Back in about 2002 when I had my old Nissan Pathfinder - which I loved, by the way - the thermostat went out on it. Julian wanted to fix it himself. He had a strong urge to learn so many different "manly" trades and car repair was one of them. So, Julian went to an auto parts store and bought one of those books specifically for our make and model vehicle and, of course, a thermostat and the tools necessary to replace it.
While I tended to the kids, cleaned house and prepared supper, Julian was outside working on the Pathfinder. A couple of hours passed and my one of my children came bouncing in the house.
"Mommy, how come Papi has to take all that stuff outta ya motor to fix your car ?"
"All of what stuff, baby ?" I said.
Now, at the time Julian could not read English very well, but he was trying to learn. I thought when he bought the book and set out to replace the thermostat, at least the book had pictures.
I walked outside to find many little - and not so little - parts from underneath the hood of my Pathfinder laying neatly on an old piece of carpet on the ground. Julian was underneath the Pathfinder unscrewing something. I surveyed the parts on the old carpet, then took a quick look at the space where the old thermostat was STILL in place.
"Uuuummm, mi amor, my darling, sweetie..." I said.
"Si ?" Julian answered as he slid out from under the vehicle.
"Why are you taking all this stuff out of my car ? The thermostat is up here." I said.
Julian looked at me as if to say "Women...think they know it all."
I waited for his answer. He picked up the book from the carpet from where all parts lay. "You see this ? I have to remove all this before I can get the thermostat out."
I took the book and looked over the page he pointed out to me.
"Mi amor, this is a diagram of all the parts under the hood. Not an instructional on how to get to the thermostat." I said, trying hard not to laugh.
Julian snatched the book from my hand and gave it a thorough inspection. "Well, I need to clean all these parts anyway." He said.
I smiled smartly. As I headed back in the house I said, "Just make sure you put it back the way you found it, Bossman."
It only took Julian two days to put everything back in place and get the thermostat replaced. I'm just so glad I went out to check on his progress before he had the whole darn engine laid out on the ground !