Wednesday, December 30th 2009
No Whining: A Policy for Kids and Cars.

I tried to wear the kids out by making them do all sorts of physical therapy leg exercises with me. Imagine three little boys doing lots of leg raises. So cute! I did mine with a giant chocolate lab laying across me. Not cute!  And it makes it extra difficult! And they weren’t worn out, so i sent them to play in the snow.

I’m sure the neighbors loved it when i opened the back door and yelled, “There is DOG POOP in that snow. Do you REALLY want to eat it?”

Many a mothering pearl of wisdom has been shouted out that back door.  I’d like to think all children within earshot are blessed and enlightened, but it’s far more likely that every neighbor within earshot rolls their eyes and thinks, “eh. Her again.”  Can’t imagine why. I’m so neighborly and all.

Mom left awhile ago for the library. I’ve mentioned before how i can completely go nuts if i do not leave the house regularly. It makes me claustrophobic and crazy to stay home. (and then if i go anywhere with a lot of  people i get social anxietyish and crazy, but it’s an important cycle just the same.)  She took my car, as hers is near an icy patch on the driveway.

I have two cars – one a giant SUV that is lovely and yet very…. needy. And the other is my big truck that smells like dog and makes me feel like i should be spitting or wearing a lot of leather. Leather pants. Or maybe one of those leather ponytail wraps for biker chicks. Not that I’d ever wear one of those. Or leather pants. I wouldn’t. My disproportionate butt is not made for leather pants, not that that is the main reason.  Anyway. My point was that my big truck is TOUGH and makes me feel like I am just a little bit, too. And I adore that about it.

My other car – the giant SUV –  is sensitive. I adore it, too.  We leased one exactly like it a few years back and at the end of the lease i said that I wanted to keep it. Mike said, “Um. Noooo. It’s a lease. You give it BACK.”  So then he found the exact year, model, and color and bought me one and it FEELS exactly like the old one I loved. Isn’t that nice?

Its best feature is that the kids can sit in it and be spaced strategically so that they almost cannot touch each other. I say ‘almost’ because of course they inherited extra long Ape Arms from Mike and I, both. And now they can practically reach ME from the very back of that giant SUV and it’s half my genetic fault so I try to be nice about it.   But it bugs me.

Last week Mom and I were in the Giant SUV when the “Tighten Fuel Cap” message came up.  ”Oh, it’s nothing. Don’t worry about it, ” I told Mom when she asked about it.  We ignored it.

I also take this approach when the kids needlessly whine as well. I hold up one hand and calmly but firmly remind them of my strict “No Whining” policy. Use a normal voice and state your case or go whine in your room and listen to it yourself because I will have no part of it.   Heartless, I know.

So ignoring the Giant SUV’s ridiculous whine for something so minor was of course the way to go.

Yesterday Mike and I went somewhere in the Giant SUV and the “Check Engine” light was on.   Now THAT…? That is not good. Mike called OnStar and asked them to run a diagnostic blah de blah blah thing and find out what it was.

The woman had a very thick East coast accent that I couldn’t understand. I can’t understand most accents, thick or not. I’m sure everyone else on the planet could understand this lady just fine. Although I did understand three words.

“Tighten Fuel Cap.”


OnStar lady hung up with us, and I told MIke I didn’t understand her and what was the problem…?  And the problem was the tighten fuel cap thing, so of course I told him that I’d ignored that stupid message for days.

He seemed shocked.  ”So why didn’t you just tighten the fuel cap?”

What a man.

Right…? Oh my gosh. As if it’s that simple. And hello? He follows the strict No Whining policy, too.  Why all the surprise?

“Because that’s just STUPID. It doesn’t NEEEEEED its fuel cap tightened.  It’s just being dramatic.”

“Yeah… I think it DID need its fuel cap tightened. That’s why it SAID ‘Tighten Fuel Cap.’”

I mean, I was going to get gas some time in the next week and it could just practice a little bit of patience. Can you IMAGINE my big red Chevy whining about a slightly loose fuel cap….? Never! Unheard of!  GIVE! ME! A! BREAK!   And then I don’t pull over immediately, tighten the stupid fuel cap, and then it gets all FINE I’LL TURN ON THE CHECK ENGINE LIGHT, WOMAN, AND MAKE YOU THINK WE’RE ABOUT TO EXPLODE! HA!

Really? Really, Giant SUV? Over a fuel cap? Have you no pride?

Mike just called. My mother (who borrowed my car to go to the library) called HIM, and is wondering why the check engine light is on. (apparently she thought she should ask HIM and not me.)  And Mike told her the whole story.

The whole sordid story of how I did not cave to the ridiculous excessive demands of the Giant SUV, and how then it threatened with the Check Engine light and managed to rat me out to Mike, OnStar and now to my own mother.  Yeah, I’m sure that’s how he told it.

Watch out Giant SUVs. I have my OWN warning message:  Yo. I do not tighten fuel caps.

I need a leather ponytail thing for biker chicks. THEN it won’t mess with me.


1 Comment on “No Whining: A Policy for Kids and Cars.”

Dick Slattery
January 5th, 2010
10:22 pm

I’m just an old guy whose BS detector is turned off and it stiil goes off! I’m hoping to brew a great big pot of TEA and force feeding it to our wannabe masters. Appreciate the kind words.

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