I’m Sure We’ll Laugh At This. Someday. Maybe.

Over the holidays, my dad accidentally backed into our mini-van.  We took it to the shop to be fixed last week.  We have a big family, so the insurance company provided us a rental mini-van (I told them if they gave me a sedan I’d have to strap a child to the luggage rack), and the entire process was going remarkably smoothly.  So smoothly, in fact, that I called my husband Thursday afternoon to brag about what a painless, easy process this had been.  Spoke too soon.

Early Thursday evening, as I was preparing dinner, my seven- and four-year-old sons were together in the garage, when the seven year old ran inside.  "Mom," he panted, "Joseph has done something really bad to the car."  When I asked him what he just shook his head:  "I don’t even know how to tell you.  You’ll just have to see it."  I ran to the garage to find Joseph with a rock in his hand (drat, rocks again…) next to the car (remember, it’s a rental).  ON the car was an almost continuous 6-inch-high, zig-zag carving that ran the entire length of one side of the car, all around the back, and all the way back up the other side.  The only portion of the car NOT zig-zagged by my delightful son was the HOOD.  Here is a close-up shot of the carving, though of course a photo can’t do it justice:


The color drained out of my face.  My jaw dropped to the ground.  The earth stopped spinning for just a moment.  Joseph, being four, didn’t understand the permanence of this.  "Let’s go get a washcloth and wipe it off," he said.  "WE CAN’T," I gulped in a trembling whisper.  Now, I’m sure you’re breathless with anticipation to find out exactly how we handled this with him, but even mischievous four year olds deserve a little privacy.  Just accept my assurances that no little boys were harmed (seriously) in the administering of said discipline.

The next day, I took the car into a couple of shops for estimates.  My no-nonsense hubby urged me–only halfway in jest–to flirt shamelessly with the shop guys (while I appreciate his vote of confidence, I told him that the flirtations of a middle-aged, chubby-ish housewife probably weren’t going to get us very far).  And clearly I was right, because both shops gave us an estimate of $3500.  Yes, that’s three-five-zero-zero

Our insurance agent told us he’s pretty sure this will be covered by our insurance.  Pretty sure?  That wasn’t exactly the assurance I was looking for.  I was hoping more for, oh, "Sure, we’ll cover it and we’ll even waive your deductible because clearly you need a little pick-me-up since you have no control over your children."

The irony in all this (and there is much) is that my blog was just nominated for some awards (*blush*) over at One Woman’s World, including the "Makes Me Want to Have Kids" award.  Yet I somehow doubt this is the sort of story that will have women tossing their birth control pills in the trash can.  Oh, well.

28 thoughts on “I’m Sure We’ll Laugh At This. Someday. Maybe.

  1. Heth says:

    That is quite a tale, one that will no doubt be re-told again and again. Oh I know the trembling whisper too well.
    I’m so, so, so, sorry.

  2. GiBee says:

    Can it be buffed out, and possibly “touched up” with a little paint???
    Did you try contacting a detailer to see if they could help you out? I mean… he is a little boy. How deep can those scratches be? And I suggest this to you, but while I’ve heard my husband FREQUENTLY say “don’t worry about that little scratch, hon — we can buff it out” — I’ve never actually seen him buff anything out.
    Just a thought … and something worth looking into which might end up only costing three-zero-zero, and not three-five-zero-zero!

  3. chilihead says:

    You did a great job writing up that story. You have definitely found the humor in it. You and your family are the most upbeat, find-the-silver-lining people I have ever met. And I’m proud to know you.

  4. Lauren says:

    Shannon: “WE CAN’T,” I gulped in a trembling whisper. But at least I can blog about it, now go get the camera and run like the wind little man! Maybe this post will win me an award and it’ll all have been worth it!!
    You know that’s what you said!

  5. Peach says:

    Shannon, you are still a great mom. It is utterly impractical to think we can keep an eye on our children at every single moment. Your little man’s behavior was just that . . . the behavior of a four-year-old. I will pray for the least offensive result for you. I’ll still vote for you:)!

  6. Shannon says:

    Wow, thanks for all the great encouragement. GiBee, unfortunately we checked into the buffing option, but no luck. About one 12-inch portion of the damage is buff-able; the rest is too deep. It could be worse. I guess.

  7. Mama B says:

    All I have to say is WOW!!! At least you found some humor in your story, at least I did.
    I voted for you over at One Woman’s World. I enjoy reading your blog!!

  8. Mimi2six says:

    Granted, this is probably the most expensive of Joseph’s experiments, but there are plenty more stories about his inventive and creative curiosity!! Do I sound like a grandmother?? Ask Shannon about the honey on the dog!

  9. Linsey says:

    Okay, no offense but…HAHAHAHAHA!!! My neice worte on my brothers BRAND NEW LEXUS (1st day home from the dealership) with a rock. She wrote in giant letters across one side “M-O-R-G-A-N”. Yes her name. But atleast you remembered the camera to share with us one of the best blogs I have read in awhile. You have my vote, mama.

  10. Queen Beth says:

    Oh, Shannon….I know I shouldn’t laugh. But I am. But just know my four year old is just a “naughty” as yours and has done some things quite as awful! Maybe you should put up a Paypal link on your blog and take donations??? šŸ™‚

  11. hogphan says:

    This is Shannon’s dad. I’m beginning to feel really badly. First, Shannon tells you I was a Clinton man early in his political career (I’ve repented, though he is a nice guy, really!). Then, she tells you I backed into her car recently. AND, as she has reminded me SEVERAL times, I wrote my name on my dad’s new ’51 Ford when I was about Joseph’s age (with a rock, no less) and she thinks he got those genes from me! I’m afraid you may be getting to know me too well!!! šŸ™‚

  12. another mom says:

    I was going to say “ask Karen and Queen Beth about backing into parents’ cars” but Karen already mentioned it. Queen Beth has done her share too. Even grown up kids do hair-raising tricks!
    Great story-telling!

  13. Ogilvie Hall says:

    $3500 ! That’s outrageous. About 6 months ago someone threw a fist-sized rock at my car and put a large dent in it. It cost about $600 (Canadian) to repair,as far as I can remember. Oh, that must hurt. My deepest sympathies.

  14. grammy says:

    Oh, I am so sorry. It brings painfully back to mind all the expensive adventures we had with our kids. One of ours kicked the emergency brake while cleaning the inside of our car, sending it rolling down the driveway into the side of our van (which I was cleaning at the time). Luckily I jumped out of the way when I saw it coming. No one was hurt. Only metal, paint and feelings..
    You did a great job of keeping it in perspcetive.

  15. Shalee says:

    As mournful as I am about your situation, I am so happy to know that there are other mothers around who have to deal with the same crap that I do!
    Perhaps your dad can back into this one too… then it will be completely covered.

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