Monday, January 2, 2012

Dad's Right-hand Girl

I'm reading my new Christmas book, totally oblivious to the surrounding world. I'm not paying the slightest attention to anything that isn't inside my book and doing awesome things. But a really annoying noise has burst my little imaginary world and I'm back in the real world. Some one's knocking on the bedroom door. Sighing I shove the closest thing at hand into my book to hold the page and open the door. Gemma-Rose is standing outside dressed for intensive playing.

"Dad wants you," she says and prepares to run off.

"Where is he?"

This is an important question. Dad could be anywhere. I might spend ages looking for him in the house to find him fiddling with something in the garage or getting ready to do something in the garden.

"He's outside." Gemma-Rose is gone in a flash.

I shove my feet into a pair of garden shoes and head for the laundry door. Outside I pause for a moment. Where should I look first? But the bright cleaning cloths give Dad away before I've had a chance to go the wrong direction. I run around the side of the house and find him by our van.

"Would you like to help me vacuum the van out?" he asks.

I nod. Helping Dad is one of my favourite things to do. Already I've forgotten about reading and charge back inside to change to some cleaning clothes.

Armed with a super powerful vacuum cleaner that wants to eat the carpet inside the van I kicked off my shoes and climb in. The vacuum cleaner roars into life and I start sucking up the dirt. Almost hidden in the carpet I find some rather odd things. Wood chips from a run away maple tree, dried fruit and sand (also from the maple tree). Dad meanwhile has found something even stranger.

"There's proper soil in the windows," he exclaims, digging it out with a screwdriver.

I lean over to take a look. Sure enough there's lovely damp soil sitting in the edge of our windows. It's wonderful soil but not exactly what you want in your van's window.

I've only done the back of the van and moved to the middle when I bump my hand against the leg of one of the seats. Strangely my finger's really sore. After a nasty accident with some table mats and a curved side a few weeks ago I wasn't taking any chances. I slide out of the van and turn the vacuum cleaner off. On closer inspection I find there's blood dripping out of a cut by my nail. I sigh and head for the house. First Injury has been gained.

Patched up by Imogen I again fired up the vacuum cleaner and sucked up the dirt, fluff from the carpet and even the colour. This time I'm more careful. No more cuts for me. With the middle cleaned I head for the front.

"Can you do the driver's side first?" Dad asks. "I need to top up the coolant in the engine."

I heave the heavy vacuum cleaner around and suck away. The driver's side is easy. If there wasn't a huge steering wheel stuck in the way it'd have been done in a flash. I'm done before Dad's even started so I abandon the vacuum cleaner and go and watched.

"We'll need a container to mix the coolant in," Dad says.

He pulls a small pop top bottle out of the recycling.

"Should be big enough," he decides.

Dad tips some de-mineralised water into the bottle and tops it up with a glug of evil looking coolant. The passenger side seat is tipped right back into the middle of the van and underneath I can see the engine. I think it's a ridiculous place to keep the engine but never mind. The coolant mixture glugs down the pipe and disappears. We peer in but we can't see anything. Dad mixes some more and tips it down. We still can't a drop.

"There ought to be a bubble of coolant," Dad says.

We tip a third bottle down and finally there is a bubble of evil green mixture burping at us. We sigh with relief.

"There can't have been much coolant in there," I remark. "It's a good thing we checked."

Quickly I vacuum out the passenger's side and we're done. Dad and I pack up the cleaning tools and heave the vacuum cleaner away. I'm taking a spare windscreen shader into the garage when I scrape against a bike rack that's in the way. A long scratch runs down my arm. I shrug. It's not as bad as the finger cut. Today I'm accident prone. In the morning I cut myself on my braces. All up three injuries. Thankfully I manage to get through the rest of the cleaning without killing myself. Feeling satisfied with ourselves we head for the house and a drink.

I grin to myself as I flop in a chair beside Imogen to check on the cricket scores. I like helping Dad. I'm Dad's right-hand girl.

1 comment:

  1. Charlotte, would you like to become a author on the "Gods Girls" blog? it would be really nice if you could, and I would love to have someone to do posts with me!!!

    However, I do need your email address, the one you are using for your blog account, so I can send you a invite. comment on the "Gods Girls" blog to let me know. also it would be a good idea to write your email in another comment, as I won't published it. Thank you!!

    Love Sararose (Brid) xox