Chicken: Okay– so I’ve got a spare in my trunk?
Me: Your father and I are going to hell for this.
Chicken: Are you sure?
Me: Of course I’m sure– all cars have a spare in the back. Now lift up the thing–
Chicken: There it is!
Me: Now pull out the jack, and the crossbar thingy, and the tire–wait. How bad is your tire flat? Can you just pump air into it–
Chicken: It exploded.
Me: How’d you do that?
Chicken: I don’t know. I curbed it, it was flat, I tried to drive it to a gas station and it blew up.
Me: That’s bad.
Chicken: It’s what dad told me to do.
Me: Next time call an auto service.
Chicken: How to I operate a jack?
Chicken: Wait– here’s the owner’s manual. It’s got pictures.
Me: You can read that?
Chicken: Yeah, no big deal.
Me: Please tell me you’re not on the side of the road changing your tire.
Chicken: Mom! I’m not stupid! I’m in the mall parking lot, inside.
Me: 0.0 Okay…
Chicken: It was safe. Anyway–
And at this point, my attempts to help Chicken change a flat tire via a phone call from San Diego to Sacramento are interrupted by a dick. Well, he was a nice guy, really– I mean, a chivalrous guy, who wanted to help the sweet little lady change a tire, and I was grateful. But before she hung up I heard him being condescending to the little girl with the big problem, and I wanted to get pissed. Hey there, buddy– that little girl was smart and resourceful and she could read an owner’s manual. Her only problem is that she has parents who forget things like AAA and how to change a flat.
Treat her like an equal– she’s got this grownup shit nailed.