Christina M. Currie: Car talk
We currently have two houses, and my children, Lord help them, live in the car.
Seriously, 8-year-old Katie changed outfits four times in a two-hour span, all with clothes she found in the car.
She even managed to coordinate shoes.
From as near as I could figure, based on my last excavation of the back seat, my two girls could live, completely isolated in the car, for two full days if they’re not too picky.
They’ve complained more about hot meals that I’ve cooked than they would about sustaining themselves on cold French fries and warm juice.
The last time I dared enter their space, I had to use a box, set aside for packing, to contain the vastness of their habitation.
Toys, books, clothes, snacks, movies, electronics, stuffed animals. : The list goes on and on.
And it’s basically because of one small fact – we live at the new house.
Yet we don’t.
It gets complicated.
Now under pressure to complete renovations of one house in about 40 days, we spend evenings and weekends cleaning, painting, trimming, mowing, tiling and carpeting what will become, in a very short timeframe, our new abode.
And when I say “we,” I mean Kevin and myself. Oftentimes Kevin’s family. No, the girls aren’t part of that “we.”
Because, as excited as they are about painting, they’re only excited for about 20 minutes.
Then it’s back to living in the car.
We have a house. We have a yard. We have animal pens and an acre begging to be explored.
But, the girls chose to spend about 90 percent of their time in the car.
I don’t get it. I really don’t.
That space, the freedom and the lure of exploring the unknown would’ve kept me busy for hours, no days, when I was their age.
But no amount of saying “the more you help, the faster we’ll be able to move in” will cajole them from the back seat.
Many’s the night that I’ve returned to the car, tired and sore, to find 7-year-old Nikki fast asleep with the driver’s seat reclined, while Katie is stretched out in the back hidden under a pile of coats.
My children are homeless.
What’s different about children now? Of course, I’ll bet my parents said the same thing.
There was a slight change last night when (sound the trumpets please) the tile work started.
Nikki (and this may have been because her sister was spending the night with a friend) climbed out of the car and came inside the house to help.
She handed out spacers like Vanna White turns letters – precisely, on demand and smiling the entire time. She fetched tile and cleaned out sponges.
“Will I get money for this mom?”
Ah ha. Always the entrepreneur. Luckily, she’s young and it doesn’t take many dollars to make her feel valued.
Then she discovered the wonder of a tile saw and all questions about money died.
A girl after my own heart.
She cut an array of pieces, wrapped them up and carted them home, destined for an art project only she can imagine.
Although, at one point, she mentioned making wings for the dog.
Art she knows. Physics? Not so much.
But what her project did was get her excited about returning to the house to make more tile pieces.
It’s not exactly scrubbing, but at least she’s out of the car.
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The month of January has been a strong one for Moffat County, in terms of combating the COVID-19 pandemic.