Zen and the art of toyota corolla maintenance.

Yesterday was a day. Eliot had his fifteen-month well baby visit in the morning, and my car was scheduled for an afternoon oil change. Simple enough, right? Two appointments to keep, completely spread out, none of the rushing around, going crazy.

We go to his appointment, and all is smooth as can be--in and out in twenty minutes, which has to be some kind of world record. And he was weighed, measured, physically evaluated, and innoculated, all in that time frame, of which at least ten minutes was me getting him in and out of the car, across the parking lot and up a flight of stairs to the second story office! I'm still amazed. This is not usually what happens when we visit the pediatrician's office. Not by a long shot.

I'm so discombobulated, apparently, from the lightning fast morning appointment, that I take Eliot home and proceed to attempt to keep him quiet so as not to wake Daddy, who's recharging his batteries for another third shift. All I'm thinking of is what we're going to do for the rest of the day, now that the appointment didn't keep us out of the house nearly as long as I had planned.

Eliot gets cranky, eats, takes a nap, wakes up, we play outside in the backyard, etc. We come back in the house and he's megacranky, maybe hurting from the shot? And I hear Eli calling out from the bedroom: "Raaaachelll...Raaaaaachel," in some voice like an elderly man who's been trekking through Death Valley without any water for days. It was so pathetic, and I'm thinking, great, he can't sleep because Eliot's making too much noise and he's going to keel over a third of the way through his shift tonight and it will be my fault and what the hell am I going to do to keep this kid quiet this time? Cause Eli's been on thirds for several months now, and believe me, I've pretty much run through my repertoire of "fun and stimulating things to do with/for toddler while Daddy is sleeping."

So I venture into the bedroom, already cringing in anticipation of the sight of my poor husband doing his best pity act, but instead he's looking at the clock like he's all confused about what time it is. Night or day? What day of the week? And he looks up at me and says, "Did you already get the oil changed?"


It's five minutes until two, and the Toyota dealership is at least fifteen minutes away (the way I drive, anyway). And I haven't packed a diaper bag for Eliot. And he isn't wearing any pants.

It takes me about thirty seconds to throw a few necessaries into Eliot's bag, grab the kid, grab a pair of pants, and I'm wrestling him into the pants as I'm heading out the door (and I totally wish I had some video of that, because frankly, I'm surprised it was even possible); I snap him into the car seat and zoom down the driveway, taking several long moments to pause and look for traffic, of course, so as not to hit any passing cars, AGAIN. (That's another story, for another day.) And off we go.

Now, there's no way we aren't going to be late. No way. And being late is one of my biggest pet peeves and one of my greatest fears. I am never late for a scheduled appointment. I am always, always, early, for fear of being late. (And I know, Elecia, you're saying, "What the hell," here and you're about to publicly proclaim me a liar in my comments, but notice I said "scheduled appointment." A casual, "I'll be there in five minutes," but I don't show up until three hours later doesn't count. Not really.) Where was I? Oh, yes, so we're going to be late. And I hate being late.

But magically, we hit every light green. Every light. I'm not kidding. And I'm pretty sure this is because of my Personal Legend. Because you know, when you're trying to follow your Personal Legend, and you want something really badly, the universe conspires to help you achieve it. And by god(s) [whatever], the universe was going to get me to the dealership on time! The Alchemist told me so.
[Sorry, I'm making fun of a book I just read here. Please completely disregard this entire paragraph, unless of course your name is Kate, and then you're supposed to chuckle and roll your eyes in recognition.]

So we got to the dealership and we were more than ten minutes late. Told you we were going to be late, green lights or no! And if you're ever late for an oil change, and you suspect they may not be able to work you in, here's what you do:

Cue up harried, overburdened Momma persona, diaper bag and baby in tow, both dangling precariously from your person as though you might drop either or both at any moment. Hustle up to the service desk, out of breathe, if you can manage it, and make a big show of smoothing baby's hair out of his eyes and straightening his clothing, whilst sacrificially ignoring your own unkempt appearance and windswept hair. Apologize profusely to the clerk for your tardiness, referring to yourself in the plural form, i.e. "I'm SO sorry, but WE'VE just had a crazy morning. And WE didn't sleep well last night, did WE?" This last should be directed to the baby, who should be instructed to coo and grin shyly at the service technician. This shameless act should not only ensure that your car gets serviced after all, but should also cause one or more employees to open the door for you, usher you kindly into a plush waiting room, and then personally escort you back to your vehicle when it is finished. You know, so that you don't have trouble finding it in the lot, ma'am.

Where, oh where has my dignity gone?

1 comment:

kate! said...

heheheh..... this sounds very familiar.

I dig the title, though! What do you mean you're having trouble coming up with titles?!? EXCELLENT!

Diggin the blog, Rach!