Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Friday, July 8, 2011

Riding in Cars with Boys

I could have also titled this post "How I Spent my Summer Vacation" because it amounts to the same thing. Summers are spent shuttling my kids from place to place to place to place.... endlessly. Either it's playdates or activities or scouts for T or stuff for B. I spend an outrageous amount of time in the car with the kids during the summer.

B has her annoying car ride moments. She likes to play this math game which makes everyone want to beat their head against something sharp. "What's one plus one plus two plus seven plus....." She genuinely enjoys these little math word problems, but the rest of us (and specifically me--due to the repetition... well, it's hell... it really is.)

She STOPS though... (once I scream her name in a voice that sounds like I'm on the verge of a breakdown) not so with the son.

T's annoying car moments beat B's to a bloody pulp and then stand on the corpse and kick its head. No. Really. T asks question after question after question. Car rides are like a long endless game of Jeopardy where everything is in the form of a question. Most are science questions which I can't answer. Some are about computer games... which I also can't answer. Some are logic problems--I'm not logical. A handful are about movies--YES!!!!! They're rare and usually he bounces to a completely different subject immediately. My husband can answer about 99% of the questions. This has led my son to believe his mother is an idiot. Sometimes I agree with him.

T has Asperger's, though which often leads to a belief that he is always right... even when he is wrong... he's right. He's also a genius--for only being eight... he's a fricken genius. One thing he is frequently incorrect on is the pronunciation of things. He's so far ahead for his age that he's read thousands of words that he's never "heard" before. So, rather than correcting the pronunciation in his brain, he stubbornly insists that his pronunciation is ALWAYS the right one. This comes up, at least, once a day.

Today, this is how our car ride went:

Wendy: "I'm tired of approving all these accounts for you on these online sites. I wake up to emails every day now saying, "Your son has opened an account on..." well... actually it says "your child...." not "your son." (I have to make this corrections because T will dive bomb them.)

T: "Yeah, it says "your child" because it doesn't ask for my genner on the sites."

Wendy: "It's pronounced GENDER not genner."

T: "I pronounce it genner."

Wendy: "I'm not having this conversation with you." (I fought him on feature which he was pronouncing future the previous day for ten minutes, and he is still intending to pronounce it future.)

T: (seriously) "Because you know I'll win?"

Wendy: (Laughs so hard that she nearly can't breathe)

T: "That's it, isn't it? You know I'll win. I always win."

Wendy: "No... well... maybe in your mind."

T: (not seeing a difference between what I just said and reality): "Exactly. I always win."

Wendy: (Takes a long drink of Mt. Dew)

B: "What's one plus two plus one plus three plus....?"

Wendy: (Takes another long drink of Mt. Dew)

T: "Mom, one question: if you took those pull-string party poppers and cut them in half and then...."

Wendy: (ignores son and daughter)

T: "Do you suppose that's a future of them?" (He means feature.)

Wendy: (Has nervous breakdown)

So, now you know... I drink (Mt. Dew) and drive... also you can see why my sanity is slipping and raggedy around the edges... which is why I took my kids to their aunt's house tonight and they're spending the night with her... because I was pretty sure I was at the end of my rope. Really. Their cool aunt Heidi is intending on taking them to the Drive-in. I'm so excited. It's so quiet in this house without them. Blissfully quiet. Strangely quiet. And no questions. Le sigh. *eyes Husband* He'll probably ask questions just to annoy me now. I should drag him out on a date before he tries that.


  1. LOL! That sounds so much like mine. We do math problems, not strings of numbers but random huge numbers. And we have endless strings of questions. And we have the mispronunciations. At this point I've entirely given up on remembering the correct way to say things.

    My children speak Gibberish as a first language, and I speak it as a second. It works.

  2. Yes, the car conversations are doozies with us, too. Mine are 9 and 7. The 9 often calls out the 7 on things he knows are wrong (and so does she), but she likes to make things up...for fun...kinda like me. I should be recording them, but usually it goes like this,"Quiet back there! I'm trying to drive. Nobody is right and we'll sort it out when we get home!"

  3. Hehehe. *sends more Mt.Dew*

    I don't have kids, but I do have a six-year-old nephew who's an Aspie. He's always been a talker in the car. He likes to tell long, rambling stories, but he's also obsessed with math. My sister found an old calculator last year and gave it to him and he spent two hours telling everyone that 5+11 was 16, 23-5 was 18, etc. (He's on to division now.)

    Also, I was a chronic mispronouncer in my childhood. It's a family joke, and my husband still catches me at it sometimes. :)

  4. Okay, my son doesn't have Aspberger's (that I know of), yet he swears he's right on pronunciations too! When he was 4, he was absolutely certain that the four-wheeled vehicle was a "chruck" not a "truck." After informing him sweetly and then more forcefully for a while, I finally suggested we look at the Donald Crews book entitled Truck that he liked so much. Sure enough, it was "Truck" on the cover, to which he replied, "Huh, I don't know why they got it wrong." Aaaarrrrrggggghhhh!

    I blame the father's genes. ;)