Thursday, June 05, 2008

Our $7000 Landscape Addition OR Yet Another Reason for Mom to say NO!

It’s hot here in Lansing, Michigan. The actual temperature is only 78. Not all that impressive, really, unless you factor in the humidity. The air truly feels as if you could slice it with a knife. Even the plastic kind I allow the children to use. Three small bodies in this house with me, all wanting to cuddle, add not only degrees of happiness but of heat. I’ve opened the windows, anticipating - or rather desperately hoping for - a cool breeze. The trees are perfectly still. But I still hope. My oldest not-yet-in-school asks innocently why mommy hasn’t turned on the air conditioner.

“We bought a new truck, baby.” I tell him.

He looks at me understandably confused, but lets it go, and returns to Scooby-Doo.

Even I struggle with my new static answer.

“Why can’t we have the good pizza tonight, mom?

“We bought a new truck, honey.”

“Can’t I have new sandals this year?”

“Hello? The truck?”

“We haven’t gotten a new Wii game in months.”

“What’s that in the driveway, darling? Yes, that’s it. The truck.”

Said truck sits there in the driveway most hours of the day. We’ve owned it a week. Bought it with a full tank of gas, and are still well above the ½ tank line.

The kids are slowly beginning to understand that an inevitable “no” waits at the end of most their requests, even if they don’t understand the “whys” of it. Picking up on the importance of this new purchase, they’ve taken to altering their inquiries.

Now it’s:

“Can we take the new truck to the store today, mommy?”

“Of course not, darling. I’ve told you gas is too expensive.”

“Aren’t we going to drive the new truck to Grandma’s house so everyone can see?”


“No, sweetheart.”

For days, they were actually very excited about the new family vehicle. They crawled around in it. Got a ride around the subdivision in it. Since then, it’s sat rather sadly in the driveway next to the Granger cart. I’ve contemplated buying a tarp for it, as it’s become a source of some shame.

Nothing like announcing to the world you couldn’t care less about the oil crisis.

“We’re paying $4.15 a gallon.”

“Hey, check out our new truck!”

But, yes, I can own up to our purchase. It was a heck of a deal. Probably close to half the blue book value. Never mind what that says about the industry or the resale value.

Never mind how it shadows all our new spring flowers from the sun, leaving them wilting and weak. It’s like the gold-laced oil is leaking straight from the tank and into our soil.

But hey we got a new truck!

But seriously, we can fit our entire family – carseats, boosters, diaper bags, and all – and with still enough room to breathe its fumed air. That’s a bonus, right? We’re a two-car family again. And trust me, with 2 adults and 5 small children, two vehicles is pretty much a necessity.

There’s few things more stressful than calling Dad, 25 minutes away, out of an important business meeting to pick up our vomiting daughter from Elementary school, all the while mom sits at home, 5 miles away, ready and more than willing to “make it all better.”

Ok, so that never actually happened, but in my stressed-out, prepare-for-the-worst, mom-brain, it was an inevitability.

So, now, we’ve rectified the vomiting child dilemma with a bank account depleting truck dilemma.

Per usual, my second-guessing mommy-brain has now reared its inevitable head, so to speak.

So, yes, it’s hot here in Lansing, and looking to get even hotter. Struggling not to repeat the horrible “when I was a kid” lines to our children, I just point to the truck when requests for the air conditioner arise.

/sigh. It’s going to be a hot summer.

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