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A note on animal husbandry and elevators

anonymous person pressing button of lift

Last year I saw a cow give birth, freaked out, and called the farmer. Because – James Herriott. This year I knew better. But I didn’t know enough NOT to stop and watch while I had my 6-year old boy child in the car.

Here is his monologue.

OH MY. That is so gross. But cool. But woah. THE BABY IS OUT!
Mom. There is slime. It is everywhere.
This is so gross. But the baby is so cute. This is so bad.
The baby is in mud, covered in mud.
What is she thinking.
That baby cow is the cutest but also the grossest thing I’ve ever seen.

(I feel compelled to interject here those are the exact words I thought after each of my children was born)

Okay, I can’t watch this anymore. WAIT! Why are you driving away?!
That was so weird.

We live full speed out here folks. See a cow giving birth, stay for the show.

Speaking of elevators. (See, I can do that, because I’m the author) It turns out my kids don’t know how to use one. This is a possible oversight in our parenting.

My big ones have reached the age of being able to travel from the lobby to the hotel room and back on their own. So, we were in the lobby, they needed their water bottles, and I sent them on their way. This required traveling up 2 floors in the elevator, walk through a long hallway, then back down two floors.

They were absent for an awfully long time. So long I almost considered worrying. Then they appeared.

Me: What took you guys so long?
J: We had to wait for the elevator. It took forever for the doors to open!
Me: Like, you were stuck in it?
J: No, like it took forever for it to come to the lobby and open. Finally someone got off at the lobby. We could see it going up and down on the higher floors.
Me: Was the button not working?
J: What button?
Me: That’s…there’s a button…did you push the button?
J: We would never push a button, what if we called the firemen?
Me: How did you get to the second floor then, without pushing the button?
J: We got lucky and someone was getting off.

Fine. They don’t know how to use an elevator. BUT, my 6-year old son, at the tender age of 4, knew how to change a flat tire, on a CAR.

We moved here and immediately were victims of not one, not two, not just three, but FOUR flat tires within the span of 2 months. These were months when Hubs was traveling for work, like serious travel. He was gone the first 7 weeks from M-F, home on the weekends.

The first 3 flats occurred on weekends. But they were becoming so frequent that when he went out of town he would leave the tire pressure gauge and the air compressor in the garage right next to the van.

This particular incident he was in Washington state, a solid 3 hours time difference. One evening on the phone I told him I suspected the tire was developing a slow leak. I was hesitant to admit this, because I knew it would snowball.

Me: If it gets worse I’ll take it to the local garage and ask them to put on the spare so you can deal with it when you get back.
Hubs: No way. You can’t drive around on the spare all week. Take it to the tire shop and get it dealt with.
Me: I married YOU so I wouldn’t have to go to tire shops.
Hubs: It’s only going to get worse if you ignore the problem.
Me: I’m really good at ignoring problems.
Hubs: At the very least, put the spare on yourself.
Me: I married YOU so I wouldn’t have to put on spares.
Hubs: Fine. At the very least, take the pressure reading and if it’s below *some number I didn’t pay attention to then and don’t care about now* then top it off with the air compressor. I literally left everything right where you need it.
Me: I am not doing that.
Hubs: Fine. At the very least, let me tell you how to put on the spare so that when it goes flat you can fix it. Because I’m in WA and it’s probably going to happen at an inconvenient time when it’s the middle of the night here. I’ll tell you where all the tools are-
Me: I am not doing that. It will not go flat. I am willing it to last. I regret ever bringing up the slow leak.

Thus ended the conversation.


The next morning the van, myself, my 2 year old Lexi and 4 year old Benji are heading to preschool when halfway down our super steep, super long driveway I thought, “something feels funny.” Sure ’nuff, flat tire. Like REALLY flat. Like, on the rim flat and I drove it like that.

It was 8 AM my time, 5 AM his time. I made the call.

To his credit, he answered with a resigned sigh and refrained on the “I told you so.”

Back to the reason I brought all this up. Hubs had to tell me where all the tools were. The torque wrench, the jack, tire chocks, other things I don’t care about. I was already daunted by hauling all this stuff down our 1/4 mile driveway so opted to drag logs out of the woods to use as chocks. Questionable, in hindsight.

4 year old Benji had to help me find the jack and the torque wrench. He spends a lot of time in Daddy’s shop. He knows things. We then get back to the car and I’m trying to line up the jack, I have no idea what I’m doing.

Me: Kids! Be quiet, Mommy needs to think.
B: Whatcha thinking about?
L: Why are there logs in the road?
Me: I’m thinking about where to put this jack and I’m thinking about how to attach this handle thing.
B: *never one to miss an opportunity to mansplain* move over Mommy, I’ll show you how to do it.

And he did. He showed me where to put the jack, how to put on the handle, and how to use it.

He may have to request a ground floor hotel room for the rest of his life, but dude can get you where you need to go, come what may. Unless it’s to the second floor…

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