After two years of Reva ownership, I faced my first flat tire on Saturday. Fortunately it was discovered in the garage so no inconvenience there.

Sunday morning I headed downstairs to the parking area with an OMG-I’m-going-to-help-daddy 9-year old as my helper. A few minutes after we had surreptitiously exited the apartment, mommy had to face major fireworks from the young ‘un. The volcanic fire was eventually quelled with repeated assurances that next time would be his turn.

Replacing the flat tire with the spare was surprisingly easy – it took us about 20 minutes. If you haven’t seen a Reva in the metal yet, the spare tire and the jack are neatly positioned under the hood itself (see picture to the left).

Later in the evening, after we returned with a fixed tire and finished dinner earlier than usual, an opportunity presented itself. An opportunity to make amends to the young ‘un because, you see, the emotional health and well-being of the family rests on how well the mascot of the family is feeling. Does this sound like appeasement? Not in a hundred years.

When I announced to the young ‘un that he was going to help me put the fixed tire back in the hood, he seemed happy enough — but nowhere close to the OMG-I’m-going-to-help-daddy vibes I got from the older one. As we walked out the door, on an impulse, I propped our 9 year old in the middle of the living room couch, switched off the lights, put on Keith Jarrett’s The Köln Concert and told him to just listen.

As we walked down the stairs, the little grumbler of course had to ask “When will I get to listen to music like that?” That’s when I delivered my killer line “There are always many awesome things we could be doing at any time. You are helping me put the spare tire back in the hood, your brother is listening to some nice music alone in a dark living room. Both of you are having fun, right?”

The normally argumentative and competitive child didn’t answer. It doesn’t happen often so definitely a hopeful sign.