A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Bucket Head on board

It was starting to drizzle.

Bucket Head and I would need to run for it.

We counted to three and ran from the store to our car while I pressed the button for the automatic sliding door. He hopped into the back and we both buckled ourselves in while I checked my mirrors.

I put it in reverse and was starting to ease backward out of our angled parking spot when I noticed a gangly teenaged boy walking right behind my minivan. I braked and waited for him to pass. “Kids,” I muttered under my breath and made a mental note to remind my brood to be on the lookout for people reversing in parking lots who might not be able to see them.

Once he passed I checked my mirrors a second time and started to reverse again, slowly.

And again, there was something passing by the back of my van, seemingly inches away from my rear bumper.

It was the teenager’s father.

He wasn’t hustling at all, he wasn’t stopping to let me get out of my parking spot, he was simply glaring at me and shaking his head. I hit the brake as he slowly sauntered by giving me the stink eye.

Obviously he had the right of way. If I had noticed him I never would have tried to back out. But the blind spot on my minivan is huge, especially in the drizzle through the rain-spattered windows, reversing at an angle.

Oh—that look! What the hell, dude! Do you think I’m TRYING to mow you down? I’m just trying to get out of my parking spot. I totally would have waited for you to pass if I had seen you. It’s drizzling and I’m dry in my car—of course I want you to pass by safely and get into the store unscathed.

Ack. I hate that. Why did he have to glare and shake his head in judgment like that? Why couldn’t he just hustle by and wave like “Ooops, sorry—didn’t see your reverse lights.” I like to think that’s what I would have done. I probably would have smiled and waved and hustled by. I hope.

But his nasty face and pissy attitude set me off. Where is the common courtesy? Why couldn’t we have shared a pleasant exchange like an “I’m sorry, you go,” “No, that’s okay, you go,” kind of moment? Why can’t real life be more like that Liberty Mutual commercial that always makes me cry?

I know I shouldn’t have, but I exploded.

“I didn’t see you, JAGOFF!” I shouted at him (from behind the safety of my closed windows and locked doors.) You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh, but you can never take the Pittsburgh out of the girl, I guess.

That’s when 6-year-old Bucket Head, who I momentarily forgot was buckled in right behind me said, “How do you know his name, Mommy?” 

And then my heart exploded from the cuteness and my road rage melted away.

I wish every vehicle came standard with a backseat Bucket Head. I think the world would be a better place.

Now I just need to teach him to stop calling people jagoffs.

Everyone needs a backseat Bucket Head by The Bearded Iris


  1. Menopausal Mother

    Lots of Jagoffs in the world but you did a good thing, Mama, by keeping your temper in check and focusing on what’s really important–that cute lil’ Bucket Head of yours! XO

  2. Mama Donn

    There is nothing like a bucket-head to keep one sane in a world full of jag-offs.

    • Danielle

      LOL – I’m totally making this into a t-shirt 🙂

  3. Amy

    It’s nice to have a road rage minimizer on board. Yay, Bucket Head for saving the moment! I once stopped for a couple of ladies crossing the parking lot, and they sauntered so slowly, they were passed by a guy on crutches. I could have used one of my own road rage minimizers in the car that day.

  4. Teri

    That’s hysterical! You’re right, every car should come equipped with that cuteness. I saw a Prius almost mow over a pedestrian in a parking lot yesterday and as the Prius’s driver was rolling down the window to apologize, the pedestrian PUNCHED the car, not once but 3 times. And I did what every mother in a car did, I immediately threw my arm over my 13 year old riding in the passenger seat, as if it would somehow protect her. From what, I don’t know. It’s just my first gut reaction whenever I’m in the car and I see something dangerous.

  5. Carrie

    That crap happens ALL the time to me. It infuriates me to get “the look” like I was just sitting there waiting on them to get close enough to my bumper to jam it in reverse and bolt.


    If I’m letting you go, you best be high stepping. Heel to cheek, heel to cheek.

    I know. I’ve been away for 19 years. I’ve missed Bucket Head. And several other kiddos from other bloggers I read.)

    (That so damn creepy and I can’t believe I just publicly stated it.)

    (Stranger danger, huh?)

  6. Nicole

    I’m fully convinced that people are even bigger dickheads to anyone in a minivan. I went from maybe getting flipped off occasionally to people constantly tailgating, giving me stink eye as they pass me and just being giant doody-heads.

    It’s like minivans are the kids on the playground with the “Kick Me” sign on them.


    • Nicole

      (And to clarify, I drive SAFELY….not like an idiot who maybe DESERVES these things!)

      My husband is always shocked when he drives it and gets the same reaction, which is completely different from what he sees in the sedan.

  7. Kathy

    OMG, it upsets me just reading this. (Recliner Rage?)

  8. Hollow Tree Ventures

    In getting ready to go shopping with my MIL and baby, and expect to see plenty of jagoffs – thanks for the reminder to keep my cool. 😉

  9. Jane

    Too funny! I was right there with you and your rage and imagining what I would do and then just cracked up. It was a great story!

  10. L. Hewitt

    It’s the Walmart. I hate it. Hard. (loved the commercial) and BucketHeadissodamncute!

  11. Jenn @ Something Clever 2.0

    I made it all the way to the baggage-claim scene before my eye leaked. Thanks for that, jerkface. 😉

  12. Bernie Bickers

    Yinz goin dahntahn to da’ Civik Arenuh to see Donny Iris this summer?

    I like the Liberty Mutual “Humans” commercial with people doing dumb things and the Human League song in the background.

  13. Synnove @ Don't Chew On The Dinner Table!

    “Jagoff” is technically a cuss word…. let him roll with it. 🙂 It’s so cute when they say things like “Batcwap” or “Jeezus”….

  14. Kim P

    That happened to me once in a Lowes parking lot. I had 4 kids in my van and they just couldn’t believe what happened. I had my van backed almost completely out of my space when there was a loud thump on the side of my car. A woman (apparently upset that I wasn’t backing out fast enough) walked up and hit the side of my van with her elbow then started screaming at me (four letter words galore). She had all my girls crying by the time she was done. She demanded my insurance info then tried to sue me for hitting her. My insurance company said that she was complaining of neck and back injuries and was going to sue me. Thankfully they took care of the whole mess for me and she didn’t collect a single dime.
    I knew I didn’t do anything wrong but it really affected me. That was about 15 years ago and I still start crying when I think about it (I’m such a wuss).

  15. Colleen

    Once my (at the time) 7th grade daughter and I were at an intersection and a arrogant dentist here in town, who goes everywhere on his shiny red scooter–as in sidewalks, streets, bike paths–wherever he wants basically. He got to the intersection at the same time as us and rather than have to stop and wait, he gunned it and blew through the four-way stop. I said, “nice stop, Dick”. Arielle paused and said “is that his real name Mom?” Um, for the record, yes, his name is Richard, goes by Dick. Kind of fitting when you think about it….

  16. lisa thomson

    Sometimes people are so grumpy they’re just looking for someone to snap at and all it takes is trying to back out of a parking space. I don’t get it either. Bucket head and all his cuteness makes the world a better place, for sure!

  17. Virginia Llorca

    I have a kind of old but gorgeous Rendezvous with mirrors the size of theater screens. Still had two really close calls. I think they crawl out from under near by cars.

  18. Sasha

    I don’t understand why the guy (and his son) weren’t moving faster in the first place? Duh, wasn’t it raining?

    People are stupid that way i guess.

  19. nurse mommy

    So in Pittsburgh you say “JAG-off?” Interesting. We are “Jack-offs” here in Kansas City. Jags of all trades need to lighten up and be thankful you didn’t run his arse over! Bless that cute Bucket Head and his toothless jaw!!

  20. Fiveogrrl

    You complete me<3.

  21. Roshni

    Yeah, judgmental people….where did they all suddenly spring from?!
    Buckethead is truly a stress-reliever! Hugs to him! 🙂

  22. Jean Heff

    I think that’s the same guy that scowled and shook his head at me when I accidentally knocked his hat off the rail at a hockey game. Jagoff really needs to calm down.

  23. Amy

    Too cute. Also I can’t help but notice that it looks like his curls did indeed grow back after that haircut?! Love it.

  24. Kristin @ What She Said

    It could have been worse – you could have called him a fucktard in front of your impressionable child. Not that I’ve actually done this.


  25. Leigh Ann

    Backseat Bucket Head! I would totally buy a minivan if it had that option.

  26. whencrazymeetsexhaustion

    Jagoff!! Love it, n’at. 😉

  27. Kristine Dahl @ Red Door Design Company

    Don’t you just hate how people to overact to every little thing! Shit if he really felt you were going to run him down, he could have moved his sorry ass a little faster – – I am just saying!!

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