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Laura on Life: The pit crew savors a victory

My seven-year old finally earned enough money to buy himself a toy he’s been eyeing at Wal-Mart. It’s a race car that comes with all the accessories needed for a Pit Stop. There were extra tires, an oil can, a fuel pump, and tools for washing windows and checking the engine.
He showed me what his version of a pit stop was. Rolling the car into a cardboard “pit stop” area, he then turned the car completely upside down and took all the tires off. Rather than explain how turning the car upside probably didn’t really happen at pit stops, I watched him put two news tires and two of the old ones right back on because he only had two extras. The race car didn’t really have a gas tank filling spot to put the gas pump, which I think was a major design flaw, so he improvised by using the tail pipe. Every tool was employed in some way.
From watching races on TV, he knew that he had to work quickly. Miniature oil cans and tools flew hither and yon as he serviced his race car at a frantic pace. Finally, he threw up his hands as if he had just roped a calf. In his mind he was victorious in beating his imaginary clock. I applauded as I was expected to do, but my mind flew to Monday morning.
It was a school morning just like any other. I woke the kids early enough, but they tend to dally. I suspect the dallying is due to intense thought about what they could possibly do that would convince me to keep them home from school.
It isn’t until ten minutes before the bus is scheduled to arrive that they are ready to accept their fate.
Then things start speeding up. My husband and I are the self-designated pit crew. One eye on the clock and barking out orders like a drill sergeant, we station ourselves in the foyer waiting for the inevitable crisis and ready to deal with anything that comes our way.
“Don’t forget your library book!” He runs to dig it out of his toybox.
“Do you have P.E. today?” I ask one of them.
“Yes.”
“Then you can’t wear sandals. Where are your sneakers?” She runs to find them.
“What’s that on your face?” He shrugs. “Go wash it off, quickly!”
“Have you got your…lunch money?… snack? … science project? … permission slip?”
“Mom, I can’t find my other sneaker.”
“Okay, everybody! Listen up! She can’t find her sneaker. It looks like this. You ń Look in the kitchen! You, the living room. You, under your bed. Honey check outside.”
The youngest says “It might be in the mailbox.”
My husband and I looked at each other, momentarily shocked.
He makes a sudden decision, “I’ll go look in the mailbox!”
“Right.” I said as I ran to check the bathroom.
“Found it!” someone yells.
“Okay great! Backpacks loaded! Jackets on! Shoes on!”
“Wait a minute. Where do you think you’re going?”
“What? What did I forget?”
“Have you looked in the mirror? You look like a couple of weasels were mating on your head last night… and one is still in there. I think it’s dead, but don’t move until I pull a comb through it.”
“Kisses! … Now get out of here!”
My husband and I watched them run out the door just as the bus comes around the corner. We shut the door and throw up our hands in victory and give each other a double high five. We did it! …again.
– – –
Laura Snyder is a nationally syndicated columnist, author & speaker. You can reach Laura at lsnyder@lauraonlife.com Or visit her website www.lauraonlife.com.

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