Let's take a Moment or two...

>> Thursday, 3 December 2009

I'm having those 'moments' rather a lot, recently. The sort of moments when you whether you wonder which reality it is you're actually living in. Needless to say, they usually revolve around my sons. Here are a couple of Boy #2-related examples...

Boy #2 (from the back of the car as we drive through heavy traffic to collect his brother from school): "Did you see it? Did you see it, Mama?"

Me: "What? What was I supposed to see?"

Boy #2 (exaxperated): "The HOUSE, Mama. The house!!"

Me: "Well, which house did you mean, Boy #2?"

Boy #2 (sighing heavily and no doubt rolling his eyes at his mother's tiresome insistence on watching the road when driving): "The HOUSE! The blue one! The one covered with smoked salmon!"

Heaven knows what he was on about. I mean, I do live in South Kensington, but even here conspicuous consumption hasn't reached quite those levels...

And recently, every time I start the car, it jumps forward as it has been left in gear. Not by me, I hasten to add - never by me. No, normally it's Husband who does that. (Is it a Man thing, or a continental European thing, I wonder? In any case, it drives me crazy.) However, Husband - in case you hadn't noticed recently - is rarely in the country during the week at the moment. So how is this happening?

Boy #2, of course. He has made it his raison d'etre to do this. Every morning and afternoon, he climbs into the back of the car and, whilst I'm walking around to the other side to clip him in, nips in between the two front seats to slam it into gear. By the time I've wrestled him into his car seat, located the seemingly impossible to find clip underneath him, and discussed whatever is on his mind, I invariably forget to check the car is not in gear when I finally get into the front seat to start the engine.

I turn the ignition and we bunny hop, to his great delight. Not, so far, into a car parked in front of us (we live in area where off-street parking is but a distant dream), but it's been close a few times.

I keep having nightmares where a clerk at my car insurance company opens my claim form and says "You remember that woman in London who hit a car at 5 miles an hour and gave some poor bloke whiplash? Well, she's back. This time she's totalled an Aston Martin parked in front of her and she's expecting us to be believe it was the fault of her three year old son..."

Hmmm. I think I need to leave a post-it note on the steering wheel.


Claire 3 December 2009 at 09:53  

Leaving in gear is definitely a continental europe thing. At least that's what my driving instructor always taught me to do here in Finland and the one I had in England taught me to leave the car in neutral.

Single Parent Dad 3 December 2009 at 15:27  

We are just so crazy in England. I think it is the rest of Europe's reliance on the gear box as a handbrake. Mind, automatics work that way with 'park' don't they? Anyway, what was I on about?

Vic 3 December 2009 at 16:19  

The husband does that one too and he doesn't have the excuse of being from continental Europe. You'd think after all these years I'd have remembered to check these things when he's been driving the car.

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy 3 December 2009 at 16:26  

Love Boy No. 2. But please can he not teach the putting in gear trick to either of my two as they would LOVE it and I would NOT.

Iota 3 December 2009 at 19:29  

Smoked salmon houses. They could be the new Christmas thing. Gingerbread houses are so last year.

I'm not surprised you have too many realities going on. There's London, Moscow, cyberspace, for starters. And those are only the ones we know about.

Potty Mummy 3 December 2009 at 20:36  

Claire, so glad it's not just me then!

SPD, I'm... not sure? Cars, I think.

Vic, me too - but I never do.

Brit, I promise he won't teach them. Of course, they might figure it out for themselves...

Iota, what are you suggesting? That my night job as a pole dancer might be messing with my head? Or my double life as international spy? How about the additional career as prize winning novelist? (And 1 - 2 - 3 - you're awake!!)

Millennium Housewife 3 December 2009 at 20:53  

don't worry, I hear in Moscow you can park anywhere if you have enough roubles...
I really loved your piece on PRG today, as an ex vegan I can appreciate the changing of morals, or not? Brilliant writing PM.

Liz (LivingwithKids) 3 December 2009 at 21:29  

Man of the House is from New Zealand and they NEVER leave the handbrake on when they park. Drives me nuts.

nappy valley girl 3 December 2009 at 23:50  

Here no-one seems to use the handbrake at all - our car has a weird one you have to pull, but I was told I would only need it in San Francisco because it has hills! Lucky for me, because if the boys worked out how it worked they would be lethal.

You'll have to watch Boy2 picking up those continental habits....

Potty Mummy 4 December 2009 at 09:26  

MH, stop it - you're making me blush! (No? Oh alright, carry on then...)

Liz, no handbrake? Now that's one I hadn't heard before.

NVG, you are most definitely correct - those Continental habits are not true blue English at all. Mind you, I did marry one of them, I suppose.

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