Today I chaperoned my middle son’s field trip to the local zoo. As much as I love our private school, right down to the fact there are only 11 kids in his class, there are drawbacks. Field trips are one of them. While our kids use the public school buses, they do not for field trips. More than once I have volunteered to drive (out of guilt) and only had my child in the gas guzzling Mommymobile.
Today it was going to be my son and his teacher. Now, it is one thing for a 6 year old to ride in my minivan. They don’t notice the lingering odor of french fries, and I haven’t vacuumed it since the fall. The teacher? Her children are old enough that she probably doesn’t have desiccated potato products wedged under the seats, or random “extra” clothes in case it gets too hot, cold, or someone pees themselves.
Fortunately, I was saved by my friend. She asked if we would like to ride with her. Our boys are buds and had wanted to ride together, so this was a great solution. We dropped off my van at the house (meaning the poor teacher would still suffer two miles riding in it) and off we went. My friend lives way out of town, so it made sense for her to not drive all the way back to the school.
I haven’t ridden in a new vehicle in years. We bought ours used. They are paid for, which makes them the best kind of vehicles to have. It is harder to tell yourself this when you are sitting on leather seats and admiring the state of the art dashboard with faux wood trim. Three rows of seats. A scant 40,000 miles on it (and NO funky smells). It even has an outlet that you can plug things into.
Oh sweet Jesus, it was grand. Spacious! And clean! “Can you plug your iPod into this and it just plays?” I asked. Well, she is like me. We both have only recently gotten cell phones, and she doesn’t have an iPod. I have my husband’s hand me down one that is probably older than two of my children, but still. My CD player doesn’t work, since Linus had shoved coins into it when he was a toddler. My husband fixed it, but then JD did it too. He put his foot down about doing it again. If I want to play my iPod, I have to find a dead station for the converter to take. Easier said than done, let me tell you, especially on long trips! Anyway….
We arrived at the zoo, and did our thing. Naturally we HAD to visit the “store”. Of course my son wanted a souvenir, a stuffed snake that many (but not all) of the other kids were getting. I said no. Repeatedly. Linus eventually took it with grace, and we didn’t have a meltdown. He did point out that his friend got a snake and he did not. “Well, his mom is nice and I am mean.” Surprisingly, that ended that. I guess he concurred!
I know all about wanting what other people have. It’s human nature, and I would like to explain that to my boy later. He wanted a stuffed snake like his friend got. I would like a vehicle like his mom has! Where the back windshield wiper works and I could roll up the passenger side window when I am the passenger (I can make it go down, just not back up. WTF?).
It’s hard to remind yourself of your priorities when a shiny bauble catches your eye. It’s hard to say “I don’t really need that.” Or even worse, “I really can’t afford that!”
Yeah, it kind of sucks. However, it is a good lesson to learn at an early age. You can’t always get what you want.
But tomorrow it is supposed to be nice out, and I don’t have any plans. I think it will be a good day to clean out the Mommymobile! It may not be new, but it could at least be clean…..