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Oh, THAT'S Why People Love Their Cars

We’ve had unprecedented cold weather
here – two inches (stop the presses!) of snow a couple days
ago, then an entire day of sleet and snow yesterday. When the rain
turned to sleet, Brian was sent home early from work, so fearful
are people down here of bad weather. Which I appreciate, because no
one here knows how to drive in bad weather, and you see those big
huge trucks barreling down a slushy street at 50 miles an hour.

But I digress.

As I was saying, we’ve had some
snow. Now when we had our two inches, the snow fell overnight and
was gone by lunchtime the next day, but Maddie and I still hit the
park in the morning and made snow angels and snowballs. But the
slushy sleet day started as cold rain, which every parent knows is
a death sentence to a fun day. Snow we can handle; freezing
temperatures, we just get out the snow suit; but cold rain you
simply can’t get around.

If we’d been in New York, I’d probably have begged my
friend Ingrid to brave the cold rain and drag herself over to my
house for a playdate. Traveling in that weather is no fun:
you’ve got the stroller, the high winds, an umbrella
you’re trying to hold onto, a toddler crying because she
doesn’t want to be behind the wind screen, the works. By the
time you get where you’re going, the bottom half of your
pants are wet and cold from the wind blowing the rain sideways, and
you spend the whole playdate freezing and pruney-skinned, knowing
you have to go back out again at some point.

Here, you just get in your car.

Yes, we went to the mall yesterday, which is one of Maddie’s
favorite things to do. Why? Because it has a freakin’
CAROUSEL inside it! Any time there’s bad weather threatening
Maddie says happily, “Looks like we’ll have to go to
the mall!” But yesterday was truly mall-worthy, so we went.
And here’s how we did it:

We got on our jackets. We went into our garage. We got into our
car. We drove to the covered parking. And we went into the mall.

I love this whole car thing.

The morning was not incident-free: I forgot the base stroller for
Cora’s car seat and had to wake a sleeping baby to carry her
inside. Then I had to rent one of those kiddie car strollers for
her, which made Maddie insanely jealous (and made Cora insanely
cute: I wish I’d had a camera to capture my nine-month-old
with one hand on the steering wheel and one elbow hanging out the
window as she lounged back in the seat, for all the world as if she
were driving a convertible). Then Maddie shoplifted a cleaning mitt
from Williams-Sonoma (even in her crime, she’s a neat freak)
and we had to go back and return it. And finally I had to struggle
back to the car with a fretful baby, a shopping bag, a couple
umbrellas in tow (Mommy! If it’s raining I HAVE to carry my
Elmo umbrella!), and a toddler reluctant to leave the carousel
–er, mall.

But still, we left and got in the car. And my pants stayed dry the
whole time.

And guess what I did on the way home?

I picked up lunch. I picked up a prescription at the drugstore. I
dropped of laundry at the cleaners. And I NEVER LEFT THE CAR.

Gosh, I love this place.


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