "Let me go talk to Wayne and see." And when he came back from talking to Wayne, he says "Wayne says that he told you about the fuel injection inspection and that you said okay."

Okay. So I did, in fact, say okay.

I really need to learn to ask more questions.

On the way back from Wayne's, I made the kids go 'round an antique store with me (is there anything worse for a kid? But we got some great pictures of must-haves, you'll see) and they obliged and we actually had some laughs walking around that place. But I felt like they deserved some sort of little treat, so I stopped by the next town's small-town gas station/deli/ice-cream parlor/grocery store/souvenir shop/hardware store where they make hand-dipped milkshakes, pizza, fried chicken and sell hammers and meat.
 I have no words. But this is quite a lamp.

It's a table and a phone!
And then there's this guy.

If you've ever idealized a small-town gas station/deli/ice-cream parlor/grocery store/souvenir shop/hardware store and thought that the people there must be friendly and smiley and all small-town nice with plenty of Southern hospitality, I am about to burst your bubble. Because they are not.

At least not to outsiders.

Because there was plenty of smiling and conversation happening with the locals. "Heeeeeeeeeeeeey, sweetheart, how y'alll doing, hooooney? What can I get for ya, and how's Maude? Oh, bless her heart. So good to see ya. Take care of that back, now, and I'll see y'all later, sweetie."

With me? "Hi. How can I help you?"

Not. Friendly.


Not friendly.

So maybe it was the fact that I told my kids they had to share a milkshake (gasp!) and they could not agree on a single flavor (there were 10 flavors, y'all.  TEN.) and maybe it was a tad bit annoying to the girl making said hand-dipped milkshake. Maybe it was because I asked for two cups (although she said people do it all the time). Maybe it was time for her to leave. I don't know. But the smiles weren't coming my way, I can tell you that much.

So on to the milkshake.

Have you ever heard of the Stubborn Child? Perhaps you have one residing in your very own home. Perhaps you yourself can claim the Stubborn Child title. I have one. A Stubborn Child, that is.

Who had her mind set on one flavor. One. (Moosetracks.) Who could not agree to any other flavor. None. Who was being A Very Stubborn Child.

I don't know about you, but when I was a kid and my mom stopped by a store to buy me and my sister a hand-dipped milkshake for $4 (a very, very rare occurrence), we were quiet. We agreed. We said thank you.

I have obviously done something very wrong with these children.

She finally agreed to Butter Pecan (begrudgingly) because I threatened to leave with nothing, and she drank the thing, but she was not happy. Mad about it, yes ma'am. So when I got in the car and asked her what the heck was wrong with her and why was her head stuck up her rear (I didn't really ask that, I only thought it), she refused to answer. Nothing. So I, being the mother that I am, pulled over on the side of the little country back road we were on and sat there, car running, waiting for an explanation of said attitude. Said we weren't leaving til she said what was wrong with her (i.e. admitted that she was mad about not getting her number one choice of ice cream), and you know what Stubborn Child did?

Sat there.

Calmly. (Well, calmly at first, but this child does not stay calm in these types of situations. It all goes downhill fast.)

She will not win. I will not let her win. (My thoughts. Probably hers, too.)

I stopped counting after minutes number 20 and 25 had passed.


I had to teach a class, plus I had a hair appointment (got my hair chopped off--it was scary and freeing all at the same time--it was down to my waist and now it's up to my shoulders!), so a friend of mine offered to take my man-child for the day whilst the woman-child was at a babysitting class offered by the Red Cross (which she loved, BTW).
The New Hair!


When I got to their house a full 30 minutes after I was supposed to be there (sometimes Dakota and I get into some deep convo, plus I got--for the first time ever--a keratin treatment to keep this unruly mess of a head tame-ish), the boys were playing outside, but my friend was getting a pretty bad migraine headache, and playtime was up. So I dragged my son away (he was not happy about this) and shoved his sweaty, attitudinal head in the backseat and drove away.

"How was it?" I ask. "Did you have a good time?"

No response.

Did that boy climb out of the car when I wasn't looking??

So I ask again.

No response.

This time, we weren't on a country road where I could easily pull off (and besides, this was not the most effective method I've ever used), so I demanded a response.

"I wanted to stay and play. You're mean."

Wait. What?? Did you just call me mean?? Are you suggesting that I'm mean because you had to leave your friend's house--after letting you play for SIX HOURS?

And anyway, I explained, his mom had a headache. It was time to go.

But we wouldn't have bothered her, he says.

And you're mean.

So. Mean is:

1) Offering to spend $4 on a single milkshake, but telling you that you must agree on a single flavor of tasty Hershey's ice cream because you don't need an entire milkshake at 3 o'clock in the afternoon.

2) Sitting in the car demanding that you at least admit that your grouchiness over not getting the flavor you wanted is absolutely absurd.

3) Making you leave a friend's house after playing there for six hours.

And finally,

4) Demanding a retraction of the phrase "you're mean" over number 3.

So yeah. I guess I am mean.


Happy Fourth of July :)


  1. Oh Heather, I was so much like Anna when I was her age, from what I can tell. I remember almost that exact incident only instead of ice cream we were trying to decide on a restaurant. And what I felt on the was communicated in all the wrong ways on the outside and must have been so confusing for my mom. Looking back, I realize my mom had such a perplexing and hard job, parenting such an incredibly sensitive, easily hurt, and easily stuck kid. Anyway, if ever you want to hear about my adult reflections on being like that (and what was going on inside my head), assuming it would help (because parenting is SO hard and wrapping our minds around what's going on inside theirs is more than hard, and I was deeply grumpy about that myself in our land of three-years-old yesterday), I'm happy to tell you, and if not, no worries!

    1. Emily! I'd absolutely LOVE your insight into the mind of my precious girl. What a valuable gift you'd be giving me! And perhaps I can share with you some of the things I learned in my own land of three years old--even if it was several years ago :) Let's connect!!