Driving

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If you’ve been following this blog or if you’ve ever met Garrett, you would know about his obsession with Tesla. He eats, breathes, sleeps, and poops Tesla. As a 6 year old, he works at a Tesla store and gets paid in Tesla t-shirts and hoodies. There isn’t anything Garrett doesn’t know about Tesla…and he’s happy to tell you too!

The one drawback about working at Tesla (for a 6 year old) is that the cars may be “on,” but they’re not moving! Thanks to my friend Dave, Garrett was able to get up-close-and-personal with Dave’s Tesla. If you want to see pure joy, this is it:

Plus, there is a shameless plug from Dave: You can use my Tesla referral link below for free Supercharging on Model S or X. You can also get a 5-year extended warranty on solar panelshttp://ts.la/david4203

 

Justin and Garrett have become aware of the concept of revenge. “If you do this to me, then I will do this to you.” Nowhere has this become more clear than in my car.

When the boys were younger, we used the child safety locks on the back doors to make sure that they didn’t try to open a door and flop out of the car while it was in motion. Luckily, no one tried it. But, they also knew that they could not get out of the car without some help from the outside. They’re much more grown and (cough, cough) mature now. They can get in and out of the car on their own.

Recently, Justin thought it would be funny to switch Garrett’s child safety lock to “on” without telling him. Justin could easily get out of the car, but Garrett was stuck behind…and then he got frustrated at his brother and tried to yell at him from the inside of the car. Justin heard nothing. I became deaf.

Garrett got wise as to what was going on and when Justin wasn’t looking, he would walk over to Justin’s side of the car and then switch HIS child safety lock to “on.” Garrett had his revenge and he would laugh hysterically as he got out of the car because he left Justin trapped and frustrated.

For 2 weeks, this became the morning routine as I dropped them off at the school bus. They would try to race each other out of the car and onto the bus. But (inevitably) one of them would be left behind they were locked in.

And, they got smart/dumb about it! As they got into the car, they’d assume the other messed with their lock and (in an attempt to outwit the other) they’d accidentally set the lock to “on”…thereby locking themselves in.

This had gotten a little annoying, but I had a solution. One morning, I told them that I had had enough and to stop playing with the locks. What they didn’t know was that I set both locks to “on.” As we approached the bus, they both tried to race each other out of the car only to find that they were both locked in. I laughed as both tried to escape my car.

I think they learned their lesson: don’t aggravate the guy who controls ALL the locks in the car!

Garrett has always had an interest in cars. It began with police cars, ambulances, and firetrucks. After seeing “Ghostbusters,” he became obsessed with Ecto-1. Soon after, he saw “Back the Future” and he started collecting every DeLorean he could find. And now, he has moved on to a new obsession – Tesla.

There is a Tesla store in our local shopping mall which Garrett frequently visits. Well – ‘visit’ isn’t the right word. Garrett WORKS at the Tesla store. He has been known to greet customers as they walk in and introduce them to his fellow Tesla co-workers. Garrett guides customers to each car and extols the virtue of both the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X. He shows them how the doors open and shut, where the charging portal is, and how to work the internal dashboard.

Garrett is so infatuated with this automobile that he has been going to the Tesla store 3-4 times a week for the past few months. I’m certain that there are actual employees who are not there that often. He doesn’t get paid for his services with money. However, the manager of the store has recently begun paying him in Tesla t-shirts.

For months, I had been hearing about Garrett’s Tesla adventures. It wasn’t until Garrett begged me to take him to his Tesla store that I truly appreciated his love of the car and his natural salesmanship.

Originally, I was concerned that the Tesla employees were getting tired of seeing Garrett or that he was becoming too much of a distraction. I was wrong. As we strolled up to the store, Garrett saw the manager and sprinted towards her to give her a big hug. He proceeded to make his way around the store to give his fellow employees high-fives and ask how their day was. They were all thrilled to see him!

When he was ready to begin working, he hopped in the Tesla and proceeded to tell me on why I should get rid of my car and buy a Tesla Model X with the gull-wing doors instead.

So – if you want to buy a Tesla, tell them Garrett sent you! (Commission equals tuition!)

pic-in-carOne of the things that Garrett likes the most about The Hotmobile is his ability to command the car (me) to play any music he wants at a moment’s notice…as long as it’s on my iPod or iPhone. I’ve heard “The Lego Movie” soundtrack two thousand times and I’ve heard the “Spongebob” soundtrack three thousand times. If I hear the “Goofy Goober” song or “The Campfire Song” one more time – not only will I rip my own ears off of my head, but I’ll shred them in the kitchen disposal!

So, here we were with Garrett listening to “kiddie” songs over and over and Justin’s music program at school having him sing garbage songs* like “Shut Up and Dance.” To be fair, they altered the chorus to “Come On and Dance,” but every kid singing knew what the original words were.

(*Just to be clear, I’m not a prude when it comes to music. I am, however, not thrilled when my son’s school’s music department chooses songs where the students have to go out of their way to avoid singing inappropriate lyrics. Just because a song has been “Disney-fied” and made kid-friendly, doesn’t automatically make it appropriate for a school performance.)

By the way – I’m a complete hypocrite. You’re about to find out why.

At some point, it dawned on me that The Hotmobile could become our musical classroom. It would give me a chance to “educate” my boys on the evolution of music. We started with The Beatles, (Early) Rolling Stones, Buddy Holly, Muddy Waters, James Taylor, Billy Joel, The Who, etc. It gave me a chance to give them more music to listen to than they were being exposed to.

What I learned was that Justin gravitated towards Soul, R&B, and Hip-Hop. On the other hand, Garrett really surprised me. He likes Rock & Roll. Correction, he LOVES classic Rock & Roll whenever he hears it. He screams “ROCK & ROLL” at the top of his lungs while doing either ‘air guitar’ or ‘air drums.’ The moment he heard the first notes of AC/DC’s “Back in Black,” he was hooked. I could see him rockin’ out in the rear view mirror!

For your enjoyment, I have attached a video of both Garrett and Justin enjoying one of life’s simple pleasures: Rock & Roll and screaming “bad” words in front of adults. (My dad is in the middle of this “sing-along!”)

HotGarrett’s potty training has been going well. To the best of my knowledge, he has not had an accident in over two weeks! This has been very exciting news! (Although, probably not to him when he reads this 10 years from now and he realizes that his dad had been posting poop updates on the internet.)

However, I think we might have overdone it with the reward system. Garrett knew that if he went pee-pee in the potty, he’d get a small toy and if he started going poopy in the potty he would get a larger toy. Here is an example of how he planned his rewards.

I didn’t realize that Garrett would apply this Pavlovian response to other things in life.

Several weeks ago, I purchased a new car. Garrett was very excited about it and began calling it “The Hotmobile” long before it actually arrived. He is his grandfather’s son and has a love for all things automotive. There have been two occasions when I’ve reprimanded him from actually kissing the car. (Yes, he kissed the car.) When I asked him why he did that, he told me that he loved the car so much he had to kiss it.

On Saturday, while helping me pull the trash cans out of from the street, Garrett stopped to admire the car once more. I watched him closely in the hopes that I wouldn’t have to intervene in another make-out session with my Lexus.

As he stared at the car, I could see his brain working. Then he turned to me and said, “That’s not a pee-pee toy, daddy.”

“Nope.” I responded. “That is not a pee-pee toy.”

Another moment of silence. “Daddy? How many poops on the potty did you have to do to get that car?” I could not contain my laughter. It was too funny.

“Well buddy…..it only took me 37 years of pooping on the potty!”

There was a pause followed by, “Good work, daddy.”

 

Car-1Justin and Garrett have perfected the art of pissing each other off. It’s amazing to watch them aggravate each other to the point of “Apocalypse.” What starts out slow with either a comment or a nudge, turns into all-out war within moments.

 

While in the car (why is it always in the car???), Justin and Garrett began to bother each other. I don’t know if it started with Justin taking one of Garrett’s toys or Garrett throwing something at Justin out of frustration, but it escalated quickly. I remember pulling the car over, turning around, and yelling at both of them to cut it out – OR ELSE!! (I don’t have an “or else.” If I had one, I wouldn’t have to say “or else.”)

 

Both of them stopped what they were doing to each other, became silent, and we resumed our drive to wherever we were going.

 Car-2

After a few moments of silence, I heard a click followed by one of the boys saying, “Don’t do that.” And then, another click.

 

Then, I heard another click…followed by the other boy saying, “Don’t do that!” And then, another click.

 

I was driving and it was hard for me to turn around at that particular moment, but I heard this conversation and clicking go on three or four more times. I finally got a chance to look in the rear view mirror and what I saw made me laugh….until I realized how I was involved!

 

Justin and Garrett began playing a game of “Chicken” with their seat belts. One child would lean over and unclick the other one’s seatbelt. The victim would then tell the perpetrator to stop. Then, the victim would fix his own seat belt…and then lean over to unclick the other one’s seat belt.

 

It wasn’t just the unclicking each other’s seat belts. I realized it was more of a game of “Who’s Seat Belt Would Be Undone When Daddy Stops Short (or Gets Into An Accident???)” In retrospect, I think they both won because I had to unclick my seat belt to turn around to yell at them again.

 

So, based on my experience, I have a new slogan for seat belt safety: “Click, Click, or Daddy Will Become A DICK!!”