Today I have to say I am super proud of BOTH my siblings! First, because it is my awesome Bubby’s birthday and I am proud of what he has done with his life. He is an Assistant General Manager of a major hotel and has found someone in life who truly loves him and makes him happy (even if she is pocket-sized). Secondly, because my seester called me today to tell me that not only was she named the Teacher Of The Year at her school but that she is a finalist for the same honor for her district! Yeah my siblings are amazing and wonderful in their own rights. Plus, they put up with me as their crazy fat girl of an older sister so that truly has some bonus points! This made me think of how much fun it was to be their big Sissy as they were growing up and one incident stuck out in my mind. Well…..it was funny for me but not for them.
We were on a family road trip sometime around I believe the summer before I went to college. That would make the siblings 6 and 4ish. Now, we owned quite the statement of a car back then. The typical family roadster of a station wagon, complete with the seat in the trunk. If you have never experienced one of these, they are classic. A place to store your children in the trunk of your car while you drive. Never mind what might happen to them if you are rear-ended because they have seat belts on so it will all be ok. Doesn’t it sound safe? I refused to ride back here. Plus, if you were above the age of 12, your knees were in your throat as you rode, making it even more comfortable. Yeah. Not appealing.
On this particular trip, the younger kiddos were seated in the trunk of the family roadster. They HATED sitting next to each other and the constant “She is touching me” and “He is breathing on me” comments were being shouted from the back along with whining and crying and all sorts of scuffling sounds that I, as the teenager I was, chose to drown out with the sounds of George Michael’s Faith album blasting from my Walkman. I much preferred to hear the gentle lyrics of “I will be your father figure, put your tiny hand in mine” then the shouting of “His feet are in my space” or “She won’t stop looking at me” Seriously. This is what they were shouting. My parents had an ingenious way of dealing with these situations. They would tell each child to “Put your hands on the windows” so that they would quit touching, shoving, pinching, or whatever else they were doing to each other. My Mom, after many minutes of the bickering did yell at them to do so, causing to tiny little people to stretch their hands over their sides of the windows in attempts to not touch each other. Sigh. This left them their feet and pretty soon the sounds of kicking and crying and spitting were heard. Yeah, my seester was a spitter. Really. She would spit on Bubby when she got mad. Mom tried to break this habit by putting tabasco sauce on her tongue every time she did it. Pretty sure this just made her madder and she would spit hot sauce on him.
After several minutes of this new bickering and spitting, my Dad had had enough. He yelled in his drill sergeant voice that either they knock it off or he was going to pull over to the side of the road and they could walk home from California. Now most kids have had this threat I am sure but have never had the pleasure of witnessing what happened next. There was a few minutes of glorious silence to which I thought maybe I could turn down the lovely crooning of George so that maybe I could save my hearing for later. Nope. It all started up again complete with pushing, shoving, scratching and who knows what else but definitely more spitting. I look up and see my Dad’s face in the rear view mirror and knew he was pissed but even I was unprepared for the sudden and violent turning of the car and the screeching of the brakes as it came to a halt. My Dad, without saying a word, got out of the car, slammed his door shut, walked to the back, opened up the trunk and in his booming voice ordered the two small children out. Now there was a deafening silence as they obeyed and my Mom and I stared at each other wondering what was gonna happen. I slowly took my headphones off in disbelief as he slammed the trunk closed. Mom and I turned and watched him yell at the two now crying children on the side of the road. And then it happened. My Dad stormed back to the driver’s seat, got in and slammed the door….leaving the two kids standing behind the car. He sat there for a moment before he said to us “Don’t you two even start laughing” because of course we did. He then, to our surprise, started the car and proceeded to pull away VERY SLOWLY. I don’t even think he registered speed on the speedometer. Mom and I looked at each other, trying not to giggle and looked back. All we could see were two sobbing children, running after the car as fast as their little legs would carry them. Now, my Mom and I could not help it and were in full hysterical laughter and even my Dad was laughing. He stopped the car after a minute, turned to us and asked us to keep a straight face, got out and opened up the trunk. Two dirty, tear-stained faces crawled back in to it and the only sounds we heard for the rest of the day were sniffling and politeness with occasional snickering coming from my Mom and I. Never had the phrase “I will put you out of the car and leave you here” made two children ever behave so well. It was a classic moment in our family and one I found hysterical even to this day. I love my two crazy siblings.
Oh yeah. I didn’t die today. I did discover what great people both my siblings have turned into and am grateful for the non spitting relationship they now have. I am fat girl laughing at the thought of my Dad trying to leave them on the side of the road running. The experiment continues….