In the early years of our marriage and before children, both my husband and I travelled extensively with our jobs. Now 15 plus years into our marriage and three children later, it is he who has continued the frequent work travel and I am now able to pick and choose which trips I will take. Most of mine now surround thefamilyroom and the work we do.
When my husband is away, I like to refer to myself as a ‘low-maintenance wife’. Simply meaning, I’m able to handle the home front (mostly with ease) and I can manage the curve balls that are thrown my way. The children and I slip into our routine, we have lots of fun and we release Daddy to do what he needs to do whilst away. In saying that, there have been a few teary calls over the years, children missing him at bedtime, a toilet that has overflowed or a math equation that needs explaining – and mum has just had it!! Dad to the rescue and all is well. Secretly, I know he loves knowing that he is needed.
Recently, we were mid-way through a 10-day trip for Philip (my husband). One thing I’m not used to handling is the automotive department in our home. I leave that to Philip and he leaves it to the experts … probably a good idea. This particular week, however, my window washer light came on, indicating it needed a top-up. I ignored it for two days and finally decided that this was just one more task I could handle. After much thought, I decided it was time to get the job done. I did what any girl with car trouble knows to do ... I phoned my dad. I asked what I needed to buy and where I would find the location point for the fluid. Of course, I knew it was under the hood but where? My dad explained and I made like I knew exactly what to do.
Another day passed and the washer fluid I’d bought was still swinging around in the back of the car at every turn, serving as a constant reminder of the task at hand. But I still wasn’t quite sure where I needed to put the fluid. I hadn’t even opened the hood, being unable to locate the hood release anywhere in the car (who would have thought it would be hidden on the side wall beside the foot brake)!
Later in the day, on the phone to my cousin, Angela, I shared my washer fluid woes, asking if she knew where it went. “Maybe check the manual, it should tell you,” she replied. At this point, I began to laugh hysterically. I was laughing at the fact that we truly are those girls (and I know there are men out there too with the same problem) who just plug things in, set them up by ‘eye’ and our own understanding, whilst ignoring the manual that is usually sitting right beside us.
So, after a read of the index and a few flips through the pages, I successfully filled my car with windscreen wiper fluid. No more warning lights flashing insistently and no more bottles sliding around on the back seat. Rather, you can see me coming a mile off because I have the cleanest windscreen on the road. It’ll probably need filling again soon, I’m using so much of it. My reward.
So, what’s in a manual? Everything you need to know!!! I FINALLY discovered that.