Monday, March 8, 2021

Riding in Cars with Middle

 By virtue of how close we live to the Middle School here in town (and also the High School), the girls are all walkers. How-some-ever, it's still what one might term chilly in these parts this time of year, and my work schedule is such that I can go pick them up after school, so I usually do. This afternoon, I performed the mundane task of running a pre-paid shipping box to the post office before driving to the Middle School to pick up the twins.

They bop into the car as I stop in the parent pickup lane, and Middle immediately wants to know if I'm angry.

Um, no. Just burdened with glorious purpose.

Middle immediately proclaims me cool for my hand gesture, motioning them up to where I was going to park, rather than where they waited (hiding behind a sign). I'm under no illusions. My cool factor will remain only as long as it takes for us to reach the next disciplinary moment. But I'll take it for now.

Middle, though, is on a roll already. "Mom, do you know what I hate most about school? LUNCH. And why do I hate lunch?"

I could guess the answer. "Boys."

"BOYS!" she went on. "They are terrible. They talk about awful stuff."

I asked about switching seats. Nope; they're all assigned. Covid tracking, you know. So she has to sit with these awful boys.

Now, at this point, I should explain. We live less than a mile and a half from school. The store I work at is just beyond the Middle School, and I can make it from home to work in three and a half minutes on a good day. After-school traffic is almost as bad as before-school, so it takes longer to get home from there than it does work. But I kid you not. She waxed eloquent about how awful early-teenage boys are for a good five minutes.

"Mom, then they started talking about sado-masochism!"

I corrected her pronunciation on that last one, glad she didn't figure that one out.

"And there used to be some good ones, but then they started talking about perverted stuff, and they're just as bad now. No, they're worse! They're not right in the head! They're on five percent!"

She was on such a tear that I cracked up. "I love you, my child."

"Hey," Youngest commented from the front seat. "What about me?"

I gave her a smile. "I love you, too, but you don't have the same kind of wit that one does."

Youngest grinned and nodded sagely.

Middle continued her rant against stupid boys (her father will love that) all the way to the house, with me continuing to laugh at her observations, once so hard that Youngest told Middle, "You broke Mom!"

Meanwhile, a song I haven't heard before on our Christian radio station comes on just as we're reaching the house. I didn't shut off the car right away because I wanted to figure out what it was. I opened Shazam and had it listen, and then I couldn't believe the result I was seeing. Magical Blizzard Wizard by BigSavageKev, it reported.

No way, I thought, and ran Shazam again, holding my phone near a different speaker. Battle Belongs by Phil Wickham it said this time. "That's better," I said out loud, to no one really, except myself, as we all piled out of the car.

Except for the fact that my kids were there, too. Middle gave me a curious look, so I explained there was no way the first song result I got was right.

And far be it from Middle to not engage. "What, were you snappling it?"

I could not stop the laughter.

Middle cracked up too (as did Youngest).

"Snappling?" I managed between giggles.

"Sniffling?" Middle tried again.

I leaned against the left front bumper and hooted.

"You broke Mom!" Youngest shrieked at her twin.

I just kept laughing.

"I don't know what it's called."

"Shazaming," I managed between giggles.

"I really did try," Middle pointed out. "I don't even know how I made that mistake."

We made our way into the house, with me still occasionally chuckling.

"You should put that on your Facebook, Mom," Youngest informed me.

Facebook? "Oh, I'm writing a whole blog post about this. If I can remember it all."

"Don't worry," Youngest reassured me. "We'll help you."

Middle reached into the freezer and hauled out an ice cream container (cookies and cream, if you're interested). I gave her a side-eye look. Ice cream is not an approved after-school snack.

She met my gaze evenly. "I need emotional support."

I found I couldn't argue with that.

Post Script:

So I sat down and began working on this. Waffle called, to ask what I thought of a plot bunny she'd described earlier. I got a bit distracted and memory faded, so I called Middle over to ask her a question. Middle, who usually has the memory of an elephant (except when she's on an oratorial roll), didn't remember, so I called down Youngest, whose ADHD is not a favorable condition in helping her to remember things. I described what I needed from her: what did Middle say about boys that had made me laugh and say something, which caused her to respond?

She thought for a moment, then nodded affirmatively. "Something about boys."

Thanks, babe. You're the best.

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