Tuesday, August 14, 2007

8/14/07 The Gearhead

This morning, driving to and from Gabriel's swim lesson, he was filled with questions about how cars work, and in particular, the pickup in which we were.

How many pedals does this truck have?
What happens if you push both pedals at the same time?
Do you have a different pedal to go in reverse?
How many reverse gears does your car have?
Where does the exhaust come from?
Is there a driveshaft for every wheel?
Can you go in first gear on the highway?
What kind of brakes does this truck have?
How does the engine connect to the wheels?

And, comments, spoken with authority:

When I grow up, I'm going to have a disk brake -- on the front wheels.
This pickup truck has an automatic transmission.
When you push on the gas pedal, a flap puts more gas on the engine.
I hate clutches because of clutch chatter!

Clearly, he's been talking to Dad way, WAY too much.

Unfortunately for him, my knowledge of cars and engines is limited, and what I do know is restricted to carbureted horizonally-opposed twin engines in now-vintage BMW motorcycles. I make a conscious effort, however, to give him real answers, and not to introduce the stereotype that Moms don't know anything about cars. Even though it's mostly true.

After Gabriel's swim class, I spent much of my day "off" running errands I've been trying to do for a week, and some which I wouldn't dare do with children (like actually entering a bank and talking to a human).

I also went running this afternoon, a moderate route that included passing a lovely shaded bay tree grove. There I had an "ahhh" moment, like the whole world was at peace. It was so pretty in this little canyonway, with cool breezes in stark contrast to the hot and dry hilltops. I felt uplifted, strong, positive, optimistic as the trees and hills and fresh air and scurrying lizards revived me. I was headache-free today, and strength and power coursed through me as I tackled the hills and felt the sun on my skin.

Tonight, Katrina had exactly what the boys did for dinner: turkey burgers, creamed spinach, and rice. Except she ate more of it than they did.

After eating, she finishes off with a sippy-cup of water, which turns out to be a fun toy as well as a drinking vessel. And the wet tray makes great practice for future finger-paints.

I forgot to mention, yesterday after Katrina's swim class, in playtime sitting on the steps, she pulled herself up to a stand for the first time. No doubt the buoyancy helped, and the step was a perfect height for her. She's on her way!


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