Yesterday had to have been the most entertaining car ride home from the YMCA ever.
My five-year old daughter was lollygagging her way to the car. My three-year old son was asking if he could ride in his sister's chair. I let him when she's not around. It's a five-point harness, high back booster, very safe. Since she was not listening to me, I let him sit there, and made her sit in his chair.
Now anyone who knows my five year old knows that she completely despises change. Which is kind of funny, considering we're a military family. So imagine the horror that ensued when I let her brother ride in her car seat for the 25 minute journey home, while she had to ride in her brother's car seat.
Now, a note about my son's seat. It used to be hers. It is spacious, cushioned, and has a headrest. She rode in it happily for two years. In fact, when we bought her this newer, high back booster, she hated it and cried for her old seat back. I didn't think too much of it.
So off we went from the YMCA in Bremerton and the tears started flowing almost immediately. First she tried to reason with me. Mine is better because because because, fill in blank here. Tears. Then she began asking me if we could stop and change seats. More tears when I told her no. I explained to her why she was in her brother's seat and what led her toward her punishment. Continued tears.
Then the worst of the worst things happened that could possibly happen in her little happy world. She noticed a tiny (and I mean tiny!) black and yellow spider crawling between the two seats. At first she thought it was a fly but when she tried to kick it with her shoe and she realized it didn't move, the fact came to light it was a spider. I flipped my rearview mirror up so I could watch this scene unfold.
Still tears, and then came a series of bloodcurdling screams.
The spider, which had beel still for a couple of moments, started moving.
"AAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHH! MOMMY! IT'S MOVING TOWARD ME!"
We took the ramp heading toward Gorst and I was laughing so hard tears were forming in my eyes. I felt a little bit like the Cruella DeVille of Moms, but this was just plain funny.
Then Miles, who likes to imitate his big sister, began screaming too, adding to the hilarity.
"Pull over! Pull over!" She begged me. At this point the spider (did I mention how minuscule this thing was?) had crawled right above her head while she looked up in terror, still screaming. "Close your mouth!" I advised her above the screaming.
Driving around Gorst is really dangerous. It's one long continuous curve for about 10 minutes, and people tend to speed, so I didn't want to pull off quickly and cause an accident. So tears...more screaming. Finally, I was able to pull into a gas station. She calmed down as soon as I slowed down. Once I opened the door that dang spider jumped down from the ceiling of the car into the window, then jumped down behind the car seat. I couldn't kill it, but for the time being, peace was restored to the car.
As we continued the rest of the ten minute drive home, Elaine in her most dramatic fashion softly cried, "This is the worst day ever. First seats, then spider."
I had to admit, I didn't know my simple act of discipline was going to torture my poor daughter into hyperventilation for the ride home. But she definitely learned her lesson. I promised her I would never make her switch car seats again, and she seemed comforted by that promise.
Elaine, who is currently sitting on my lap as I type this, says this is how we should end the story. "When we got home, we felt better, and we had lunch, and after that, we got push pop ice creams." This is the truth and I can attest to it.
You know that old saying, "Life is about the journey, not the destination." That's the wonderful thing about parenthood. It was a silly little moment, but I'll probably remember it forever.