Mothering on the Edge

Friday, June 03, 2005

Driving Stick and making peace with the PPPP

So we got a new car on Memorial Day, a Geo Metro that gets MUCH better
gas mileage than the behemoth I've been driving. But here's the
thing--it's a manual. I wish I could spell that Manuel, because then
I could imagine a Latin lover under the hood instead of an obstinate
5-speed engine. I know how to drive a stick. That is, I've seen it
done. I've even done it once or twice. Maybe three times. But my
skills are...fair to poor. Unpracticed. I named the car Dorie after
the confused fish in Finding Nemo to explain her jerky movements. Now
when I stall the kids start singing: Just keep driving, Just keep
driving, just keep driving, driving, driving. But, I've discovered 2
big benefits. One, I can fill the tank for under $20. That's half
what I was paying for the other one, and this gets more miles to the
tank as well. Two, manuals allow for more expressive driving, I've
found. I'm often frustrated at my inability to communicate with other
drivers, and when I'm with my kids I can't even...gesture effectively.
So when someone pulls up behind me at a light, close enough to kiss
my skinny plastic bumper, I can rev my engine, peal out, or even stall
in front of them. I emote therefore I am.

Speaking of emoting, Tori has learned two new tricks. One is
expressing her feelings. When she gets mad, she'll ball up her little
fists, stick out her lip and announce, "I'm angry about you, Mommy."
This is almost as cute as what happens when she's content and says
"okie-dokie." Her second trick is that she's learned to write her
name! Shocked the heck out of me. She presented me with a paper
where she'd written: TOI. Ok, so she missed a letter. Still...
So we're practing writing letters with her now. How did I not notice
she was writing?

Which brings us to PPPP. For those uninitiated among you who may be
wondering what a PPPP is, I'll tell you. PPPP stands for Pink Plastic
Porn Princess, aka BARBIE, aka whore of babylon in high heels. As you
may or may not know, Hailey received her first PPPP doll for her
birthday last month. Two, actually. My dad stopped taking pictures
of her opening presents after a while, and started capturing my
reactions. One has a soft body, and yet still manages to maintain a
DD cup. The other was dismembered by her younger brother who
apparently still remembers nursing a year later, because he stripped
the (headless) doll bare and ran around the house showing anyone who
would look, "ook! ests!" I detest the PPPP. I have since I was a
child. At first I was upset my mother had forbidden the popular toy,
then I saw one of my little friends playing with hers. ACK! Why
would a Ken jump on top of Barbie like that!? WHY!?! Oh, the plastic
humanity! But, recent events have made me consider mending fences
with Miss P. It seems she's decided to involve herself in the fine
arts, producing several movies based (rather faithfully, I might add)
on ballets and classic novels (Nutcracker and Prince and the Pauper).
Can she ever truly redeem herself? I'm not sure. But I'm willing to
give her a chance if she's willing to pretend to think. Or act. Or
dance. Or something. With her clothes on. And her head firmly attached.

Posted by Sarah Jean :: 4:30 PM :: 0 Comments:

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