Sundays don’t like me. At all.
One Sunday last month, I got all six kids out to the car for church at the crack of dawn (<<exaggeration), only to discover I had a mega flat tire. Air pressure *zero.* Although my husband does work Sundays, it’s the only day he doesn’t have to get out of bed before the sun comes up (<<not an exaggeration) so you can imagine how thrilled he was to plug my tire when he could have been in bed. On second thought, he was probably about as thrilled as I was dubious to ride on a tire that needed three plugs to fill one hole. He assured me it was fine and he’d patch it when I got home. (I countered with some mumbling about how I shouldn’t have told him how much my life insurance was worth.)
A week or two after that, hurricane Irene hit. We got the worst of it on Saturday, but it was Sunday morning—bright and far too early—we found ourselves driving around looking for a convenience store with electricity and hot coffee as we left my mom’s to go home through a maze of downed trees and flooded roads. (We have huge trees over our house and worried one might fall on it, so we weathered the storm at her house.) Good times.
Then there was Sunday before last. Once again, I round up the kids and get them in the car. Turn the key, and there’s noise, but not the engine-starting variety. My oldest son (who turns 11 this week) said it was the battery and went to get my husband. He jump started the car. I asked what felt like a logical question: what happens when I have to start the car to go home? He said it should start, but if not, we’d know the battery was bad. Uh, lovely. And of course it did NOT start, but I had the foresight to park at the very back of the lot so he could get to me easily with his service truck. (We had to get a new battery, but the first one lasted over nine years. Hard to complain.)
This was all fresh in my mind when my mother-in-law asked if I was going to church last Sunday, so I had a disclaimer associated with my “yes.” And naturally when the phone rang early Sunday morning, I was not shocked. It was my mom. Her car wouldn’t start.
Now, for reasons I’ve yet to understand, when my husband offered to go get my mom’s car started or give her a ride to work, she said not to worry about it. This was a good three hours before I’m accustomed to getting out of bed, so it took a minute to register. Then I was kind of ticked with both of them. She has to go to work. She’s not even supposed to be late. He knows she needs her car or I have to run back and forth all day. Needless to say, I was not my usual cheerful predawn self (<<not exaggerating) when I got in my car and drove to her house, then her to work, then back home only to have to get the kids in the car so we could get to church. By some miracle, we were only five minutes late.
Then my husband goes to fix her car, but first he’s got to come all the way to church to get her keys from me. Then he goes to her house, and about the time I needed to get the kids from Sunday school, he got it started. (Moisture in the distributor cap … oh, did I forget to mention it was pouring rain?) So the logical plan is for him to take it to her work and for me to pick him up and take him back to his truck … only the car I was driving only holds seven people. That means I couldn’t pick him up because the car was full. Greaaat.
Believe it or not, I’d planned ahead a little. I asked my mother-in-law if my oldest could stay with her for about twenty minutes while we did the exchange. She said of course, just to call her. So I did. Twice. (It’s now Wednesday and she has yet to call me back.) Now I’m scrambling. Finally the H and I decided we’d leave the two oldest at church to go to the 11:00 service while we took care of the car issue. (Safe place, we know everyone, they had a cell phone, etc. It was fine.)
So I head to the store to pick up my husband. I called my mom to say we were dropping the car off and asked if she could come get the keys. She could not—she was in the office counting money, and the door has to stay locked. She told me who I could leave the keys with, which was fine, only I’m limping. My foot is killing me. My husband offered to take the keys in, but he was driving (because my foot hurts) and I didn’t want to have to switch seats so we could sit in the fire lane. So I hobbled into the store. In the rain. (Up hill both ways.) Her employee, by the way, was not available. Le sigh.
My mom’s car issues settled, I dropped off the H and picked up the kids. That, at least, was uneventful. But did I mention it’s all of noon? (Long, long day.) And the H and I had a couple of pieces of real estate to look at, so we left two of the kids at home (the oldest is of babysitting age) to check them out. In the rain. With the three kids in the back seat trying to kill each other. And the baby crying.
Then it happened. What you ask? The baby started coughing and ended with throwing up. And not just any throw up … milk. Chunks and gobs and gallons of sour, stinky, cottage-cheesy milk.
On the upside, this put a quick end to the fighting in the back seat—apparently there is bonding to be done over disgusting body fluid incidents. The baby is rear facing in the middle row, so all three boys in the back had a great view of the spewed chunks … all the way home. The smell was so bad my H put the window down and let the rain pelt him, which got the inside of the car wet and made the boys yell something fierce about the smell blowing back on them. (Um, sorry kids, but we don’t care!) Me, all I could think was how it was a brand new car seat I’d only installed two days prior. Seriously?
When we got home, I spent a long few minutes cleaning that disgusting stuff out of the car in the rain while my oldest daughter gave the baby a bath. Then I went to renew our truck license plates online. We were taking my oldest son on his “birthday shopping trip” that evening, which is something we do for each kid on his or her birthday: dinner at the restaurant of their choice, plus a shopping trip and cash to spend. Thank goodness my son wanted to take the big truck, because it did not smell like sour milk. But did you really expect the simple, routine act of renewing tags online to go well? Of course not.
The DMV website was down.
We drove it anyway. (After the way the day went, that was a huge tempt of fate.) I won’t complain too much about having to spend two hours touring Bass Pro Shops—it was part of my son’s birthday present, and I was glad to be down to just one kid, even if I was also down to one foot. (The foot I kept my weight on protested mightily by this point.) Dinner was fantastic, and when my husband tore out of the parking lot sliding sideways on the wet road in a jacked up four door red truck (yeah, that won’t draw attention) with a super loud exhaust and expired tags, I didn’t even yell. I just merely pointed out he’s freaking insane, at which point he and my son had a good laugh. Yeah. Sure.
But we survived. I was exhausted, but you know how it goes. “Tomorrow” was a new day, yada yada. Only optimism took a great big shot in the kazoo because that particular “tomorrow” was … Monday. EFF ME. (And if you don’t know what that was all about, click here.)