Peter's love for the car wash is intriguing. He can spend hours slowly painting the soap all over the car, inside and out. Meticulously applying the soap in a circuitous motion, round, and round, and round. without a break for hours, until enticed to come inside, usually to eat, which of course, he would announce firmly that he was not hungry, he had more important things to do by washing the paint off my car. A tiny Mexican stand off, and than he would agree that he the car wash man needed a break, and I thinking, so does my car. He also learned the fine art of washing the inside, and snuck that in whenever the gatekeeper forgot to lock her doors. If you would be my passenger today, you would notice streaks of soap near the vinyl or is that leather on the door. Remnants of a Peter wash. The one item that Peter really refused to do was the rinse, lessons in rinsing were tossed by the wayside in order to put the focus on the wash. So the numerous demonstrations were for naught, and not to be used, if only be the overseer.
As he grew, he decided to make car wash signs and sit at the edge of the driveway in hopes that someone would provide him with a car to be washed. He would print with a magic marker on a old piece of cardboard car wash signs that also contained other words such as Sara, mike and mom, grab a lawn chair, and sit for long periods of time by the road. Infrequently, a youngster would come along and offer to help, but the young neighbor boys patience for the carwash did not equate to Peter, so he would move on to other boy play. On occasion, an extremely good hearted neighbor would leave their car for the afternoon, and Peter would wash. I, always on the outlook for their return, was in charge of the rinse. The good hearted neighbor would than give Peter a dollar for his efforts. For Peter, it was not about the money, but all about the joy of the car wash.
Now, you would think that Peter should be employed at the local car wash. Makes sense, doesn't it. I actually think Peter would do well under supervision at a car wash, as long as there was a rinser involved. However, you can not pay or coerce Peter into any car wash where you sit inside your car while it is being washed. If one drives into a car wash, Peter has his hand on the door and is ready to bail the minute the car stops. Because I could not always plan my car washes without Peter, he established a short term relation with the attendant at the local car wash connected to a gas station. I went in, gave a brief explanation of the concern, and the attendant would engage Peter for the five minutes it took to wash my car. Peter always obliged by filling his arms with items from the small gas grocery store, you know, the ones that are double the price, and I always obliged the man's time by paying for everything Peter decided he needed during the car wash interval. I guess you could say it was a sort of pay it forward kind of thing...you watch my child, I shop your store. We were the proud recipient's of gas station cookies, soda, really any junk food you can imagine. It was usually dinner that night.
SO the car wash serviced our neighbors, kept Peter busy, and made us new friends at the gas station. All good things that came out of something so simple...at the car wash.