Monday, February 23, 2009

Owners Manual?

If you think about it, everything comes with an owners manual. A reference book to refer to when questions arise as to how something is to be used. The pages are marked clearly so that if the user is a complete idiot, they can still manage to understand the information they seek to find.

Table of Contents. Glossary. Index. These are all useful tools added to the owners manual for easy access to info.

Cars have them. What kind of oil should I use? Look it up. Where is the dang windshield wiper fluid reservoir? Look it up. How do I set the time on the radio? Look it up.

Gas grills have them too. Where do I hook up the propane tank? Page 15. How hot does this thing get? Page 27. Did you know that spiders are a natural hazard for grills? Their nests can block the flow of gas. Didn't know that until I read the Owners Manual! Interesting.

Cameras, washing machines, light fixtures, computers, furniture, microwave ovens, waffle irons...and the list goes on. Even artificial eyelashes and hair dye have little instruction packets to help us know how to use these darn things.

So there you have it. Everywhere you look, there is material instructing us how to do something.

EXCEPT...for one thing.

I have looked and looked for a manual to flip through in an effort to get my kids to function properly. With 4 of them, it was only a matter of time before one would malfunction at some point. I don't know what happened in the packaging and shipping, but someone somewhere didn't include the owners manual for these things.

(I didn't notice at first when I brought them home. They seemed to be working fine. I thought to myself, "Oh I won't need a manual, I know how to work these things".)

I think I can hear my mother chuckling right about now...

Sure, there are generic forms of a so-called "manual", but I can never find the one for the exact make and model of the kids I have. For instance, I have a red '96 Sassy and have yet to locate the instruction manual for her. I've seen manuals for a wide range of models, but they don't seem to quite fit the make I have. The same is true for my brown '97 Monster, my yellow '99 Missy and my red '01 Mamma's Boy.

I'm beginning to think that I'm on my own here with trying to figure out the maintenance for these things. I've learned that in order for any of these products to run smoothly I must change their oil often, wash and wax regularly, and watch the mileage. If the mileage gets to high, I have to put them in the garage for the night so the engine can cool down. Speaking of cooling down, I've noticed that my '96 Sassy and my '97 Monster have been overheating quite often, and strangely enough, at the same time. It's weird. When that happens, I just park them in their carports for 30 minutes or so. That seems to help.

The '01 Mamma's Boy has been leaking a bit, not oil but salt water, and it seems to only happen later in the day when I'm making dinner. Cant quite figure that out, especially when right after I give him a tune up, he stops. Weird too.

Needless to say. With all the instruction manuals out there for seemingly silly things, you'd think that SOMEONE would write a book about how to raise kids! My kids. With all their differences and personalities, I think I've concluded that I'm going to have write my own books and keep them handy for quick access.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009