Friday, 14 March 2014

A Drive on the Surreal Side



Driving can be dull, though it’s best not to ask B what she thinks.  Judging by how wild her eyes get and how white her knuckles are afterwards, car rides with me are more turbulent than tranquil, more joy-ride than joyful.  I of course think everything is going fine, until there is a little squeak from beside me and my wife’s hands shoot up from the thing they were crushing to cover her mouth.  It’s understandable really.  B learnt to drive at 18 and has therefore been driving for REDACTED years.  I learnt to drive when I was 28, which was a long time after B and so she looks upon my driving the way a mouse might think about a new neighbourhood cat, an unwelcome addition to its life that is likely to kill it one day.  

I've told you before.  I am not getting into a car with you.

I am happy to allow the comments from B content in the knowledge that she probably knows what she is talking about and maybe I was a little close to the tree in the middle of that field.  What I wasn’t prepared for though was that N might take great delight in pointing out my driving incompetence.  It started happening a while ago.  Just little mutterings from the back seat. 

“Daddy, can mummy drive please?”

That was not too bad, but when we moved on to things like:

“Daddy, you’re going too fast, slow down daddy,”

I began to get a little suspicious that maybe B was feeding her lines to say before the trip.  Turns out not so much, this was all coming straight from her, driving criticism that could have come from Jackie Stewart instead pouring forth from the mouth of my three year old daughter.  At least those comments made sense in the circumstances, I was driving, and it can seem quite speedy from the back, but recently things have taken a slightly stranger twist.  I wrote about Nora (Hi Nora!) a while back, you may want to refresh yourselves about Nora before we get into the latest twilight zone episode, it’s ok, we’ll wait.

We were driving somewhere.  It’s best not to ask me where as I would be forced to make something up so that I didn’t look like a forgetful idiot, this story, after all, took place barely a week ago.

We were driving somewhere that is not relevant to the story.  It was all going very well.  I tend to measure a journey’s success by how many cows I have managed not to startle by suddenly swerving into their field.  So far I have had very many successful trips and no unsuccessful trips (self-help tip number 32: success can be guaranteed as long as you set the parameters.) 

It was all going very well.  S was sleeping, B had stopped looking at the road through tiny slits in her fingers and had almost unclenched her jaw muscles enough to keep up a conversation when suddenly N decided that the drive had been going so well she couldn’t interject with a derogatory comment, but she did need to add to her surreal quotient.  So, without any introduction, or provocation from me, she popped out the words,

“But Daddy, we do, we do live in a campfire.”

I’m afraid, despite being her parent, and someone who knows her really quite well, I cannot expound her comment at all.  It is utterly inexplicable, although I suppose, for the record, I should point out that we have never, nor do we ever intend to, live in a campfire, which sounds, after all, like it could be moderately uncomfortable.  Whilst it was completely ridiculous, N’s comment did have the result that B actually managed a laugh whilst I was driving, which may be a first and is definitely a good sign for the future.  So again I find myself thanking my daughter for livening up what is a pretty dull experience, but perhaps next time she could just stick to talking about the weather and steer clear of habitable campfires.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Matt, Glad you remembered me this time! Are you sure you set the parameters right? I've SEEN your car!
    You have to think hard, what could she have possibly transliterated into "campfire"?

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