Do You Have A Spare?…

Baby Chicken got a flat tire. It’s tough when chickens are scattered about; especially when it’s you who encouraged their flight. Like when you realize you never taught your daughter to change a tire. Because why? Calling AAA fits under the feminist umbrella, non?

Until we realize we bought her a car but left her on my car’s AAA. Fortunately, Sweet Southern Boy is there. So why doesn’t he change the tire? He’s Southern. And sweet. And has great manners. And is a boy. Turns out, they can’t find the spare. Whaaa?

“Lift the carpet in the trunk,” I say a little scoldy. The pair are standing roadside in the Bama humidity, no doubt becoming testy.

“There is no spare tire,” Baby Chicken quips. I roll through the myriad things for which I did not prepare her. I waver between, “She’s a lady. She shouldn’t know how to change a tire,” to “Dammit, why did I not teach her how to take care of her car?”

“Yes, it is,” I insist. I, myself, have never removed one or used that car lifter thing. But I’ve watched.

“Mom. there is no spare tire,” Baby Chicken repeats.

Thoughts flash of articles about indulged millennials who don’t know how to function. I do what any good parent would. I say to the friends with me, “She says there is no spare tire.”

“It’s right under the carpet,” comes the chorus.

So we ask Siri, who I mistakenly call “Suri.” Who knew she doesn’t share a name with the child Katie Holmes saved from Scientology?

“Where is the spare tire for a (her car model)?” I demand.

“Spare tire kits can be purchased for…” blah blah blah.

Again, whaaaa? Fingers furiously type into the phone. “Do new cars not come with spare tires?” I want to add WTF but that evidently does not aid search engines.

Turns out, there is an expansive list of cars that no longer feature a spare tucked in the back. No metal lifter cranker, no spinner that loosens those bolty things that keep tires from flying off. Some horrors of motherhood never leave no matter how old the offspring.

“Can you even believe it?” I sheepishly answer my stranded child.

She informs that she called the manufacturer to find the spare, AAA is on the way and we might need to buy a spare kit. Well then, think I, embarrassed at my ready to go all lecture-y on preparedness.

She texts later that all is well. Car is towed. New tire is in place. And she and Sweet Southern Boy are watching Office reruns with their new cat, Luna.

Sometimes the fact that chickens are no longer chicks just smacks you across the face. Hard.

At least she’s safely tucked in watching Netflix snuggling with a kitten. Some things you can only learn from your mother.

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