Posted 08-09-2003 at 20:53:50
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All the bad stuff happens at bedtime when you are dog tired.
Just when you start to get that cozy feeling that any minute you could doze off and sleep for days, that's when the phone will ring and there will be a kid on the other end...
"Mom, my battery is dead. The truck won't start."
"Did you jiggle the cables?"
What was that hesitation?
"Are you sure you jiggled them well?"
"Mom......I'm good at jiggling....okay?"
I was stretched out on the couch praying that she was going to say no...dang...I didn't think to jiggle the cables...hang on (jiggling in back ground, engine starts successfully)..oh hey, I got it. Never mind.
No such luck.
"Where's Paul? Tell him if he'll pick you up from work and bring you home I'll reward him handsomely with mucho gas money."
"I tried to call him, I think everyone at his house is in bed."
Stupid boyfriend. What the heck was he doing in bed at this hour on a Saturday night? Many many bad words in my mind. The last thing I wanted to do was get dressed and go after this child, but she's my baby. When it became clear that I could not get out of it...
"All right sweet heart, I'm on my way." Maternal concern oozing out of my voice like warm syrup on a hot bisquit. Now I was the valiant savior, her only light in a dark lonely night. Once I got over my selfishness I couldn't get there fast enough. Poor baby. She didn't deserve this after a long afternoon in front of a cash register. Stupid battery, just going dead like that for no good reason.
There she was standing in front of the grocery store, useless truck parked nearby. She climbed in, strangely quiet, as though she was waiting. It hit me the minute I got a look at her guilty little face.
"Stupid battery just to go dead like that, huh." I said.
"You said you jiggled the cables, huh, and nothing. Stupid battery."
Here it comes.
"I didn't really jiggle them."
"It wouldn't have done any good."
I hit the brakes and we stared at each other as cars went around us in the parking lot.
"What do you mean?"
"I mean..." she looked me dead in the eye..."it does no good to jiggle the cables when you leave the lights on for seven hours. The battery is DEAD mom."
I sighed and glanced down at the floorboard and my tony the tiger slippers that were staring back up at me.
"You had the lights on in the rain? You finally remembered to turn the lights on when it's raining?" I didn't think she'd ever get to where she would do that, gray truck, gray road, gray rain, bad combination.
"Yeah." A bit of trembling hope in that voice. I put the truck in drive.
"Good girl. You did good. Now if you can just remember to turn them off as well, we'll be in business."