Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Parenting

Last night was the twins' indoor marching band show, combined with a school dance recital.

We took my Grumpymobile (a used 2007 Toyota Highlander, recently bought to replace the 1999 Nissan Maxima which had died). Frank also went, since he does lighting for the auditorium.

After the show there were 3 girls and 2 boys chatting with the twins. I let them talk for a few minutes, but after a while I wanted to go home, and went over to break it up.

Apparently, they’d been waiting on ME. Without bothering to check with, say, ME OR MRS. GRUMPY, Craig had previously promised these kids rides home. Since their parents had been told they didn’t need to come get them, they’d made other plans. And it was too late, dark, and cold to walk.

So we were 10 people in a car that holds 5, max.

It ended up as 3 in front (one on my wife's lap), 4 crammed in the back seat, and 3 shoved in the hatchback cargo area in back. It was snowing. The windows were fogged from 10 sets of respirations. Off we went, with my phone giving us directions to their homes.

Marie is taking driving lessons, and has memorized the entire book of state driving laws. So she points out any traffic violations she sees, loudly.

When someone made a turn in front of us without using their signal, she rolled down her window (with snow coming in) and shouted “HEY! That’s against the law!”

Craig's yelled from the cargo area: “So is driving around with 3 kids in your trunk!”

Then Frank farted, LOUDLY, and the whole car smelled like a sewer. On top of the body odor of a bunch of teenagers who have just finished marching and dancing for 2 hours under hot stage lights.

I drove the rest of the way with the windows down, and didn’t care if they froze.

At least I know these kids will never ask for a ride with the Grumpys again.

22 comments:

Don said...

Reminds me of when a group of us, mostly upper age teens with a few outliers old and young, would travel to weekend chess tournaments in one guy's Ford Pinto station wagon(early 1970s). Seven to eight of us in the car, a few bags with some clothing and our chess sets, along with sodas and chips. Tight fit, to say the least. It was a lot of fun, and I look back fondly on those days, in the mid-1970s. Alas, most of us didn't fare too well later in life, although I've done pretty well.

Don said...

One last tale from this period: my dad would drive a group of us home from chess events in downtown Syracuse NY in the early 1970s, when there was some "unrest". Late Saturday nights, driving through the bad parts of town to get several of us safely home. Dad kept a revolver under the driver's seat, just in case. There was no air conditioning on a hot summer night, when we came to a stop at a light in a very bad part of Syracuse. Windows down, all of sweating.
Thug comes up to the car, brandishing a large knife, tells Dad to hand over his wallet, and for all of us to get out. My calm Dad, told him to wait while he fetched his wallet. He brought out the .357 revolver and pressed the muzzle against the thug's head, telling him "Two choices: drop the knife and back away slowly, or cut me and get a third eye." The thug dropped the knife into the car and backed away, until Dad could drive away. The thug shouted something about his knife, but Dad sold it to a pawnshop a few days later, and treated the group to ice cream after the next tournament with some of the proceeds. The group had sort of disdained my father, as he was a blue collar welder, but after that, he was quite popular with the group.
I miss him(and Mom) a lot.

Packer said...

Au contrair Grumpy, they will look upon the event mirthfully in future years and will seek to replicate the next time a ride is needed. My wife use to do a lot of pick up and delivery as she was a working mom, and not always available otherwise. I used to do a lot of Boy Scout Camping trip driving and years later kids we come across always say, remember the time.....

Our 2005 Highlander is still providing service to our son. My 2008 Rav4 is the best car ever, bought it for the Mrs. She hated it, too stiff, to small, to Spartan. It was handed over to me. I love it. Has never had a mechanic put a wrench to it ever.

tbunni said...

Are you kidding? That will be the best ride home ever, in those kids' memories. Back when I was a kid (60's & early 70's) traveling like that was not unheard of, and though uncomfortable at the time, it was always a bonding experience - though perhaps Frank's fart might be dispensed with. I'd be willing to bet your services will be more popular than ever...

tbd88 said...

One spring day in high school at the end of my senior year, a bunch of us decided that we wanted to go to the beach, which was only about a mile and a half away down a winding road. There were sixteen of us and only two people had cars, a sedan and my bright red Volvo wagon. Somehow the driver of the other car took only five and we managed to get eleven people into one Volvo, and get there and back without bottoming out the severely overloaded car!

I look back with some horror at how unsafe this was, but it was a short and slow drive, and as the driver I had a seat and seat belt to myself.

At least nobody farted.

Mountain Woman said...

Are you going to let craig live?

Anonymous said...

ROTFLMAO!

Javahead said...

Isn't this what roof racks are for?

The Bus Driver said...

As a school bus driver... all i could think about is the oodles of band trips i've driven...... with the windows down and fans going after hot football nights.... sometimes they smell worse than the football players!!!!!!! At least its usually fun to drive these trips and we can legally run red lights with the cop escorting us.

Anonymous said...

No way I would have driven them home without seat belts. Your medical liability doesn't cover that....THey could have slept there first

Anonymous said...

Ten of us (most of us kids below age of 15 years old) in a VW bus traveling thousands of miles (literally, not a Trumpian 'exaggeration') Anchorage, Alaska to Portsmouth, Maine, by way of Nogales on the Mexican border to Birmingham, Alabama and points between during summer months.

It was so hot (without a//c) as we were driving through Phoenix at night with my father wearing a towel turban-style around his head that mother obligingly dipped into the water carboy periodically ... I noticed the temperature of 110 degrees on a lit bank sign downtown at midnight. I was holding my younger sister's head as she tried to sleep on the seat next to me--no difference between her body temperature and that of the ambient temperature outside, even at 50 mph. Some bonding experience. (It's strange how I'd forget the starfish from Hampton Beach, NH we tried to bring home in a bucket.)

Needless to say, we're all pretty close despite the fact that we are from here to kingdom come.

Anonymous said...

We had a molecular biology class during lunch hour one year in high school just to see how many would show up to a non-credit class. There were at least six of us that semester.

We were assigned research projects which required a trip to the college library downtown about 20 miles away and the teacher offered transport in his Datsun 210. The kind with the unique greenish blue or bluish green paint. The next year it was offered as a regular class, and there was a school bus.

I still have fond memories of that class. From my perspective it as one of the more interesting in high school, and most of the classmates ended up in biology or healthcare, except my sister whose report was on epilepsy, and she turned out to be an aunt with smarty-pants, graduating magna cum laude in Divinity School.

jimbo26 said...

It`s good when its loud - even better when done quietly .

Anonymous said...

When visiting my brother and mother this summer, we ended up driving home from work with him with:
Two toddlers, in car seats, in the back
My brother driving
Me in the passenger front seat
My mother and my fifteen-year-old in the cargo area
A large terrier/lab cross in my lap

His car is a Prius. I still have the scars.

Candi Gomez said...

So how intense was the obligatory 'do not offer X without clearing it with the parents first' discussion/lecture? :) ;)

JamieC said...

My sister was kind enough to drive me and my friends around in high school on occasion. She had a little Ford Fiesta hatchback. We once fit 9 teenage girls in that car, I'm not really sure how.

A. Marie said...

I had a childhood friend who invented various acronyms for the different kinds of farts. Sounds as if Frank's was a DAQUE (Deadly and QUite Effective).

Anyway, I'm with the commenters who agree that the kids will recall this fondly for the rest of their lives. (With the possible exception of Frank.)

Stacey Gordon said...

You needed GPS to drive them home??? You mean the kids couldn't tell you where they lived and direct you? I guess they don't look out the windows anymore...

Ranvaig said...

In high school, I needed a ride home after play practice. One of the kids offered a ride with his brother, who I knew but had graduated the year before. A week later the brother asked me out and we ended up married. It's been 44 years so far.

Mage said...

They will remember this ride home for ever.
I was babysitting a 72 ford LTD station wagon at a museum opening this year. I thought the wagon was really boring, and thought few folks would stop by. How wrong I was. "Look, No seatbelts."...and they all said that. They remembered the fun and family time in this big car, and they all remembered mom stopping on the brakes which zipped everyone forward. Accelerate and they all flew backwards. I had quite a crowd all sharing these same memories, and laughing even about the nausea from the exhaust fumes. .

rjs said...

My daughters and I were just laughing about our cramped car adventures:

They were grade schoolers, the car was a small 2 seater with a small hatchback area(a Mazda RX-8).

I'd have 2 or 3 kids jammed tightly together in the passenger seat and my youngest daughter (the pipsqueak of the bunch) would be laying in the hatchback...with me certain the cops would see her in the hatchback window!

Hearing my youngest tell her version of the rides from Hell gets us laughing till we cry.

My girls are in their 30s now and the memories are great

Library-Gryffon said...

I remember a group of us going from college to one of the girl's flats after theater rehearsals in Dublin in the early '80s. There were 8 of us, and I was the next to smallest at 5'5". The smallest was of course the driver.

We got all of us into a Ford Fiesta (or similarly sized car.) We put the really tall guy with one leg in a cast (so he couldn't bend his knee) in the other front seat with the tallest of the other girls on his lap. The three remaining guys sat in the back, with us two remaining girls sitting hunched over facing each other across their laps with our backs against the doors.

The driver drove very carefully to make sure we didn't attract the attention of a passing member of the garda siochana.

 
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