(OK, we’re typing this up on a laptop in the van as we drive back home Saturday night, after a good meal of bashing seafood. This stretch of the road is very bumpy due to construction and poor maintenance, and V is in the back going “aaaaaaaahhhhhhh” just to hear her voice vibrate with the bumps. Your WADOT tax dollars, hard at work.)

We took a very quick trip this weekend to visit some friends and set up a new server. This meant five plus hours driving in the Big Hoopdy Van. As we drove, we would point out some things to Little Miss V. “Look, it’s Mount Rainier! It’s a volcano!” “Look, pink and white wildflowers that someone sprinkled on the side of the highway!” “Look at all the bridges over the river! They should call this Bridgeland!” Each pronouncement of an interesting vista was greeted with an unenthusiastic grunt from the back seat. A scientist armed with a super-accurate atomic clock and sensitive instruments would have been hard pressed to measure the minuscule amount of time that her eyes left her toys to gaze out the van. It almost made me want to say, “Look, V! It’s the Loch Ness Monster and Bigfoot singing ‘La Bamba’ in Hebrew!” to see if her reaction would be any different.

This is not a complaint, merely an observation. I would have no leg to stand on if I were to complain. When I was her age, I was just as bad. My family was living in England, and Mom and Dad were always pointing out interesting sites. “Look, it’s a castle!” “Look, it’s another castle!” “Look, it’s the Queen with Bigfoot singing ‘La Bamba’ in Hebrew!” We were more interested in fighting in the back seat, or reading our books, than in paying attention to what our parents were saying. After all, it was just another castle.

At one point, my parents threatened that if we didn’t start paying attention on these trips, they would leave us in England as they went off to Amsterdam. If we were engaged and paying attention, we would go as a family. Needless to say, there were three bummed kids with the babysitter the weekend my parents went off for a fun time in Amsterdam without us. So I have no grounds for complaint if V isn’t paying attention.

I have learned my lesson, and I pay great attention to my surroundings now. Let me state for the record that when my wife is reading a book out loud to me, I am not snoring. It is a sinus condition or deep breathing, whichever excuse she is most likely to accept. I also MEANT to miss that on-ramp. Really. And no, I’m not asking for directions.

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