The Future Car Talk Host

Nikki was kinda expecting a phone on her birthday. She knew she’d be getting a flip phone either for her birthday or Christmas as we’re easing into the whole “home alone” phase of our life and we don’t want to start with 30-minute trips to the grocery store until she has proved she can keep a phone charged for emergencies. Because we’ve had to discuss this (and dash her expectations of getting a smart phone) I knew it wouldn’t be much of a surprise, although I was doing my best to still keep saying, “Christmas” when we referenced when it would happen.

Well, I bought her flip phone last week and had it hidden in a bag in the back of the van.

Fast-forward to Tuesday when I was driving around town and heard a weird beep – I THOUGHT – coming from my dashboard. The only thing I could think of was that my service appointment a few days earlier had alerted me to a recall in my dash. I wondered if the two were related and made a mental note to call Toyota at some point.

Later that day I was picking Nikki up from daycare before a soccer game when I heard it again and thought, Weird. That time it sounded like it was coming from the back of the van. But I didn’t think too much about it until it happened again after I had Nikki in the car and then it hit me: THE DAMN PHONE.

“What is that beeping?”
Me…panicking and saying the first thing that popped into my head…
“Yeah…they told me there was a dashboard recall when I had my car serviced, I guess it has something to do with that.”

Now. This is where any normal person would have left it. But now that I knew it was the phone, I was convinced she was going to figure it out. And it had started beeping more often (it felt) and to me it was suddenly SO OBVIOUS that it was a phone. So! I just kept talking about it the entire 40-minute drive to her soccer game.

“Oh, man. That’s annoying. I’ll have to call Toyota tomorrow. It’s weird that the beeping is coming from the back even though it’s about my dashboard. Must be because the spark plugs are back there and the computer sensor needs the spark plugs to work. Maybe I’ll mess around with the spark plugs when we get to your game and see if I can make it stop beeping.”

Now. Imagine this same soliloquoy but elaborated on to a weird degree because I just wanted to KEEP MAKING SURE SHE WAS THINKING IT WAS RELATED TO THE CAR. I told random stories of other times my car has beeped and how I was able to fix those. I told stories about sensors and spark plugs in the back of the van and how I had seen them because my mechanic showed me. I COULD NOT STOP TALKING ABOUT MY FAKE SPARK PLUGS AND BEEPING SENSORS. It was like I was having a weird psychotic breakdown.

We finally made it to the field and I told her I was going to “work on the car” before the game. I dug out the phone and powered it down (it looked like there were activations messages that’s why it was beeping) and went to the game. When we got back in the car later I told her, “I figured out how to turn off the sensor so the beeping won’t keep making us crazy.”

“What sensor?”

SHE HADN’T EVEN BEEN LISTENING TO ME PRATTLE ON ABOUT FAKE CAR STUFF.

The moral of the story is? My daughter is going to be forever confused about cars.

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