Rediscovering the 'Me' in 'Mumeeeeeee'

'I have always thought that there is no more fruitful source of family discontent than a housewife’s badly-cooked dinners and untidy ways'. (Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management, 1861)

August 12, 2009

In a car wash, no-one can hear you scream

Bad mother (one, OW), bad mother (two, OUCH), bad mother (three, YEEOW) … just 37 more lashes to go. I am punishing myself for traumatising my child.

At first, going through the car wash on the way home from a perfectly pleasant morning pottering around a Farmer’s Market sounded like, and was promoted by the responsible adults present at the time as, ‘An Exciting Adventure’. Things, however, quickly degenerated into A Very Bad Day for the Small Boy.

The whole process started harmlessly enough as a bit of soapy water was squirted onto the car. “Wooooo – look at that. Water!”, we cried, building the whole thing up to levels of drama usually reserved for Disney theme parks.

“Ninished?”, came a tiny, hopeful voice from the back. “No love, it hasn’t finished yet. It’s just getting going”, I offered as reassurance.

Then, the very bad thing happened. The brushes, until now lying harmless and dormant, pulsed into life and made their way towards us. Small Boy’s grip tightened on his beloved Ted-Ted. His bright blue eyes goggled at this revolving blue and red monster which was clearly about to consume the car and everyone in it. He shuffled to the very edge of his car seat. “Ninished. Ninished”, he shouted as the brushes thundered past his window, only to come back again a few seconds later.

I took hold of his hand, “It’s OK sweetie. Just some brushes cleaning Daddy’s car”. It was then that I started to feel very hot and realised that with no air conditioning due to the engine being turned off, we were sitting in a make-shift sauna, depriving ourselves of oxygen and traumatising our child. I was starting to wish the bloody thing would ‘ninish’ myself.

Brush trauma finally over, the hot air machine then whirred into life, making its way threateningly along the bonnet and, just before crashing through the windscreen, going upwards to creep menacingly over the roof. “NINISHHHHHHHHHED”, came a desperate cry.

After what seemed like an age, it stopped. The red arrow indicating that our ride of terror was over and we could now go on our merry way. I think we’ll be sticking to a mop and bucket in the drive from now on. Now, where was I. Oh yes. Bad mother (four, ARGH), bad mother (five, OW OW), bad mother (six, JESUS) ……



  1. Whoops! We inflicted similar trauma on Big E. Thankfully he now loves the car wash (Daddy tells him it's a giant train wash).


  2. It doesn't get any better when they are older either ...

  3. I have a better idea. Just don't wash the car like I do and wait for it to rain :-) xx

  4. were you to know? I have actually never taken the boys through a car wash like this. I think I have always done it by hand which is such a pain!

  5. My boys have exactly the same reaction. I thought they'd love it, I was wrong!

  6. Love the painting - very apt - Scream!

    I took my kids to the car wash and they watched transfixed, but then they havent stop terrorising me since!

    Perhaps its a good thing your son didnt like it, he will grow up to be nice.

    I did laugh at the lashes


  7. "ninished" bless him, he'll be traumatised for life now! Don't worry he'll be loving it in a few years i bet. I haven't taken my girls through a car wash, in fact i haven't ever taken the car through a car wash, but after reading this i think i'll definitely leave it a few more years!

  8. Oh dear! That's so traumatic. Like the trauma of the blender or the vacuum cleaner in our house.
    I've tagged you over at mine...

  9. Thanks all for your reassuring comments. Have put the birch twigs down now. I think this all boils down to one very simple error. Clearly, we should never have bothered about washing the car. I will add that to my list of 'Things Not To Bother With' - on which ironing is at the top.

  10. Poor little fella! I'm a bit scared in car washes too!

  11. bring him again and this time you and he stand outside and watch while Daddy sits in car. He will see it from another prospective and may not find it quite so frightening.

    aged Momma

  12. The same thing happened to me when my oldest was just a toddler! He freaked out! Then a few months back, the hubby thought it would be a fun day out to take our youngest to the car wash -- yeah, that ended the same way! Once you're in those flaming car washes there is no way you can drive out till it's run its course!

  13. Hilarious, just wondering when I should take mine to their first cinematic experience, maybe I should see how the car wash goes down first! Excellent Stuff!

  14. Car washes are scary places, I agree with Yummy Mammy - just wait for the rain... great post.

  15. Bless him! I can remember that my sister and I thought going through the car wash was the biggest treat when we were little... mind you that was in the days when there were only three TV channels!


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