Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The Male Child wanted to be taken to the swimming pool this evening. The rest of the family feel that it's entirely possible the Male Child could be a superb swimmer. This is mostly because it is beautifully stream-lined (owing to its frame which is as of this writing about 5'11" and 130 lbs). Unfortunately it also has no body fat at all so if it doesn't keep itself in constant motion it sinks like a very lanky stone. Of course it always is in constant motion so that's really only a theoretical problem.


The Female Children opted out (one because it had beautified its hair and didn't want to undo all that effort, the other out of simple unadulterated laziness) but I am a Good Parent and was willing to drop the athletic child off AND pick it up so it gathered suit and towel and headed for the door only to stop dramatically and announce, "we can't go!"

Yup, back right tire, totally flat some time since I parked in the driveway after work. Sigh.

However (Good Parent, remember) this was clearly a Learning Opportunity (as well as a Spend Lots Of Money opportunity) so all three Children were gathered around as we went over the finer points of changing a tire.

My father taught me how to do it once I was old enough to drive and although I have forgotten many good and useful things (in order to better fill my head with really vital stuff like the lyrics to Tom Lehrer's Folk Song Army or the entirety of Margaret Mahy's Bubble Trouble) that lesson has somehow stuck with me and now was the perfect time to pass it along to the Children. So we pulled out the minuscule spare (For Temporary Use Only), fished out the jack and set to work. A mere ten minutes later, io triumphe, we done changed it AND all had a lovely set of black grubby hands to show off. Child One even demonstrated its collegiate brains by successfully diagnosing the problem: large screw clearly and completely embedded in the rubber. So, not necessarily the best ending to the day, but not so shabby either.

Plus I got to say lug nuts.



Anonymous said...

Hmmm. What do you do about a flat tire on one of the twins? They don't have spares, do they?

wheelsonthebus said...

(Looking sheepish)
I still don't know how to change a flat.

For Kirk said...

anonymous - good question! Nope, the twins have no spares. Storage on a scooter is under the seat and it holds, in our case, a simple bike lock (cause I'm a bit paranoid), a set of wrenches/tools and a strap set so the scooter can be secured in a truck bed. No room for a spare. However, a twin weighs less than 500 lbs and is super easy to wheel along unlike the average car! I will read my owners manual with great attention so I can better answer the flat question. Damn screws.

Emily - I have no doubt at all that you could figure it out! 1st, remove hub cap and loosen lug nuts (snerk) before raising jack. 2nd, place jack under STRUCTURAL area of car (in ours it's actually helpfully marked out by being indented. You want structural so the metal doesn't simply bend). (oh, and make sure you're on level ground. That should probably be first before 1st really... I should go into education 'cause I'm such a super teacher!) 3rd, remove lug nuts (yes, another snerk. I'm 9 and I have no shame) and tire, maneuver replacement/spare into place, hand tighten nuts. 4th, lower jack and use tire iron (or jack thingy... what is that called?) to tighten nuts as much as possible. 5th take car to someone who knows what the heck they're doing!