Over the holidays, my dad accidentally backed into our mini-van. We took it to the shop to be fixed last week. We have a big family, so the insurance company provided us a rental mini-van (I told them if they gave me a sedan I'd have to strap a child to the luggage rack), and the entire process was going remarkably smoothly. So smoothly, in fact, that I called my husband Thursday afternoon to brag about what a painless, easy process this had been. Spoke too soon.
Early Thursday evening, as I was preparing dinner, my seven- and four-year-old sons were together in the garage, when the seven year old ran inside. "Mom," he panted, "Joseph has done something really bad to the car." When I asked him what he just shook his head: "I don't even know how to tell you. You'll just have to see it." I ran to the garage to find Joseph with a rock in his hand (drat, rocks again...) next to the car (remember, it's a rental). ON the car was an almost continuous 6-inch-high, zig-zag carving that ran the entire length of one side of the car, all around the back, and all the way back up the other side. The only portion of the car NOT zig-zagged by my delightful son was the HOOD. Here is a close-up shot of the carving, though of course a photo can't do it justice:
The color drained out of my face. My jaw dropped to the ground. The earth stopped spinning for just a moment. Joseph, being four, didn't understand the permanence of this. "Let's go get a washcloth and wipe it off," he said. "WE CAN'T," I gulped in a trembling whisper. Now, I'm sure you're breathless with anticipation to find out exactly how we handled this with him, but even mischievous four year olds deserve a little privacy. Just accept my assurances that no little boys were harmed (seriously) in the administering of said discipline.
The next day, I took the car into a couple of shops for estimates. My no-nonsense hubby urged me--only halfway in jest--to flirt shamelessly with the shop guys (while I appreciate his vote of confidence, I told him that the flirtations of a middle-aged, chubby-ish housewife probably weren't going to get us very far). And clearly I was right, because both shops gave us an estimate of $3500. Yes, that's three-five-zero-zero.
Our insurance agent told us he's pretty sure this will be covered by our insurance. Pretty sure? That wasn't exactly the assurance I was looking for. I was hoping more for, oh, "Sure, we'll cover it and we'll even waive your deductible because clearly you need a little pick-me-up since you have no control over your children."
The irony in all this (and there is much) is that my blog was just nominated for some awards (*blush*) over at One Woman's World, including the "Makes Me Want to Have Kids" award. Yet I somehow doubt this is the sort of story that will have women tossing their birth control pills in the trash can. Oh, well.