I don’t know what it is about car washes. We never teased him about them, we never tortured him with them, we never made him stand under the shower head. So I don’t know why he has a dramatic fear of the car wash. And never-the-less, he does.
For me, the car wash is generally not something I take the time to do in the driveway. It’s not something where I go to the place where you give them the car and they wash it inside-and-out while I sit on the patio reading a newspaper and sip coffee. No, the way I do car washes is to wait until the last possible moment. I wait until it’s hard to see out the windows and I’ve forgotten what color my car is. Then I take it to the cheapest car wash I can find: the one at the gas station.
So, today was car wash day. I drove out to Ventura yesterday for a meeting and must have driven through a storm of insects that likely rivaled that of Egypt when Moses was visiting the Pharoah. Couldn’t see; time for a car wash.
I’ve learned that I have to warn Cameron that something he doesn’t like is coming. Previous trips to the gas station and the spur-of-the-moment, “let’s go through the car wash” generally end in the apocalypse. So, yesterday I warned him that today was car-wash day. And this morning I warned him that we’d wash the car in the afternoon. He was prepped. He was ready.
The first thing that happened after getting gas was that he insisted on sitting in the front seat with me rather than the back seat on his own. I expected it, so that was ok. Then he spent the entire car wash cycle kneeling on the seat with his head buried as far down in the seat as he could, as if he could actually bury his head there in the crack of the seat. I told him how brave he was, and how proud of him I was that he was doing this even though he was scared.
After we had pulled through the whirling fan of terror (the blower that dries the car), he sat slowly up. He looked around and saw that we were no longer in the car wash. He was alive. As I buckled him back into his car seat in the back, he said to me, “Daddy, I was brave hiding!”
Brave Sir Cameron! And if you know what movie I’m nearly-quoting, you get bonus points!!