Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Car Trauma

Since when does a mature four-year-old become a weepy mess that refuses to let go of your leg at preschool? Since she was the second-to-last kid to be picked up the day before, I suppose. Due to circumstances almost beyond my control, Muffin was the second-to-last child to be picked up at school yesterday. I was a little afraid that they would just set her outside with her blanket and pony to wait for me ala Anne Of Green Gables, but thankfully that was not the case. Bad mom? Oh yes - but wait! Let me explain!!

Over the weekend we had a near death experience where a fragment of tire landed smack in front of our car while we were driving 70 miles an hour on the highway. It knocked some shit loose and before you know it, I was dragging my right front wheel-well under my tires. Not cool. Thankfully, I had some duct tape and a pair of scissors in the car (and no, it's not for kidnapping George Clooney - but if I ever saw him...) so I was able to piece poor Paolo back together somewhat and limp home.

After dropping Muffin off at school yesterday I took my car, Paolo, straight to the dealership for some TLC. This dealership has a shuttle that I utilized to go home and lay around on the couch do some housework. They told me it would be about four hours but about six hours later I started to get a little worried. I phoned the dealership and they said something about parts and spark plugs and blah, blah, blah ready between 4pm and 5pm. At that point the little anxiety machine in my mind started up and I began to fret that I wouldn't get the car back in time to get over to the preschool and get Muffin before they closed at 6pm. fret, fret, fret.

(Let me tell you, fretting and anxiety can put a real damper on one's laying about schedule. I wasn't able to properly relax and flip channels at all! Grrr...)

Around 4:45pm I phoned the dealership again and SURPRISE! he was just getting ready to call me to say that Paolo was ready. Oh, and the shuttle stopped running at 2pm. WTF? I called Beach Taxi and waited. Did I mention the anxiety? The burning, churning anxiety that left me completely unable to focus on anything for more than two seconds? Imagine that feeling for half an hour! I called the taxi people back at 5:25pm and asked where the f*ck is my taxi! Is the taxi on it's way yet? Yes, the taxi man said, the taxi would be at my house shortly.

By shortly, he apparently meant 10 seconds because literally as soon as I hung up the phone I heard a "beep" in my driveway. I hurled myself out the door and into the cab begging the driver to please run all red lights, mow down old ladies and baby carriages and generally make haste to the dealership.

From that moment on, it was pretty much a blur. The taxi-man sped through town, dropped me off, got paid and went on his merry way in about 8 minutes flat. Go Beach Taxi! The dealership people swiped my credit card, pulled my car up front and handed me the keys in about 5 minutes which left me all of 13 minutes to get to the preschool.

I flew to Muffin's school, jumped from the car and rushed in the building. Muffin was sitting with another little boy in the main play area looking a little lost and forlorn. Have you ever seen the expression of "forlorn" on your child? I felt lower than low. I had about two minutes to spare but the preschool people were clearly ready to leave. Packing Muffin into the car I promised that she would never be the second-to-last kid to be picked up from preschool ever again.

Then I took her to "Old MacDonald's" because nothing cures a case of Bad Mommy like a Chicken McNugget happy meal right? Gah!!


Unknown said...

omg, I love your posts...and YES I do know that look on my kids...kills me.

Old McDonalds is a common "forgive mommy" tactic here too. LOL

MommyTime said...

Oh, that look is so awful. My kids are used to this by now. Getting across town in a hectic commute makes it hard to be there much before 5:55. And yet, there is something in those last five minutes that moves them from happy to forlorn. Id in fact my four-year-old asked me once with disappointment why I came to pick him up "early" (at 5:45) and now wanted to make him miss the end of storytime. But if I get there once they've started putting jackets on the kids and herding them into the entryway? (i.e. at 5:57) Oh, the long faces would break your heart.

The good news is: this is a very temporary sadness. Also? You are an excellent mother, so don't beat yourself up about this one.

And unrelated: thanks for all the nice comments at my place lately! It's great to have you around.

Matter Of Fact Mommy said...

i love this! mainly because i totally fret about getting my son in time from preschool before IT closes at 6pm; however, my husband has no problem picking him up at 6:00pm on the nose every single night. then again, his office is literally 4 minutes from preschool... but still! i have a thing about being on-time! evidently, you do too.

btw, the forlorn look is thEE worst.