Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Things I ponder when I actually have time to ponder



This picture is from a popular parenting magazine. Every time I leaf through the issue, I find myself staring at this picture. First, I snicker. Maybe because the little girl looks like a smug little snot. Or maybe because when my brother and I were kids, we were happy to find an old elastic band and gum wrapper on the floor of the car to play with, and this girl looks so...equipped.

Instead of leather seats, we had black vinyl seats that singed our asses during the summer. Belt buckles that had sat in the sun became weapons of torture. My dad's Subaru wagon didn't have air conditioning. Sometimes he passed gas. Even with the windows open, it was enough to knock you unconscious.

Then there were the Crystal Gayle cassettes:

And don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes
Don't it make my brown eyes bluuuue-whooo.


All of this to get to Howe Caverns. (If you've never been, one visit is enough. Unless you've driven six hours in a car without air conditioning—then you'll want to tour the underground caves until winter hits.)

I digress. The other reason this picture grabs me is because I find myself thinking about my own car and what an absolute disaster it is. What if I could be that organized? What if I succumbed wholeheartedly to the compartmentalization that is pretty parenthood? Where everything had its place, and Nirvana ensued. What if?

But no. I don't want Junior to end up with a smug look on his face. I don't want to organize markers in individual, labeled slots. In a weird way, I like finding them under the seat, covered in schmuck and hair. Because I can say to Junior "The yellow is crud. You'll have to use green today."

And he'll have to: He'll have to deal and move on.

Amen. I finally got this off my chest. Now I can recycle the issue and stop staring at that creepy little kid. Thank you, blogosphere. Thank you!

32 comments:

Stacie said...

She totally has that I get everything I want look on her face. It is pretty unrealistic.

Jen said...

You're welcome.

My car is a mess. There is dog hair from the trip to the cabin we took in July, a blue stain on the floor mats where my daughter puked up the Independence Day cupcakes, crayons, gum, wrappers, cds and all kinds of other crap that I keep telling myself I will clean up. My last car was even worse but luckily my son totaled it so all I had to do was get the whole mess towed.

My kids will never look that smug.

kyooty said...

No "real" car that carts kids from A-B-C-D-etc, has any of this in it! seriously!

Shana said...

I love this post. Now I don't feel so bad because I didn't sweep the floor till this afternoon and when I went to change Blaze tonight into pajamas he had dog hair on him. He lived. he isn't scarred for life. I sure enough don't want Blaze to look like that kid looks.

blognut said...

OMG! She DOES look like a smug little snot. I bet she has one of those over-the-seat organizers right in front of her, too. It probably has a fold-out dollhouse with perfect people inside for her to play with.

Cris Goode said...

"Pretty parenthood" lol! Yeah right. My car is a disaster.

If that fancy little bin was anywhere near my girl its entire contents would be in floor board in less than 3 minutes.

Does pretty parenthood really exist or are there just people who are pretty good at faking it to make the rest of us feel like we come up short?

Mad Woman said...

My kids never look that happy in the car. But then again, my kids are deprived. An organized baggie? Nuh-uh. My kids are lucky if I talk to them in the car.

Trac~ said...

LOL - you crack me up! My kids are old enough now (16 and 17) that I am lucky if they take off their ipods long enough to talk to me! But when they were this little, I was never organized, nor do I believe that "real" parents are either. P.S. Glad you are staying warm! :o)

Lindy said...

I enforce the use of iPods in my car. That's about as organized as I get.

Small Town Mommy said...

When I had my first child, I started out as an organized parent. I actually used to count blocks to make sure that all of them were returned to their box. I would love to have a set up like that in my car. Of course, by now, I am lucky if I can find the car. It is hidden by piles of stuff in the garage. And forget the inside. My kids scrounge for pencils in the piles of junk on the floor. I guess my point is that even if you start out that way, it can't really last. It requires too much time, momentum, dedication to last forever. It eventually becomes all consuming.

The Mother said...

Are you implying that it's wrong to be prepared?

Or are you reminding us that these same women are the ones who micromanage their kids' lives until 25 (or longer, if they can get away with it)?

Brandy said...

I always think about how I had it when I was a kid and I know Grayson will grow up in a totally different world. Which is what we want for our kids, right? a better world? But then I think I made it, I overcame it. So am I making him a spoiled snot?

Keely said...

OMG you were subject to long-ass car rides with Crystal Gayle too? That explains SO MUCH.

What about Willie Nelson? We might be sisters.

My car is disgusting. There's a frozen waffle on the floor that's been there since before Christmas. But it's still frozen so it's okay.

Grand Pooba said...

Hey anytime, anytime.

Um, was that picture taken before she took the markers and wrote all over the window and the back of the seat?

Bird Shit and Baby Caca said...

That kid will totally be in therapy later on in life...lol!

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

Hmmm. . . .looks like you're taking alot of grief over this spic??!! No worries! It is pretty funny - she is definitely a beauty - get that child to model for some kids clothing ads - she'd be wonderful! Have a great day!

OLLIE MCKAY'S ~ A Chic Boutique said...

OMG ~ So sorry! Just realized that is not your daughter and you did not take that photo - thank God - I was concerned that people were being a little rude to you??!! Brain frat here in Viginia! LOL!! Egg on my face, blah, blah blah!!! :))

Mama Badger said...

Dude, you know she'd scream about the one thing that's not in that organizer. The one thing her Mom left in the house. Snot nose.

LG keeps the toys from McDonald's happy meals in the car. That's about all. I can't deal with the thought of snow covered boots all over toys and other assorted krappe. I'm with you.

Oh, and I've been to Howe's Caverns at least 3 times. Brewery Ommegang is right down the street. They now use the Caverns to store some of the beer;)

Dagmar said...

Thank you for your comment on my blog today. I am sorry you take issue, I clearly also mentioned that one big part of achieving a natural birth is luck. You weren't lucky for things to fall into place and obviously needed intervention. Yes, if your health or the baby's health is in danger, a C-sections is the way to go. If things would have gone wrong during my labor, I would have obviously opted for the safest option as well. I chose to have him at the hospital because of that reason, to get help quickly if needed. I wanted that backup just in case.

I love you blog and your tweets!

Best,
Dagmar

♥Georgie♥ said...

LOL...I think we might be related...we had a crystal gayle cassette tape too...just sayin...

Trooper Thorn said...

She's the kind of fantasy kid who occupies themselves the whole trip and says, "Mother, I finished reading another Bobsey Twins book. I'm ever so glad you brought me along."

The Mommyologist said...

I laughed out loud at the smug little snot part!!!

SLColman said...

That picture is creepy!!

Buggys said...

Much as I would love for any portion of my life to be as organized as the back seat of that car....in a weird way I totally get what you're saying and I agree.

P.S. Even just my sock drawer to be that wonderful!

dearheart said...

Funny! Your childhood car sounds a lot like mine. A brown Toyota wagon with black vinyl interior. Ouch in the sun, for sure. We "lovingly" called her Brown Betty.

雪糕 said...

Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.............................................

Frogs in my formula said...

Er, thanks for the birthday wishes, random commenter.

I am still laughing that someone thought this was my kid.

Mrsbear said...

Pretty parenthood is for smug magazine moms who are only models and have probably never held a real baby in their entire lives. The rest of us have melted crayons under the dash and stains that may or may not be from the fruit punch eating through the bottom of a paper cup.

That kid in the picture is probably a robot.

Sapphire said...

I don't see why the little snot is so smug. She's wearing highwaters for crying out loud! Expecting a flash flood, eh?

Mommy Cracked said...

LMAO!! Preach it Sister, PREACH IT!! I recall those same horrors from childhood.

Jenni said...

All my kids would do is lob all that shit at my head anyways.

Mary said...

If that were my car ...

The kid would be screaming, "I'M STUCK!!! I'M STUCK!!! MOM!!! I'M STUCK!!!" While trying to get the seatbelt unbuckled.

The compartmentalized bag that I would have painstakingly filled would have lasted approximately 4 1/2 seconds and the kid would have drawn "lipstick" all over her face (I know this because I have pictures of her doing that very thing) and the stuffed bunnies would be screaming, "GET ME THE HELL OUT OF HERE!!!"

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