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Riding in cars with boys

Submitted by on Tuesday, 15 June 2010 No Comment

If you ask the guys, they’ll happily complain loudly about it. They’re the last kids at Fort Irwin, maybe even the world, who don’t have Nintendo DSes, and it’s all because their mom is mean, mean, mean. Just wait ’til Daddy gets home. He’ll see how they’ve suffered and get them each one.

This week, when I realized that getting Big Guy to his new allergist would be a five-hour round trip, I semi-seriously considered investing. I’m glad I didn’t, because if I had both would have spent the time with their noses stuck in electronics. Instead, they occupied themselves with conversation. By the end of the trip, Big Guy declared it “his best day this week.” Ignoring the fact that the trip was on a Monday, I’ll accept that.

It helped that we left during what should be Boots’ nap time, except he body slams sleep to the mat and wins every day. He cannot, however, keep his eyes open on the 31-mile drive between Fort Irwin and the freeway. He’s history long before we reach Boring Road. Coincidental name? I think not.

“He’s snoring,” Big Guy said. “Does he always snore?”

“Usually,” I replied.

“Why do people snore?”

“Oh, for different reasons. In his case, it’s because his tonsils are pretty big.” That marked the beginning of a lengthy discussion about tonsils, adenoids and the general uselessness of the latter.

By then, we’d past the last of what passed for civilization and were smack in the heart of the High Desert. “We’re in God’s Country now,” I said, wondering to myself if that was an appropriate term for a place that’s often 10 degrees hotter than Hell.

“What’s God’s Country?” Big Guy asked.

“It’s a place that’s still natural and pretty, without a lot of buildings or things that man’s put there.”

“What about that giant golf ball?” he asked, pointing to some unidentifiable structure on the side of the road that did indeed appear to be a giant golf ball perched on top of a tin can.

“OK, so God didn’t put that there,” I conceded.

On the trip back, the pattern was reversed. Big Guy, his body ravaged from having his arms poked with 90 possible allergens and five vials of blood drawn, quickly conked out. It was Boots’ turn to converse.

“Mommy, it’s creepy in the dark. I don’t like it.”

“There’s nothing out there now that wasn’t here during daylight.”

“But I didn’t see it in the day. It’s creepy to me.”

“There’s nothing to be scared of. Remember ‘Boo Boo Choo Choo’?” I asked, referring to a Thomas video where the trains at first are scared of the dark. ” ‘It’s just your imagination. Look! It’s just the wise old owl!’ ”

“Don’t say that,” he replied. “That song is creepy.”

A few miles later, we hit an intersection leading to a familiar rode. It also is home to one of their most wonderful places on Earth, a Pilot truck stop.

“Ahhh, I know this place!” Boots said. “This is where we go with Daddy. It’s not creepy anymore. Can we stop at the Subway?”

If he was thinking with his belly again, he definitely was back to normal. But, no, it was late at night and, besides, they’d already been to Subway once that day. I drove on, with Boots occasionally whimpering that he was tired and couldn’t get to sleep because the radio was on. Then Big Guy would whimper that he couldn’t get to sleep with the radio off.

“That’s what Daddy says, too,” I told him. “Though I can’t get to sleep with the radio on.”

“Just turn it on teeny tiny. Real soft. It will help.”

“Nah. Then I keep listening to the songs and stay awake.”

I turned the radio back on, teeny tiny soft, and both slept the rest of the way home. As they staggered up the driveway and toward the house, Big Guy suddenly stopped and hugged me tight. “This was a wonderful day,” he smiled dreamily.

Take THAT, DS.

Copyright 2010 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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