Monday, July 7, 2008

Summer Must-Do

I'm not totally sure what the appeal is for kids to wash cars, but I remember loving to do it too. I guess it's the getting hit by the water spray and the suds and, of course, revenge on whoever did it to you. Last week out of a necessity to cure boredom I offered our cars to the kids to clean and they took the challenge.

Mike's truck had made a recent visit to the dump and was very muddy. They took on this vehicle first. I think this is also the first time either has washed a car so I coached them through the process. I think it took 30 minutes for them to get the first side "done" - and I use that term very loosely. I believe Jake spent 10 minutes on one spot - and really didn't accomplish much. Maddie wasn't much better. She didn't like her sponge to get dirty - that presented quite a problem when she was put in charge of getting the mud off the bottom of the door.

Eventually both kids were getting into the spirit and water revenge began.

I think this was after Maddie had "accidentally" sprayed Jake with water. Soon both kids realized how much they loved spraying the water rather than using it to actually wash the car. The result was often one of us screaming. Yes, I mean "us". I was standing around in my non-car-washing clothes and managed to get wet too. Mostly because whenever the kids dropped the hose, it would land on the handle of the sprayer and suddenly we would have a gusher of water flying up into the air. The first time this happened I was completely unprepared - I was just about to take a picture and Maddie threw the hose down. We both screamed - I ran for the side of the house and she ran down to the street. After that I made sure to yell a warning - from far away - when I knew they were going to be done with the hose.
Jake was Jake. He managed to get some suds in his hair and decided to take it to the nth degree. I just cringed. You have no idea how dirty Mike's truck was.

After awhile they decided Mike's truck was finished and started on mine. But, the fascination soon wore off and halfway around my car they said they were tired of car washing. However, I didn't want a car that was only half "clean" and told them that if they committed to doing something they had to finish the job. Can I find a lesson anywhere or what?
The results? When Mike saw his truck he asked me, "did they really clean it?" The quarter inch of mud had been removed, definitely. But what was left in it's place was a million dried-up water droplet spots. My car hadn't fared much better. The sun roof is actually more difficult to see through than it was before they "cleaned" it.
The things parents will sacrifice in the name of relieving summer boredom!

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