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Archive for September, 2013

A lesson in inequality.

kart6Any of you parents ever read “Siblings Without Rivalry?”  Me neither.

I’m not impressed with clever book titles.  I see clever book titles and think: bullshit, I’m not reading that.  Actually, I have 100 reasons why I think: bullshit, I’m not reading that…but clever titles is top 10.

So, I can’t speak knowledgeably about the book, but I am an expert on the developing situation brewing between the two preteen females I have living in my house.  You see, 8-years-old-Louise is fueled by not only piss and vinegar, but a fundamental belief that in order for her to save the world, she must first destroy any imbalance in the system.  Predictably, the most immediate threat to her personal solar system is her sister.  10-years-old-Grace is a lovely day.   A ray of sunshine, a soft breeze, an orange evening sky.  Louise is a line of severe afternoon thunderstorms with a tornado watch.  Big, beautiful, exciting thunderstorms that light up the sky and send everyone to Facebook to share photos and discuss damage.  ComEd is often scrambling for days after Louise rolls through.  While Louise could kill you by smashing your house with a tree, Grace could just as quickly smother you with kindness and sensitivity.  It’s important to note that they will both kill you equally dead.

Knowing all this very well, I thought it might be fun to send them out on a circuit in unequal racing karts with minimal instruction.  Siblings Without Rivalry my ass.  That book doesn’t have a chapter that covers how to manage the conflict that follows preferential treatment at the race track.  Lauda-Hunt, Prost-Senna, Schumacher-Hakkinen, Anzaldi-Anzaldi?

It only took 2 days of karting for the girls to settle into their comfort zone.  By day three, the previously bashful sisters jumped out of my car and into their waiting karts like they were Paris and Nikki Hilton boarding a Gulfstream to go shopping.  Louise in a 50cc kid kart capable of 35mph, Grace in her 100cc cadet kart that would easily top out at 80mph.  Wink, wink.

How’d it go?  Well, they didn’t kill each other with their suddenly found bravery.  That’s a pretty good start.  They did, however, begin to notice the difference in performance between the machines.  They also started requesting changes to the setup.  Louise wanted the choke fully open in order to get maximum top speed.  Grace was unhappy with the weight of her steering- which we lightened up a bit by adjusting front tire pressures.  Now comfortable with their karts, the driving line, the facility and the procedures, they naturally turned their focus to besting each other.  Their father’s pride lasted 3 whole laps (about 2 minutes) before I realized the storm clouds rolling in.  Louise has discovered she’s pretty quick through the twisty bits.  Quicker than Grace.  She’s also realized that she’s no match for Grace on the long, front straight.  Immediately after processing her disgust over the situation, she decided to fight fire with fire.  In this case, chop-blocking at full-speed to keep Grace behind her.

Holy Moses.

They were immediately pulled in for a brief discussion.  “Good driving Weezy.  Don’t ever fucking do it again.  High-five!”

Back out they go.  But, like the rest of the females in my life, they completely ignored my “coaching” and resumed their wheel-to-wheel racing through corners, occasionally forcing each other off track.  I shake my head feeling sorry for myself when some guy I don’t know quips: “You got your hands full there, aye?”  Yes, sir.  My hands are quite full.kart3kart2kart4

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