Monday, November 16, 2009

Just Another Typical Afternoon (of Chaos)

And now for another episode of Sanity is Overrated featuring abandoned children, idiotic cars, and obliging friends...

The afternoon opens with Peter on his way to a doctor's appointment (the first in WAY too long) and Elise waiting to be picked up from an after school activity.  I am headed out the door, having timed my departure from the house so I can pick up Elise and go directly to piano lessons.  The other 5 children are getting in the car at their usual pace of turtle/snail.

It takes me a moment to remember why I parked the car backwards.   **  This is the part where I flash you back to yesterday where I realized on the way home from church that I was nearly out of gas.  Or at least I might be, it is hard to tell when your fuel gauge only goes down to a 1/4 tank.  I had decided to risk making it home.  **    I was worried enough about my gas level to think parking on a down slope was important, but had completly forgotten I was running low until that very moment.  Great, a stop at the gas station will make me late picking up Elise.

If only that was the worst of it.  The Suburban is out of gas.  The gas container for the lawn mower is obviously hidden next to the porch.  So obvious that I find it after several minutes of looking in the garage and a call to my husband confessing my overreliance on fumes.  The sloshing liquid looks less than a half gallon, but it is enough to start the car ... if the battery hadn't died in the five minutes I left the keys in the ignition and the car door open.

Peter, who is only 20 minutes into the 25 minute drive to the doctor and ironically at the exit for piano lessons, turns around to pick up our daughter, who, in turn, is only sitting outside the school 30 minutes later than all the other students.  (Luckily she called me to find out why I wasn't there; my call to the school office went unanswered.)  They swing past the house to jump start the Suburban (a task we are quickly perfecting, stupid car) and Peter follows me to the gas station, ensuring his family isn't stranded by the side of the road.  He needn't of worried, I had enough gas to enter the station, realize I turned in wrong, pull out, drive back around, and reenter with the fuel tank on the correct side.   By the time we get to piano, the kids have been sitting in the car an hour.  Their feelings on waiting so long are EXTREMELY clear and have been for at least 45 of the 60 minutes.

The piano teacher is understanding that we are a half hour late, the doctor willing to postpone Peter's appointment an hour.  There seems to be only one relationship damaged: I am not on speaking terms with my fuel gauge lying, too small battery Suburban.

This stress filled afternoon is why ...

... I never called back my sister (sorry Brenda!).

... I dumped out and reorganized my friend's Dora memory game during piano lessons. (Nothing wrong with trying to find some order somewhere.)

... I cruelly snickered when Peter called (on the way to a recruiting dinner before heading out to the night shift- did I mention I'm a single parent tonight?) after his doctors appointment  to tell me he has been permanently banned from aspartame (in all diet drinks) and caffeine.  

... we had Burger King for dinner.  Well, also because I am susceptible to commercials, despite the fact that I fast forward through most of them.


  1. So - is Peter gonna buy you a reliable (starts and measures gas levels by floating) people mover? I'm thinking Land Cruiser? Better check craigslist for a good deal from someone that overbought just a year or two ago ;)

    I don't know if craigslist has any (legal) solutions for the no caffeine and stay up all night for work problem, though

  2. Sometimes reading your blog makes me tired. I think for your birthday next year you might be getting a full can of gas and a new car battery...can you wait that long?

  3. Hmmm....likely story, I think you just forgot to call me back and made up the rest....

    So how will Pete handle the no aspartame and caffeine?

  4. If my afternoon had gone like that, I would not have had the presence of mind to feed the children dinner, that is, if I had managed to get them home at all - and I only have 2.

  5. I feel bad for you, but worse for Peter!! Seriously, not in moderation? Just a complete cut off? Poor guy. I also agree with everyone else that you really should do something permanent to fix that car battery of yours.

  6. Well, at least you did park backwards so that you did remember and didn't just start your errands w/o looking at your gas gauge...

  7. Poor Poor Peter. Why the cut off?

    Oh yeah and poor you too.

  8. What a lousy afternoon! I would be at Burger King myself after such a fiasco.

  9. WOW! That is quite an afternoon. This almost makes me glad I don't have to worry about car issues for the time being. :)

  10. Cire- Thanks for the link to craigslist you emailed me! I'm hoping a new battery (this time the correct size) will do the trick.

    emma jo- May be exhausting the read, but very cathartic to write.

    Davis family- I do go to great lengths to make excuses for things.

    Claudia- If I myself hadn't been hungry, I might not have remembered to feed them!

  11. Kim- Don't feel too bad for Peter, he has known for a long time that his 6 cans a day was a bit much. He was a chain soda drinker.

    Jeanette- You know, if I had parked backwards on Saturday, I wouldn't have had the problem to begin with.

    Boyer Family- breathing trouble and sever acid reflux. Doctor said those two things are helping cause it. It was bad enough to go to doctor, so bad enough to follow doctor's advice.

    Rebecca- Exactly. Unfortunately I have too many of those afternoons for my poor waistline.

    Bikmans I've always wanted to live somewhere with really good public transportation, but I would be freaking out about paying for a taxi ride to get to church every Sunday, so maybe not.

  12. Well, I have consumed at least 1 liter of Diet Coke every day for the last 15 years....I guess I will soon be

  13. For about $40 at walmart, you can get a car jumper. It has its own battery that you charge with a wall plug. Once charged, it will keep its charge for quite awhile, so you can keep it in the car if needed.