Maybe some things are better left unsaid.
Nah, let’s write about it, get it all out in the open, and call it cheap therapy.
We’re going through an awkward “I’m scared” phase in our household. My oldest child spent a good two years being scared at night. We’re used to the unpleasant annoyance of things that go bump in the night. As you can imagine, it was pretty much the pits. We shudder when we think of those times, and we hope we never have it as bad again.
But, this new fear phase has us scratching our heads because, well, it’s a first for us.
Our 2-year-old is actually scared of things that you see. Rightly so, I do think a creature with eight legs is kind of spooky. But it’s not just insects. It’s modes of transportation, too. Trains. Buses. It’s basically anything that moves other than a bicycle and a car. New things get added daily.
We can now add car washes to that list.
In our 106-degree heat wave last week, I thought it would be a great idea to make my car sparkle. You know, just a quick, exterior, no-frills wash. As I get out of my car into the horrid desert heat and open my daughter’s car door, I announce, “Let’s get our car washed!”
Panic sets in. She screams, and I wrestle to get her out of her car seat so the car could go through the washer without us. Dressed in a short sundress on this scorching day, I lean over as much as I could without giving the car wash men, who had gathered around the chaos, too much Southern exposure while bending over, if you know what I mean.
It must have been a sight to see because the next thing I know, the number of men doubled.
It was like she was fighting for her life. I got her out of the car with her hanging upside down while trying to carry my purse, along with two water bottles. I look down, and her shoes are missing. Her flip-flops had fallen off in the struggle.
I stop long enough to look puzzled, and she wiggles down my legs like a snake and dashes straight for the car seat again in her bare feet. In a flash, before I could check to make sure my own skirt was down, she was back in the car and was almost buckled in her seat.
One man said, “Lady, if it helps, you can stay in the car!”
But that was what I was trying to avoid in the first place. It was never my intention to go through the car wash with us in it because I thought the alien-like sponges would, well, terrify her.
I had a snap decision to make. It was either give these men more Southern exposure or get in the driver’s seat and not look back. I was not about to leave this place without a clean car, especially since I felt that I had already invested my own blood, sweat, and tears in this car wash.
We went through the car wash. Yeah, you guessed it. It was pretty much two minutes of hell.
Is she traumatized? No, she got a brand new toy duck in the lobby and now knows the lobby isn’t the same as “going through” the car wash.
And the men at the car wash? Well, depending on if there was any “Southern exposure” that day, it could turn out to be one of the hottest days of the year.