Monday 26 Sep 2016

Shotgun Seating
Jennifer Flaten

It's one of those days. The only cure for such a day is frosting and lots of it. I find that frosting topped with a generous amount of sprinkles, chocolate if possible, works best.

Oh and cake too, but it takes a back seat to the frosting.

As luck would have it, everything I need cake mix, frosting and even a pack sprinkle-multi coloured but they will do in a pinch, is hiding in my cupboard.

Now all I have to do is make the cake. I go in search of eggs in the fridge. After moving a half eaten candy bar, a mostly empty juice box and an action figure I discover we are out of eggs.

Of course, in light of the recent egg recall we are most likely going to be out of eggs for a while. Pfft, too bad the city shot down at the request of a neighbour to raise chickens in their yard. I could be ankle deep in fresh salmonella free eggs.

Oh well, so much for baking a cake, which is too bad I really, really wanted a slice of cake and icy cold milk.

Maybe I could have some frosting on a spoon. Hey, desperate times call for desperate measures. I still need milk to wash it down.

Another peek in the fridge shows me we are out of milk too.

Double damn. Now I have to go to the store, I can't very well serve the kids their Coco Krunchies, with water. Well, I could but I certainly would be out of the running for mother of the year.

I have barely finished uttering the words "we have to go to the store" when someone yells "Shotgun!"

Next is a mad stampede for the car. There is much jockeying for position, I see a couple of body checks and one kid throws an elbow at his opponent.

One child emerges victorious and claims the passenger seat.

In our house, the front seat is a much-coveted position. Apparently, stranding anyone in the frozen wasteland, of the backseat, is undesirable.

Now, when the children were little and confined to those nifty little carrying containers, such as baby seats, the dog automatically got the shotgun position.

On the times when it was a dog free trip, I put my purse and various trip necessities, such as snacks and maps, on the passenger seat.

Eventually, the children graduated from solitary confinement. Thus, began an eternal battle for shotgun position on every single car trip. This is not to forget to mention my quest to find a new place for my purse and snacks!

Let me repeat, every single car trip, I don't care if we were piling in the car to drive to the mailbox someone has to ride upfront.

To keep bloodshed to a minimum we are forced to switch shotgun rider at every stop-every stop.

This is mildly annoying on shorter trips around town but it approaches F-50, on the frustration scale, on longer car trips due to the excessive amount of stuff the kids pack.

For the longer jaunts they bring backpacks crammed with books, games, toys and other paraphernalia, it is so much stuff I have considered employing a Sherpa.

Anyway, each time a kid changes seats the huge pack o' crap has to change seats with them. Now this would be bad enough if the pack o' crap stayed packed, but alas, it doesn't

No, the various items end up strewn around the car. This means we spend an additional ten minutes in the parking lot as the kids load up their crap and move seats.

Once again stuffed in the car, the kids inevitably start rummaging around in the pack pulling stuff out and flinging it about the car.

Still, it is worth it for a slice of cake.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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