by Harry H Harrison Jr.
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Moms don’t understand this, but dads know there is simply no way to enter the perils of childhood with one car.
Unless it’s dad’s car and mom takes the public transportation system, two cars are mandatory for the happiness of the marriage and the colitis of the father. Moms only see that dad’s car is newer and are mystified why he never drives it to soccer games. But dads have to be as protective of their car as much as they are of the remote control. The truth is, should a hurricane be bearing down on the neighborhood and only dad’s car has enough gas to get out of town, he will have to seriously weigh the consequences of putting the kids in his car versus putting them on the roof of the house.
What’s the big difference between mom’s car and dad’s car? Well, even if mom’s car is older, it has to be stronger. I bought my wife a Volvo figuring it was the most indestructible car on the market.
Here's what every mom should understand when it comes to dad’s car:
1. Food is never allowed in dad’s car,
Food is seemingly manufactured in the back seat of mom’s car, but it is not OK to eat in dad's car. I remember finding no less than seven McDonald’s wrappers, a few pieces of buns, numerous empty plastic cups, and not to mention chocolate stains in the mom Volvo. Nothing swallowable is allowed in dad’s car, especially cups or coke or milkshakes. That’s why even the cup holders are virgin territory. My wife was always threatening to grab the kids, plop them in my car and go through McDonald’s drive through if I forgot to do the dishes on “my” night. I regarded that as unfair fighting.
2. Dogs are never ever allowed in dad’s car.
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Moms’ cars are typically covered in dog hair, leashes, dog biscuits, and reek of that enticing wet dog smell. This is bad enough but that smell is also competing with the small of uneaten McDonald’s burgers. Moms don’t notice this smell, but dads have to lean their heads out the window to keep from passing out.
3. Puking is absolutely, never ever allowed in dad’s car.
In fact, we had puking lessons for that rare time I would be racing a sick child to the doctor at 10 pm in my car. Only then he would have the biggest bowl in the house on his knees and he wouldn't be allowed to lift his head out of it. Puking was never encouraged in the mom car. But when it happened, she wouldn’t pull over to the side of the road, pull the sick kid out of the car seat, deposit him on the side of the road and frantically try to scoop up the toxic poison out of the seat with the owner’s manual --like any right-thinking dad would do. I found her inactions to be incredible, but she also seemed to think my actions were of a deranged human being.
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4. Dad cars have their oil changed every three thousand miles.