Our Volvo was proof a car can make it 50,000 miles before any maintenance was required. Why would I risk such a thing? Because to take in her car would mean I would have to leave my car at home and subject it to the mercies of her and my four- and six-year old. Other dads understand.
5. Only surgically ready sterilized children are allowed in dad cars.
Dirty, mud-soaked, wet kids are always allowed in mom’s car. My wife wouldn’t even put a towel in the back seat! I would quiz her how such a thing could happen and she would ask me if I really wanted our children left at “Waterworld?” It would take a couple of minutes but eventually I would spit out “No,” but she and I both knew I was lying.
6. There is absolutely no coughing, gum chewing, nose picking, touching, talking, drinking, eating, or complaining allowed in dad’s car.
As my kids grew older and I was forced to drive them to school, there was no touching the radio nor commenting on my 70’s and 80’s music. Mom’s car however had radio buttons stuck together, chewed gum on the floor and five years worth of nose extractions in the middle of the back seat. There was not the slightest possibility of me ever riding in the back seat.
7. Dad cars are kept spotless and clean.
I would wash my car weekly. I tried washing the Volvo one day and after $10 in quarters, I assumed she had been off-roading with windows rolled down because there was still mud on and in the car. I even found hardened dog poop in the back seat. My wife’s explanation was she thought the dog had sucked it back in. I never bothered to wash it again. Dad’s car could carry only two things: a briefcase and an athletic bag. Bleach, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, mops, tomatoes, meat, groceries – anything that could smell or leak was consigned to the mom car. I would go the pharmacy in my car as long as I wasn’t picking up liquid medicine. Now in the mom car, that stuff was not only carried, but of course, eventually spilled or leaked. It was a mom car. It was a Volvo. I didn’t care. I expected those stains. It was her car.
8. Dad’s car is never, ever put in the hands of a teenager learning to drive.
I would sit in the mom car, inhaling chemicals, food, poop and God knows what else, and know that if my son failed to remember what to do at a red light, we would live and even more important, my car would be safe. I’ll let him drive my car when he’s thirty-five.
What are the rules for the dad car in your family?
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