Sunday, January 24, 2010

Home Schooling

We had a great opportunity yesterday to teach Paul and his friend a lesson in practical skills of daily living. The topic of the day was "How to Change a Tire," and Ben was the teacher.

First, you have to get a tire that needs changing. A good way to do that is to run over the curb when you make a U-turn while attempting to get to an available parking space in downtown Washington, D.C.

When you realize that this maneuver has resulted in a blown tire, the first step is to keep your cool and refrain from saying "private words" or otherwise acting out-of-control. Instead, calmly find a safe place to pull over, search the trunk for the needed tools, and announce to the kids that this a great chance to learn how a tire goes onto a car.

Using whatever muscles you've managed to develop by rock climbing or hauling recycle bins down a 300' driveway, loosen the lug nuts.

Then jack up the car, a feat that will draw gasps of admiration from the onlookers.

Take the blown tire off and put the spare tire on.

Tighten the lug nuts by hand, demonstrating the proper sequence of tightening (1,3,5,2,4)....

and using the tire iron. Leave the car parked and go have some lunch to celebrate!

Lest you think that I didn't do much as the co-teacher, be assured that I taught some good team-work skills. No, we're not leaving Daddy to change the tire while we have lunch; we stick together and help out by holding the lug nuts and rooting him on. And I did a great job of monitoring my own private words!

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