mandyholbert

A glimpse into our family – the good, the bad, and, of course, the funny

Driving Victory April 14, 2012

Filed under: Arguments,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 7:55 pm
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I’m not the world’s best driver; I’ll readily admit that.  I usually consider the yellow lines more of a suggestion than a rule.  The speed limit is more advice than the law.  I’m more of a creative kind of driver.

My husband, on the other hand, is a total show-off.  He can drive down a curvy hill in the dark at full speed all while in reverse.  He can squeeze through the tightest spots that make me cringe because I think we’re sure to lose a side-view mirror.  Ronnie is the complete opposite of me – he is a very talented driver.

And it drives me crazy.

When we went to eat the other night at our favorite Mexican restaurant, there were no available parking slots.  There was, however, a space between the dumpster and another car that someone could feasibly park in if they were willing to back in the very tight spot.

I was driving.  Ronnie told me to park there, so I did what I always do.  I told him to steer and I closed my eyes and operated the pedals.  Once we were through the hairy part, I took the wheel back and finished backing in.  There was a concrete retaining wall back there.

Ronnie sometimes overreacts when I’m driving.  I don’t understand why.  Anyways, as I was finishing backing in, he all of a sudden looks over at me with bugged out eyes and snapped, “There’s a wall back there!  Stop!”

So, I naturally went a little farther and then stopped.

We got out, and here’s what we saw:

He swore I hit the wall.  I was sure I didn’t.  Well, actually, I was pretty sure I probably did, but I didn’t want to admit that I should have stopped when he told me to with his goofy bugged out eyes.  He could have told me more politely.  Like, “Dear, please stop reversing as there is a wall back there that I wouldn’t want to inconvenience you in any way.”  That would have been much nicer.

We had to get on our hands and knees to determine whether I hit it.  And HA! I didn’t hit it!

See that tiny gap?  That was talent if I ever saw it!  It was enough room for me to slide a piece of paper between my car and the wall, which I happily did as my symbol of victory.

Don’t tell my husband, but I honestly had absolutely no idea that the wall was even back there.  I don’t know how in the world I didn’t hit it, but the point is that I didn’t!  As far as I’m concerned, I couldn’t have maneuvered more precisely if I tried!

Who’s the good driver now?!

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Why I am Late for Work – Excuse Number 103 April 2, 2012

Filed under: family,humor,Max,parenting,pets — mandyholbert @ 6:16 am
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Maybe I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a fear of frogs. Not just a casual “ew, gross, a slimy frog” kind of fear. It’s more like a my-heart-is-pounding-get-that-thing-away-from-me-before-I-have-a-heart-attack kind of fear. I know it’s irrational. I can’t help it. My friends used to torment me with it in high school. I remember several times frogs being placed on the hood of my Civic so I could not get in my car therefore could not drive anywhere.
Anyways, it’s dumb, I know, but like I said, I can’t help it. I’ve tried really hard not to let my fear influence how my kids feel about frogs. Kendra (the little angel that she is) understands the repugnance of them and hates them almost as much as I do. Max, on the other hand, catches them and plays with them.
The only benefit in this for me is that when I’m gardening and one jumps out at me (or just sits there, like they normally do, even though I’m screaming and dancing around like a fool) I can call him to rescue me.
This happened three times this weekend, resulting in his capturing three frogs, which he decided to keep as pets. (For those of you who care, I managed not to wet my pants even though I was pretty much on the brink of insanity when the third one tried to attack me.) I tried to encourage him in his amphibian-loving, so I had Ronnie get our aquarium from the attic so we could build a proper habitat for Max’s new pets.
And that’s what we did. We lined the bottom of the tank with mulch and mud and sand and leaves and sticks and rocks and grass. We put a bowl of water in it. We caught a nice variety of bugs to serve as prey for the frogs to hunt. Then, Max put his three new friends in their new home, and Ronnie and I went back to gardening.
When I checked on the frogs several hours later, one of them was rather conspicuously missing.
I asked Max about it, and he grinned and shrugged and altogether avoided answering my inquiries about the whereabouts of the frog in question.
At dinner, I asked again. After brushing me off several times, Max finally gave in and answered me: “I put the frog somewhere where you work a lot, so when you pick something up, it will jump out at you.”
Ronnie almost spewed his drink, and Kendra clutched me in fear.
“Max!! Where did you put that frog!?” I demanded.
“Somewhere where you work a lot,” he repeated.
“I KNOW THAT! Where is it?” I asked again. Ronnie was not helping. He had tears running down his beat red face at this point.
“Mom, I’m just kidding. April Fools!” Max said.
“Okay…very funny. So, where exactly is the frog then?”
“In your car,” he stated, very matter-of-factly.
Ronnie was doubled-over and about to fall out of the booth. I should say here that he would have deserved falling flat on his face – his idea of an April Fool’s joke was to pretend to pick up one of those frogs and chase me with it to put it down the back of my shirt.  Kendra gripped me even tighter as she thought about the ride to school in the morning.
“Maxwell Trenton! Did you really put that frog in my car?”
He ignored me.
I changed strategies. “I know you wouldn’t do that to your mommy. You love me, and you know I’m afraid of frogs. You didn’t really do that, did you, Max?”
He still ignored me.
“Max. Seriously. Where’s the frog?”
“Max.”
“Stop ignoring me.”
“I’m not getting in the car in the morning,” Kendra announced.
“Maxwell, answer me,” I begged.
“Ah, I was just kidding, Mom. April Fools,” he said, with an unsettling straight face.
“Hilarious,” I said, “so where is the frog?”
He shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess it just got away.”
And that is why I will be late for work Monday morning. That frog is somewhere. It’s either somewhere where I work a lot – the laundry hamper and kitchen sink immediately come to mind. Or, it’s in my car. I’ll look there as a last resort. First, I’m going to turn this house upside-down looking for that little beast.
Thanks, Max.

 

Confession: I Have Killed March 21, 2012

Filed under: Confessions,family,humor,parenting — mandyholbert @ 5:13 am
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My neighbor’s dog bit my daughter.  Of course, that meant war.

The dog terrorized us every chance it got.  We could not check our mail.  The kids couldn’t play outside in peace.  Our own dog was even afraid of that ferocious beagle-mix.  It chased my car with teeth bared every time I left my driveway.

One day, I had enough.  I had tried all the reasonable methods to take care of the problem.  Nothing reasonable worked.  And this was war.

When I pulled out of my driveway this time, I saw the dog come running towards my car.  I saw its bloodshot eyes and the slobber dangling from the growling mouth already poised to bite whatever got in its way.

It charged my car.  I made a split-second decision.  I decided to obey something I remembered from driver’s ed as a teenager.  When an animal runs in front of you, only run off the road or hit your brakes if it is safe to do so.  Well, it wasn’t. This war had to end.  This dog was playing chicken with the wrong girl.

Thu-wump.

Let the record state, I did not accelerate.  I did not swerve towards the animal.  I did not, in any way, try to hit the dog.  I simply didn’t try not to hit the dog.

I stopped my car and looked around.  I got out and walked back to where the dog (the dog who bit my child) lay in the road.

A neighbor appeared out of no where.

What I thought: Ding, dong the witch is dead!  The wicked witch, the wicked witch!  Ding, dong the wicked witch is dead!  

What I said:  Oh dear!  I think I broke its leg or something.

The neighbor looked at the dog, looked at me, and looked back at the dog as if considering if I were really that stupid.  “That dog is about to take its last breath,” and as if on cue, the dog deflated.