One evening, the twins, their mum and I were sitting out in the little park behind the house. The girls decided the bench we were on would be the school bus.
Amu: This is our school bus, and you are the bus driver, Dada! (they call me Dada)
“Oh no! I can’t drive your bus. The driver’s seat is uncomfortable and you know I have a bad back.”
Mia: You just have to sit. No walking. No standing.
“No. I don’t want to be the driver.”
Both: (Disappointed) OK! (They turn to their mother) Mama, you are the driver. (She accepts).
“Thank you,” I said, relieved. I walked across to the opposite side to a comfortable chair and lowered myself, leaned back and relaxed. I closed my eyes and breathed deep. I could doze off, I thought. It was so peaceful and relaxing. But, enroute to the school, the bus broke down.
Amu: Let’s get the mechanic!
She makes a dash…
… and stands in front of me. I keep my eyes shut.
Amu: Dada, come quick. The bus broke down.
“Why do you need me?”
Amu: You are the mechanic!
Amu: You didn’t want to be the driver so you are the mechanic.
“You never asked me if I wanted to be the mechanic,” I said haughtily.
Amu: But we did ask you to be the driver. You didn’t want to. So now, you are the mechanic.
“(Groan!) I didn’t know it was a choice between two jobs.”
Amu: But it was. We gave you the first choice! Now quick Dada. We’ll be late for school.
I haul myself off the chair. Walk reluctantly to the bus, dragging my feet as she goads me to move faster. I repair the bus, bending awkwardly, by changing an invisible punctured tire. I overdo the grumbling and groaning!
Mia: See, if you had chosen to become the bus driver you wouldn’t have to bend and push and pull. You would just have to sit. in. your. seat. We told you.
“Ok, Ok! Don’t rub it in. There, it’s all done. Now off you go.”
Amu checks to see if everything is alright. They get on the bus. I heave a sigh of relief. As they roll away, Mia shouts:
Dada, what does ‘rub it in’ mean? And she laughs heartily as their driver picks up speed and zooms off to school.