22. Vanophobia

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.

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27 thoughts on “22. Vanophobia

    • My wife and I were married 6 years before our first. Seriously – I tell people I HAVE NO IDEA what the heck we did during those six years. It kinda takes over your whole life. Best thing ever… worst thing ever, but in a good way. 🙂

  1. Hahaha! I can vividly picture you with head resting wearily on arms draped on the steering wheel and wife crying. It’s one of the job hazards being parents.

  2. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Your site was recommended to me by a friend, and I have to say, that I spent about an hour last night, sitting on the couch beside my husband who was watching football, and by watching football I mean he was dozing off. Anyway, I was laughing so hard out loud that I kept waking him up. Seriously. As a mother of an almost 6 year old boy, I think I identified with every single word I read. amazing.

    • Thanks Katie! Glad you liked it… It’s sort of like therapy here. I am amazed at how many people relate, and it’s a real testament to how much boys are alike. Not every one of them, but the great majority are runnin’ on the same fuel!

  3. Wow – that’s quite a gauntlet. Though you have to admit, it’s hard to pass up a giant stalk of broccoli when the urge to practice piano comes up.

    In New York, we just have to get out the door. I use Zombies for motivation. You have my sympathies.

    • Zombies, good call! I have had limited success by employing the “let’s make it a race to see who can get buckled in their seat fastest” method… But zombies sounds very promising!

  4. I was laughing out loud while reading this. Your blog was recommended by a friend and I must say that it is FANTASTIC! As a mother of 4 (2 boys, two girls) I can so relate. Thanks for reminding us that parenting really is amusing even after a “get in the van” kind of a morning.

    • Thank you, Stacy! All boy survivors must stick together! And you’re right – it helps to think of it in the “man, this will be so funny when I tell it 20 years from now” light. 🙂

  5. Well, we’ve successfully evaded that problem for the last year…..don’t have a vehicle!! 🙂 It’s still a fight to get them all out the door sometimes though. I can just picture the 2 girls, patiently waiting IN the van while you wrangle the boys…but just wait a few years, and you’ll be waiting on the girls to finish with hair and makeup for longer than it takes you to get the boys in!

  6. when mine were those ages I had the same problem, until one day my wife and I got in the car and left them there. ( thats what they thought anyway), the house sits on a corner lot and I simply move the car around the corner. The screams of insainity were long and loud. Wailing from the other side of the house cause they KNEW we were horrible enough to leave them. Once that drama was over, ive never had another moments problem gettin them into the car on the 1st try, cause they know now that I aint playin that game anymore lol.

  7. Being as I only had 1 boy, and he was a very good boy, I don’t think we ever hadthis problem. But you had me laughing so loud I almost woke Carl up. Cant wait to read this one to him. I know he’ll love it. Well done!!

  8. I dissagree, my boys never respond to “time to take a bath” or “time to go to bed”. We live in the country, and homeschool, so getting in the car is an adventure and an opportunity to visit with others. Maybe you could do one about the mystery of why it takes an act of God to get them in the bath but they will stay in until they are completely shriveled, and still come out filthy 3 hours later.

    • haha, good point! When getting in the car means fun and excitement ahead, they do tend to hop right to it. Bath time…you’re right, that’s a whole other topic. Good idea, stay tuned! Thanks for reading. 🙂

  9. I have to agree with the above – it must be a homeschooling thing? When I tell the boys (which we actually have a theme song for) “Head out to the van boys!” It’s like a heard of freaking elephants through the house. Things get knocked over, spare shoes are left behind, people are trampled and I’m lucky if no holes are put in the walls! It’s boarder line apocalyptic what they leave behind?

    Why? Because there may be food involved in the outing! Food – it’s always about the food…

  10. Oh my this is great!! I have an 8 yo girl, 3 yo boy, and 1 yo boy. Our 3 yo boy is breaking everything we “knew” about parenting the 8 yo. He is constantly shocking us with new things he has managed to get into. 🙂 In our case, I think we are DEFINITELY reaping my hubby’s childhood. 🙂 The other day during a “nap” I checked on him to find that he was trying to replace the curtain rod with NO curtain even in sight.
    Our bigger issue is getting buckled, though sometimes he does do the dawdle thing. He finds every reason on earth NOT to buckle already. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!!

  11. I keep a box of tic-tacs (fruit flavored, of course) in my purse. I call them my “scooby snacks.” Instead of saying “get in the van” I tell my 3 and 4 year old “anyone who can get in the van and buckle up without complaining gets a tic-tac!” Works every time. It’s amazing what these two would do for a tic-tac!

  12. This is just HILARIOUS and describes my sister’s family to a “T”!!!!!! She has 4 boys and 1 very sweet and sassy girl! I laughed my head off just reading through this…b/c I can picture each of her boys doing these things……great blog!

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