Oh, the day just kept getting better. (Read this first.)
There’s one thing I don’t like. Okay, that’s not true. There are a whole bunch of things I don’t like. But there’s one that’s particularly annoying, and that’s when my day does not go as planned. (Again, see earlier today, Day 144: Not As Planned.)
Today, I spent the day locked inside the house (did I mention, Day 144: Not As Planned?). T Junior, who got a cold on Monday, was still pretty sick last night and this morning, so I stayed home from work today. I don’t like to miss work. I only go three days a week. But Mr. T is on call for his job and can’t stay home, so it was up to me.
So T Junior didn’t feel good. Naps were off. He was off. I was…actually doing okay, considering I don’t like straying from the schedule.
But finally, this afternoon, we had a breakthrough, or rather, his nose did. He finally could breathe a little better and took an amazing late afternoon nap. He woke up feeling like a million bucks. He looked better, too. Yay! Back to normal.
One of the things that was keeping me going all day, was knowing that tonight I had a SCBWI meeting (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). After being off the schedule and indoors since yesterday, I was especially looking forward to it.
It’s not close to my house, though, so I have leave two hours before the meeting starts in order to meet Mr. T on his way home from work and hand T Junior over to him. Then, I start another hour-plus (depending on Seattle traffic) drive to the meeting.
With 20-degree temps outside, I bundled T Junior up like Randy in The Christmas Story. I added his puffy blue jacket on top of his turtleneck and sweatshirt, then topped it off with his goofy reindeer hat. “Moose,” he said, then threw some couch pillows on the floor.
I bent over and picked them up. “The pillows go on the couch, please. Shoot, I forgot my phone upstairs.”
As I ran up the stairs, T Junior threw the pillows back on the floor. “Shoot,” he parroted.
Back downstairs, I picked up the pillows, put on my coat and scarf and slipped on my shoes. I filled my water bottle, filled his water bottle, put a single-wrapped cheesestick in my hand-me-down Coach bag along with the waters, and threw in the keys.
It was freezing outside. And dark.
I unlocked the Odyssey, which was parked on the steep incline of our short driveway. I swung my bag into the passenger side, then hefted my 25-pound kid (probably 30 with all his layers) into his carseat and buckled him in as he screamed, “Kissmus dights! Kissmus dights!”
“We’ll see some, buddy, just as soon as we get in the car.”
I got in, started the van, strapped on my seatbelt and hit the garage door button. T Junior hucked his water bottle to the floor.
That didn’t take long, we’re not even out of the driveway.
And we never would be out of the driveway because the car refused to go.
I tried, pushing down the emergency brake, then lifting it up and pushing it down again. The car barely rolled forward. Now the nose was sticking out in the sidewalk. I tried to reverse and cautiously pressed the gas. I think maybe we went backward an inch.
Pissed off, I called Mr. T and left a voice mail. Even more pissed off because he hadn’t answered, I threw everything back in my purse, got out, unbuckled T Junior, and took us all back into the house. I removed T Junior’s puffy jacket, and his shoes and hat.
The phone rang when I got back into the house. “Maybe it’s just frozen,” Mr. T said.
I felt a tiny burst of hope explode in my mind. “Maybe.”
I went out, started the minivan and then returned to the living room to put T Junior’s jacket and shoes back on. I couldn’t just leave the Odyssey running in the driveway. Someone might steal it. Not that they’d get very far.
We did it all again: swing, heft, “Kissmus dights!”
After 10 minutes, the van still wouldn’t budge. It was 5:30. I called Mr. T to give him the status.
“I’m leaving now,” he said, implying that I might still be able to go. But it takes him an hour to get home and I knew that I would then have more than an hour on the road to get there. I’d be pretty late and then I’d have to drive home. I knew the meeting was not going to happen for me. I hung up the phone, threw it into my bag and cried like a…well, like a toddler having a tantrum.
Speaking of toddlers…mine was strapped in his carseat still yelling, “Kissmus dights! Kissmus dights!”
Get yourself together. You. Are. A. Mom.
“Okay, buddy. Let’s go see some Christmas lights.”
I dabbed my eyes with my coat sleeve, then walked around the van and plucked my boy out of his seat. We walked down the street to get the mail and looked at the lights along the way. Maybe I can go for a run tonight. I need to de-stress.
I actually thought that maybe I could go running. You know, after Mr. T got home. But, oh my goodness, we were freezing after two minutes. It’s so cold outside.
Back in the house, I lined up a ride for work tomorrow since T Junior was so much better after his second nap. And, I got over myself. I realized maybe there’s a reason I wasn’t supposed to go to my meeting. Maybe I needed to be home for something.
I started writing this blog post (to help calm down) from my usual spot on the couch. T Junior walked over to me, grabbed onto my leg and started grunting. I stopped writing. “Do you need to go to the potty?”
But he did need to. I carried him upstairs to change his diaper as he kicked and yelled, “No-no-no! No-no-no!”
I set him on his changing table. “You have yucky poo-poo in your pants. We need to change your pants.”
Suddenly, he stopped squirming. Then, he said his third-ever two-word sentence: “Yucky poop.”
And to think I wanted to go listen to writers talk.