The single most ignored piece of parental instruction ever most certainly has to be “Okay, everybody get in the van!” Despite the eleventh time you have told your boys to get in the van, as you head toward the garage you know there is absolutely, positively zero chance that anyone is in the van. If you’re driving an SUV or a Honda Civic, it doesn’t matter. When you get out there, no boys will be inside. Instead, boys will find something – anything – to do to avoid that most horrible of fates: actually getting into the vehicle.
So you may be fully apprised of the severity of this situation, I’ve composed a brief list of:
The Things Boys Would Rather Do Instead of Just Getting In The Stinking Van
- Put their shoes back on. Because in the three minutes that have elapsed since you observed they were finally ready, they have already found a reason to remove the shoes. It’s not a good reason.
- Open the fridge and jam various food items into their mouth. And pockets.
- Totally destroy freshly wet and combed hair by pulling Batman ski mask over entire head.
- Go in the back yard and get mud on hands. Wipe hands on white school shirt.
- Ride scooters and bikes down the driveway. I swear, one day I’m just gonna leave and make them ride the scooter to school.
- Use acorns to smush ants and other bugs found crawling on driveway.
- Chase sister with ants and other bugs found crawling on driveway.
- Display various food items in pockets to brothers who, in turn, bolt back inside on a mission to raid fridge for themselves.
- Decide that NOW it’s finally time to pee.
- Pee on side of house.
- Use dad’s hammer to make awesome marks on the poor sapling tree in front yard.
- Attempt to inflate flat football, bust the tip off yet another needle in the air pump nozzle.
This list could continue indefinitely. There are actually not any things that are not applicable to this list, because for boys, all things are more pleasant than simply getting in the van. Eating a giant stalk of broccoli while practicing piano lessons? On the list. If there were no more things to do, boys would definitely do this before they got in the van.
Usually the grueling process of herding a pack of boys into the van culminates with the dad sitting in the driver’s seat – head resting wearily on his arms draped over the steering wheel – as balls, scooters, lawn sprinklers and bungee cords go flying toward the giant debris pile surrounding the toy box. Mom is crying quietly in the center of the garage. “For the love of God…would somebody please just get in the van…”
And somehow, some way, we are all finally in it. Time for the next command: “Okay, everybody buckle up!!”
Dear Lord, help us all.