And a Hard Place

“Wow Zoe, see how well daddy is driving? See him backing out of the driveway? Daddy is doing such a great job, isn’t he? Yeah, he… Oh. Well, maybe not such a great job.”

This is the part where, with a loud crunching sound, he backs into some rocks lining the driveway of the lactation consultant we met 30 seconds ago.

Okay, that may have been bound to happen.

She stands at the window next me.

“Is dad not very good at driving…?”

“Um well he grew up in Manhattan so he’s learning.”

“Ah. Both of my kids are in Manhattan. I know what you mean.”

There is a pause.

“Oh dear, did he run over some rocks?”

“Yes… I think he did. I better go see if I can help.”

“Alright, I can take the baby for you.”

I walk down the driveway, but Oliver only seems to get farther away. Backing up the car, there are more rocks and more crunching. Driving the car forward, more rocks and more crunching. From all the way down the driveway I can hear the lactation consultant telling me something and Zoe crying. I had forgotten to warn her that Zoe developed stranger awareness at an unusually young age. I can now also hear (and see) Kathy’s ethnic neighbors speaking to me in broken English and gesturing to my car, which is clearly stuck between several large rocks. I can make out the words “car,” “rock,” and “Oh no,” none of which help me very much in this situation.

I turn off the car, leave it where it is, and walk back to the house.

“I said you can’t drive over the rocks. We have to move the rocks so you can get the car out and then we can just put the rocks back after. It’s no big deal. We can do it after the appointment. Where did your husband go though? I don’t see him.”

“I’m not sure…”

“I feel bad telling him to move the car. I didn’t realize he couldn’t drive. There’s no reason for him to be embarrassed or anything. My kids are both in New York so I know what it’s like. They don’t even have cars anymore. Why don’t you call your husband and we can move the rocks after the appointment?”

We were lucky to snag such a wonderful consultant.

“Hey Oliver? Want to come back?”


“Um… alright. Could you come back? We’re taking up Kathy’s time.”

Kathy motions to me not to worry about it, while still carrying Zoe and attempting to calm her down.

“Kathy said we just have to move the rocks under the car and then move the car. Could you come and help us move the rocks? We could use some help.”

“Not interested. I’m upset. You told me to move the car when you knew I wasn’t comfortable with it.”

The moment of truth, ladies and gentlemen. Is Veena going to ruin the entire rest of the day with her response? What will she say?? Wait and see!

I can think of a million different responses that would ruin the rest of the day, the main one being: why didn’t you just say no?

“You’re right. I’m sorry. I knew you didn’t feel comfortable and I asked you twice anyway. I should have done it myself. It was clear you didn’t want to.”


“Want to come back now?”


Because I guess “Between a rock and a tire” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

Full disclosure: the car is fine.

Full disclosure: it is actually not even our car, but my parents’ car that was loaned to us.

Full disclosure: The rock, however, is now two rocks. We think it looks better this way. Kathy provided us with lactation consulting, we provided her with free landscaping. It all works out in the end.


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