Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Virginity and Death: the Rules

[It's o.k., Jason. Keep reading. :0) ]
When you have a family of eight, there necessarily needs be a system of rules to manage the inevitable chaos. Some of these rules are important. Some aren't.

Max lost her virginity a long time ago. Max is my car. I believe in the tradition of naming cars and houses. Actually I should say I believe in this with a few limitations. If your house sits on less than 3/4 of an acre of land and is not a charming old beach house with a weathered wood fence, it does not deserve a name. All cars should have names though. Max is short for Maxime. Maxime is an 8 passenger Honda Odyssey that holds so much stuff I am amazed every time we pack for a trip what fits in her. I named her after the Harry Potter character when she was brand new because she was so beautiful and graceful and yet, so stinkin' HUGE. When Max was on her way home from the car dealership, Hubby declared the edict:


Now, this is one of those rules that in no way manages any chaos of our day-to-day routine. I sat there quietly plotting all the way home exactly how long I would have to wait before ignoring this rule completely. See, it's not that I love to eat in the car. I don't cherish the moments when wrappers (which have been left earlier that week) and my children come spilling out of the car simultaneously at the grocery store and I have to go chasing trash in the wind because I'm trying to teach the kids that we don't litter. They are "some pigs". I don't love the crumbs in the seats or the way french-fry-smell seems to hang in your ride for like 10 days. No. We don't choose to eat in the car. Soccer moms have their kids eat in the car for just one reason. We're on our way. On our way to where is really immaterial. It could be dance or karate or sports or church meetings or the store or any number of other places. The location can vary. What stays the same are two things: we are in a hurry, and the toddler's right shoe is missing. Again. And we just spent 25 minutes we didn't have looking for that shoe and this is why we are eating in the car on the way to swimming lessons for the third time this month.

So the other day my kids were asking for ice cream and I said no, but I'll get you chicken nuggets if you are hungry. This suggestion was in no way an acceptable alternative and promted the demure response from Little Mommy(8), "We're not allowed to eat in the car." To which I could only roll my eyes because, as I stated at the beginning of this, Max lost her viriginity a long time ago. (Not to mention the big ol' road trip we just got back from.) Puh-lease.

Another rule we have is about books and movies. In an effort to expose my children to the finer things in life (art, music, scientific discovery, creative thinking, and literature)- I have imposed the rule that we don't watch movies until we've read the book they were made from if they are an adaptation. For some inexplicable reason it is important to me that their imaginations come up with their own beautiful images before their minds are imprinted with Hollywood's. To that effect, we just finished reading Charlotte's Web.

We tried to finish in time to see it in the theater but didn't quite make it. All's well that ends well however, because their Grandma bought the DVD for them which we watched the other day. Hubby and I had the happy satisfaction of discussing with the children the book and the lessons which can be learned from it. The children had the happy satisfaction of both storytime every night and getting to watch their movie on our road trip. Win-win. So today when I happened to notice the largest spider I have ever seen in Utah sitting quietly on the front door-frame, holding- I'm not making this up- her peach colored egg sac between her front legs, I could not help calling the kids to come see Charlotte! And I stood there with the front door standing wide open so as not to scare her and her bazillion soon-to-be-babies right into my house and tried to hold back the full-body shudder at the possibility that at any moment she might make a run for it. I waited as long as I could possibly stand it as all my children and all of the neighbor kids admired Charlotte- they were convinced it really was her. Then, when I couldn't stand it for one more second, with Babyloo in my arms I rushed through the doorway back into the house, slammed the door, and hollered to Little Mommy(8) who was armed with an umbrella to KILL IT!!! I let the shudder go and waited until the sounds of umbrella smacking different parts of the door and porch ceased, and then I walked away. Mom of the year award, right there. All that reading and learning, and for what? I declared the death sentence for the most beloved creepy-crawly thing in the neighborhood and I let my kids do battle with the spider I swear was the size of a sedan. Oh well. Not my shiningest moment.

Now right off, any man is going to tell you that my priorities are way out of whack. Of course "no food in the car" is WAY more important than reading "Charlotte's Web" before watching it- that is what they would say. And most women would tell them they are wrong. That's why we're the moms. And THEY are the spider killers.

No comments: