Saturday, July 19, 2008

Car Wash

With everything that has been going on the past few months, the van and it's appearance has fallen to the very bottom of the list. It's not like washing it lasts for any amount of time anyway. I mean, it gets dirty just sitting in the driveway, thanks to the bird population. So, let's say it is an understatement that the van was dirty.

Here is where I would like to tell you all about how we donned our swimsuits and filled up a bucket with sudsy water and I handed out rags to the kids to help me wash the grime off the van. Surely by now, though, you have realized that while I love old-fashioned family fun, I rarely get around to making it happen. Lest we forget the Christmas of 2007 flop.

Nah, I loaded the kids into that filthy beast of a van, traveled across town to do some quick shopping at Wal-Mart (because it's WM or nothing in this town!) and happened to notice that the must-be-really-expensive-I-hope-they-make-their-money-back car wash was now open. I know this, because the sign outside said 'NOW OPEN!'. If nothing else, I am observant.

We wound up sitting at the red light right beside the place and the kids oohed and ahhed over the car that was getting spiffed up inside. Let the begging commence.

Sarah Grace started it off with, 'I wish we could get our car cweaned wike dat.'

And Thomas chimed in with, 'Oh, Mommy! Look! It has spinner-fingies.'

And all through finding a parking place and unloading and getting situated into the buggy and walking around the store and checking out and unloading the buggy and loading back into the van.

'I wish we could go dare.'

'Mommy, can we go fru da washer?'

'I wish we could go dare.'

'It looks like funner, Mommy!'

'I wish we could go dare.'

'Our van is dirty, Momma.'

'I wish we could go dare.'

'Can we stay in the van and go fru it, Mommy?'

Yeah, guess who caved. We left the land of car-wash-wishing and went straight across the road to the car wash. I handed over my debit card to the young man who was trying to con my children out of their chicken poppers, selected the wash we wanted, and was directed inside the tunnel. Where I bumped the gear shift into Neutral and took my 'hands off the wheel and feet off the pedals.'

The ride had begun. The kids clapped and cheered as the sprayers soaked the van. They laughed and squealed as the scrubbers and pom-poms all whisked away the dirt. They shouted 'Yay!' as the water rinsed off the suds.

And then I had a mild heart attack.

While I was watching the kids jubilant faces in the rearview mirror, I noticed a distinctly un-car-wash related movement out of the corner of my eye. A hand! It was reaching out towards me. From amidst the sprays of water. As I nearly keeled over, the hand popped my mirror back into place and disappeared.

Only then did I notice the men walking around between the equipment and the walls of the tunnel. It was the first day of operation, and they were there to insure that all went well. Them and their sneaky hands.

About the time understanding was dawning on me, the machine was letting loose with a barrage of multi-colored wax stuff. The kids were in seventh heaven. Even Elizabeth was laughing and squealing! Thomas and Sarah Grace loved the 'rainbow' that landed on the van and chattered excitedly about what colors were on 'their side' of the van.

Next came the dryers, and the kids became suddenly more subdued. The noise bothered them, but it was short lived. Excitement picked back up and the kids discussed the finer points of car washing in the tunnel all the way home.

All that over a car wash. I wonder how they will react if I ever get them to an amusement park...

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