So I got a new motor this week.
I can’t say it was a purchase that the old man took lightly – as many of you know, there is very little manoeuvrability within the old man’s pockets – but after fifteen years of nagging and providing him with several very valid reasons as to why I was stealing his golf membership money, (that include the safety of our children and having a GPS that can actually direct me from A to B), he finally caved in.
And I’ve surprised myself by becoming very precious about this new car.
Which is funny, because I consider myself to be a normal woman when it comes to cars and aside from the colour, I really don’t give a fuck about or understand a damn thing about engine size, petrol consumption or those other minor specifications that men masturbate over.
But one particular male in our household has been particularly excited by our new purchase – he, (who along with ‘The Medicinal Benefits of Cannabis’) who is studying Top Gear as one of his electives for his HSC and who refers to Jeremy Clarkson as Dad.
Which has caused some personal distress for me in my new motor because he just keeps touching things.
Normally our car journeys together are a time where Kurt and I reconnect, albeit to the background noise of some god-awful music that he has recently discovered so that I can’t even hear the GPS let alone her wonderful mispronunciations of Australian street names, and I turn into my mother.
‘TURN THAT MUSIC DOWN!’
When the old man got a new car a few years ago, Kurt and the Spoodle Princess were forbidden entry, but because my car has been categorised as the ‘family’ car (aka The Pit), I have to share it with the parasites and pretend to be tolerant.
There is tolerance and then there is being a fucking saint of a parent, which as you’ve probably realized by now, I’m not.
I took Kurt to his drumming lesson yesterday. Ordinarily, this is a ‘happy’ journey together because he is excited at the prospect of beating the fuck out of a drum set and pretending it’s his parents, and I get a useless hour to wander around Leichhardt in search of a decent coffee from one of those lovely Italian restaurants that are never open when I am there.
Generally, on the way back home we catch up on what Kurt has been doing that he shouldn’t be doing, while we sit in rush hour traffic.
But yesterday was different because the new car has changed the usual dynamics of my one chance per week to be a good parent. I admit to feeling on edge about Kurt touching my new toy and playing aggressively with the controls within my first twenty-four hours of ownership. ADHD kids like touching, taking apart and sometimes destroying as a mode of learning and I wasn’t ready to sacrifice my car, yet. Horrible memories of a similar situation came flooding back of when the old man and I bought our first sofa together some twenty years ago from this posh shop in London. On the first night, while we were sleeping and I was dreaming of its beautiful latte upholstery, one of our cats decided that the sofas arms were better than any scratching post she’d ever seen and clawed the fuck out of both them and my precious sofa was completely ruined.
I felt really sad and a little bit sick every time I sat on that sofa over the next ten years and the experience cost the old man five years of therapy as well the re-upholstery costs.
Kurt knows that when he pushes the electric window buttons and the automatic door lock button constantly that I become agitated, and this new car has a veritable smorgasbord of interesting buttons to push. He then proceeded to yank at the fragile-looking stick-thing (that I give one month max) that controls the GPS and radio (that’s if you know how to use it) and I remember thinking at that point, ‘thank fuck, we didn’t get the sunroof.’
And as we sat on the Harbour Bridge, bumper to bumper, I began to hyperventilate so loudly that I couldn’t even hear Barbie’s frantic commands of ‘turn around where possible’ on the GPS, took the wrong turn and began heading back to Parramatta, which provoked Kurt to roar in rage that even with a GPS I could still get fucking lost.
The straw that broke the camel’s back was when he turned Nirvana up so loudly and proceeded to drum in time with his drum sticks on my new, perfect dashboard. I stopped the car and told him calmly that unless he could behave like a sixteen year old rather than a three year old, he would have to walk home.
Or maybe…. I did an emergency stop, (destroying my new brake pads), stormed out of the car and tried to yank him out of the passenger seat like a crazy woman, bellowing expletives that even I didn’t know I knew.
I haven’t played the ‘get out of the car right now’ parenting card for at least five years but at least this time it wasn’t dark and he was wearing trousers.
I know that one shouldn’t get prissy about material things and that relationships are more important, (thank you Pinterest), but sometimes it’s easy to lose sight of what is important.
Mr Cobain has been warned that next time I will leave him there.