Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Turn at the Sand

I had to take Lexi back to the orthopedist today. He wanted to get some xrays of her arm to be sure the bones were still aligned properly. (Her arm is fine, btw.)

Anyway, we'd only been to the office once before and I couldn't totally remember how to get there. Have I mentioned before how I'm directionally impaired? I seriously have no clue how to get anywhere. I couldn't find my way out of a paper bag. Honestly, one time, my friend Erica and I planned to drive out to NIU to visit our friend, Julie in college. For those of you who don't know, NIU is in Dekalb. Dekalb is about 50 miles west of where I lived at the time. We ended up in Chicago. Chicago is about 30 miles southeast from where I lived at the time. That's right. We hit the lake before we realized we weren't going in the right direction. It didn't occur to us when we were seeing skyscrapers instead of cornfields, oh no. We had to hit the stinkin' lake before we realized we weren't in Kansas anymore. (That was just a saying, by the way. We didn't really go to Kansas. But given enough time, I'm sure we could have accidentally gone as far as Kansas.)

And I hate when I call someone for help and they say something like, "You have to go east." Do you really think I have any clue which way is east??? If I knew directions, I wouldn't be lost! Joe can follow directions that say something like, turn east on 95th, then go south on Main. I don't work that way. I need directions that say something more like, turn at the 7-11 that's right next to that Mexican place that serves the burritos as big as your head. Then drive down until you see that big rock by the house with the red roof.

So, I was trying to remember how to get to this doctor's office and I mumbled to myself, "Hmmm, I hope I remember where to turn. I think it's somewhere up here."

Clay piped up and said, "You have to turn by the pile of sand."

"Pile of sand? I don't think there's any sand, Clay."

"Yes there is," he confidently insisted.

"OK Clay," I said humoring him, all the while knowing there wasn't any sand.

A-ha! This is the street! I got in the left turn lane when I saw the familiar street.

"See? I told you to turn at the sand," Clay said in that 'I May Be Four, But I'm Smarter Than You' way.

I looked up and sure enough, across the street, there was a huge pile of "sand" gravel where they were doing construction.

I looked in my review mirror at Clay and exclaimed, "You're right! You know what, Clay? You're too smart for your own good."

He got a smug look on his face and I'm pretty sure I heard him say, "I told you so!"

As I drove along, I started thinking about my next turn, hoping I'd remember where I needed to turn right. Clay must have sensed my confusion because, I kid you not, he asked, "Know where to turn next, Mom? You turn at the big hill of sand."

"More sand?" I inquired.

"Yep!"

Wouldn't you know it! At the next intersection, there were slopes covered with new grass seed and a layer of straw.

"See Mom! There's the sand hill!"

"You're right! It does look like sand. Wow, Clay! You have a really good memory!"

"Yep. Remember that time I stepped in chicken poop?"

"Uhhh, no."

Lexi joined in on the conversation at this point. "It wasn't chicken poop, Clay. It was goose poop."

"Oh right," he responded.

The conversation pretty much went downhill from here.

Of course, when we got home, this same kid, Mr. Awesome Memory, had to be told 4 times to put his shoes in the closet. Why? Because he didn't remember me telling him to do it!

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40 comments:

Michelle said...

Myyyy doesn't that sound familiar. I have the same TWO children at home. I figure their brains are just too filled up with the "important" stuff to remember to put away shoes and such. Right? Please?

Oh, and ummm may I suggest a hint to Joe that you need a GPS for Christmas?

Diana said...

Dawn, you sound like me! Have you thought of getting a gps? We borrowed my sisters on our last trip to the US and you would plug in the name of a store or wherever you want to go and it would direct us there. I have no idea what we would have done without it!

Rick said...

Put a pile of sand by his closest and maybe he'll be able to find where he's suppose to put his shoes.

This Crazy Thing Called Motherhood said...

I am the same way as you! I go by landmarks, not actually directions like NW or SE. It makes me bonkers when people give me directions like that.

I had a similar experience with my then-five-year-old daughter. I wasn't sure how to get somewhere and when I made a turn I wasn't sure about, she piped up and told me I was going the wrong way. I almost didn't listen to her...I mean hello she is 5 years old? But since I didn't really know, I decided 'what the hell' and turned around....and she was right! We got to where we were going because of her.

She has always been so observant though. She obviously gets that from her father, since we could pass Michael Jackson naked on the side of the road and I would probably be too busy trying not to hit the car in front of us as I attempted to hand my son a sippy cup without actually being able to see if I was placing it in his hand...all while simultaneously assuring my daughter that I WAS looking at her drawing in the rearview mirror.

And people wonder why moms are so tired after 'just running errands'! We do more multi-tasking while driving than astronauts do! (Granted I've never peed in a special diaper while controlling a 8 billion dollar rocket, but how many of those NASA guys could really listen to Blues Clues on the stereo, spell "I HATE MY BROTHER" for an impatient girl diva while wondering if he should've turned by the 7-Eleven...all while listening to a 2 year old scream at the top of his lungs because he dropped his Buzz Lightyear on the floor? I'm guessing not many!)

Anyway, thanks for the laugh!

Anonymous said...

Whoaaaa, he's such a smartie!! I always get lost too! you are not alone Dawn!

Corrina

Kay said...

Children miss nothing LOL

You need to get a GPS for Christmas. I bought my own last year at Walmart for $140, a Garmin model and it is a lifesaver. I have not been lost since.

Angel said...

I feel ya! My 7 year old can remember things from when she was 3. I dont even remember these times. But if I tell her to do something she takes 2 steps and her memory is gone! Like the "insurance joke" on that Progressive Insurance Commercial! UGH!

Hey Teach! said...

HAHA
Can't find my way out of a bag with a map either. My friends joke that every time I go to downtown Springfield I just drive in circles. With all the one way streets I never am going the right way on the right block.
I grew up in the south suburbs and a girl friend and I were heading back from the Lakefront and ended up going North. So being smart high school girls we got off the highway, got turned around and ended up at Cabrini Green. God knows how we survived that and got home. a 45 minute drive took us over two hours.

Anonymous said...

Who needs a Garmin or a Tomtom @ $300+ when you have a 4yo in the back seat? I have one too-it's the Kylekyle...and when you go off course watch out! He will let you know! "You're not going the right way Mom, Target is left!" I just hope it lasts through his adult life!

Nicole, NA,IL

Amber Narae said...

Lol! I am also "directionally challenged". Yes, I am the girl who will stare for 20 minutes at a map with my head upside down trying to figure out which way to go... and still go the wrong way.

Jerri Ann said...

Now that was a good one!!

Anonymous said...

If it makes you feel better, they've actually done studies that show that men and women process directions differently. Men respond to best to directional instructions (east, west,etc.). Women respond best to landmarks (turn right at the green house). My husband and I go through this same thing.

Patois said...

Sure, a kid's favorite things: sand and poop.

Anonymous said...

in responses to your twitter i just thought i'd let you know that gas is actually $1.89 in lansing, michigan. :) we were wowing at 2.11 weeks ago. lol

Christine said...

I always have to ask my 10 year old where we parked the car, which hotel room we're staying in and so forth. He has suprised me more than once when he remembered it and I didn't so now I just give him job and he hasn't failed me yet!

Katie Skiff said...

We live by those directions here too...no one uses street signs. I also have aboy like that...remembers everything I said I would do later, but last night couldn't remember what I sent him upstairs for!! UGH!!

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I think it's a 4yo thing, b/c Anna has the best memory of anyone in our family. She's right 99% of the time, so I have to believe her!

Anonymous said...

Its nice to know I have twin out there. I am the same way. My problem is I can find my way (most of the time) to any softball field in the state of Texas (and now Oklahoma) but I can NEVER find my home again. It is sooooo bad, its unreal. My husband thinks I am a complete dork and my kids are like Clay they can normally get me there... So don't feel so bad. It just happens.... Dede

j said...

my 5yr old is exactly like this with directions too! its scary, he's been able to tell me which way to drive for almost two years now, including moving to a different state! i'm just as directionally challenged as you are. i even get lost WITH a navigation system! ;)

Esther said...

I have the scariest direction story. When I turned 21 my friends and I went to Vegas. We had heard about a great roller coaster at the State Line Hotel. After riding the roller coaster, we thought, "Hey- let's drive to California!" So we hopped in the car, left the STATE LINE Hotel and kept driving down the freeway looking for a "Welcome to California" sign. After an hour, we pulled over for gas and asked the attendant how much farther to California. He rolled his eyes and said it was 70 miles back at the STATE LINE Hotel. Let me say that again, because the name is deceiving- State Line Hotel. State Line.Duh!

Elizabeth said...

My sister and her three kids and I were all driving together from Atlanta to Colorado this summer. We were using the GPS so we hadn't really looked at a map that carefully. Then we reached a sign that said, "Welcome to Illinois!" We looked at each other - were we supposed to go through Illinois?? Thankfully my nephew had a US map in his backpack. It's been a while since I've had geography!!

Wendi said...

That's hilarious. I'm that way with directions too. Thanks again for sharing all your fun and not- so-fun experiences with us. (The great thing about your writing is that the not-so-fun experiences are often even MORE fun to read about.) :)

~Jenni said...

That is too funny, Dawn! When we lived in Colorado, I remember thinking, just drive towards the mountains and you'll be fine. I SWEAR I saw mountains and didn't realize that I was going the wrong way until I saw a sign for Kansas. (just about!) I, too, can get lost in a paper bag. Please just stick to the right and left directions at landmarks, thank you!! I can't even trust my GPS - that has steered me wrong before! I think it knows how easily I get lost.

I'm so glad that Lexi's arm is healing nicely.

MPMommy said...

My daughter will be 3 in Feb, and I swear, she remembers everything I tell her -- except things like, "Don't pile blocks on your sister's head!" Kids ... they kill me.

4cheeseheads said...

That was a great post Dawn. I had tears in my eyes I was laughing so much. I have four year old son, and your exact conversation sounds like what I go through every time we are in the car. It's amazing what these kids remember (and what they DONT like shoes, coats, toys!). Thanks for sharing that story.

Jenn said...

BWAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!!!!
That is so MY kids. ;) *LOL*
the sand hill..... hee hee
Jenn

Anonymous said...

What a funny, smart kid! I love how the conversation changed to goose poop.

MelissaQ said...

Its been a while since I have actually had time to my self and what do I do with my free time, I go online and read blogs of other moms and peak into the happenings in their homes. Is it just me or am I weird? I would also like to say WOW, its been a while since I have been to your blog, it looks AMAZING! great job. I hope to come back soon. Maybe in another 3 or four months, hahaha. Great JOB!

Anonymous said...

My 4 yr old is the same. She even remembers what colour the level is where I park the car - without me asking her to! Just yesterday I was looking for a house which I was sure was number 47. She piped up from the back "do you remember the number?" I said yes, 47. She was quiet for a minute then said "umm I think it's 27." Darnit, she was right again!

Kara said...

I am also completely directionally impaired. My husband teases me because I am always getting lost. Thank goodness for cell phones!

Kristin said...

Hey Dawn

When my youngest was 3-4 years old he would have to tell me how to get around town and he was RIGHT. He took to drawing me maps all the time! When I need to go somewhere he's been before I always try to make sure he goes with me as I know we'll get there. I can't even follow directions on the GPS thingy. I'm so bad. Yes I'm the loser that can't even tell my left from right unless I put my hand over my heart. You would think my wedding rings would give it away, huh. Hang there I think there is a special club for directionally impaired ppl like us.

Loving your blog can't wait for your book... Any advice on how to deal with a know it all brand new driver... (my oldest just got his permit)... Good times are just starting here.

Jkhb said...

I 2nd the GPS comment. I have one my husband traded someone for one. I LOVE it. If you have a address it usually takes you right close to it. It makes a few goofs if there is new construction but it is way way better than me. I have no clue about N, S E W either. I can only tell you on the map! Last time someone gave me a landmark to go by it was torn down!lol

Jkhb said...

Dawn, kids have time to look out the window at landmarks because they don't have to worry about all the other crazy drivers like you do. And all kids are allergic to putting things away esp. shoes!

BoufMom9 said...

Ok, this makes me realize if we ever do meet up & go anywhere together, that we need to have someone else do the driving. LOL
I once accidentally drove to the Canadian border while trying to get to Boston from NJ. LOL (that was a LOOOOOONG night!)

Anonymous said...

My deceased mother always had her "turn around points." If we going from my high school to the orthodontist, Mom had these points memorized that if she reached them, she had gone too far and needed to "turn around and go back!" Mom also was known for taking a street map and drawing in colored marker, the route she had to take to get where she wanted to go.

I had five younger brothers and a Dad who was a former pilot, so I'm afraid I became very comfortable with N, S, E, W. My mother was, of course, of the "Turn left at the Waffle House" school of directions.

Pat

Julie said...

I am also directionally-impaired and I have absolutely no sense of cardinal directions. I live in CA and so I've been told a couple times to drive "toward the ocean."

Can I *see* the ocean from here? No, I cannot. So, is that helpful at all?

The Kitchells said...

Oh Dawn, HELP!! I discovered Starbucks last week (yes, I think I was the last person on the planet). I had the Peppermint Mocha Twist Espresso and I am TOTALLY addicted. I have spent hours thinking about this dumb drink and too much money already! Rumor had it that General Foods Intl. makes a mix but I've struck out at 3 stores. Who makes Peppermint Mocha creamer? If I just added it to coffee will it taste similiar to the Starbucks espresso? Thanks...I'm desperate to find a cheaper version.

mommeeof9 said...

I am pretty good at directions and can read a map. That land navigation training in the army 25 years ago was a good thing.

We have lived in our house for 15 years. Until I went back to work 3 years ago, hubby could only find places he went to all the time-Church, the dr, the dentist and the grocery store. I can usually find anything, given the name and town it is in. Besides, my gps dies and will not reload the maps of towns, etc.

Vivian M said...

And this is why I now have a GPS thing in my car!

diddlesgirl said...

well, at least he didn't forget where the closet was . . or which shoes...
oh, instead of GPS get the t-mobile G-phone, it has gps and you can google on it, and really cool you can scan a bar code and then it will tell you where you can get that same item somewhere less expensive . . of course then you have to go to another store with all your children (hm, money vs patience, i hate to say it but sometimes i pay more just because i cannot take my kids into another store!)

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