On Valentine’s Day the wife and I laughed as we sat next to each other saying, “we should totally pack the kids up, go to a mainstream Mexican restaurant and try to dine with all the other throngs of Valentine’s Day celebrators.
Ten minutes later we were in the car, in the thick of heavy, hungry, Valentine’s-celebrating traffic trying desperately to find our spot in parking hell just so we could dine in over-priced deliciousness on a Hallmark Day.
We had become pawns in the game we laughed about just minutes ago.
But that’s beside the point.
The point in hand was that the entire time this nightmare unfolded before our eyes, our 8-year-old was back-seat-driving like it was his job.
Some of my favorite quotes from the night:
“Daddy!! Right there!!! It’s right there…two lines!! Park between them…jeeze!!!”
“Ok…Ok..OK OK Ok, back-up now!!! Awe daddy you blew it, come on!!!”
“Over there daddy I see a line! Park on the other side of it and let’s eat!!”
What you didn’t hear in-between those jarring phrases were things like:
“Dude…that’s a handicap parking space!”
“I can’t back-up, there are human-beings behind us!”
“There’s a sign in that awesome space that says ‘Residential Parking Only.’”
I was so used to the wife front-seat-driving, clutching things as I drove down the Interstate, yelling at me with phrases like “there are children in the car!!” and “oh, you should totally take a right here because there’s this cute little antique store we should visit.”
It was as if the wife had completed some satanic ritual when I wasn’t looking and dubbed the boy “Parking Nazi” so that she would have more time to play Angry Birds on her phone in the car.
And the boy owned it like it was his job.
Me: “Dude! You know I’ve been driving for almost two decades right?”
Son: “What’s a decade? Oh…and right there daddy!!! Park there…turn, turn, turn!!”
Me: “OK, first – there’s a fire hydrant there. Second, a decade is 10 years. Third, shouldn’t you be picking on your sister or flicking boogers at her or something?”
We never found a space to park that night. We ended up going home defeated, dejected, and hungry.
The boy didn’t learn his lesson. He helped me drive the entire way back home.
The only difference was now he was back-seat-driving while flicking boogers at his sister as the wife played Angry Birds while mumbling, “you told him it was OK to do it.”