It sounds a little harsh, I know, but hear me out. I really shouldn't complain about the first three-quarters of the day, besides of course the horrible awful snowstorm that reminded me that my birthday falls a lot closer to the Winter section of the year than Autumn, gag-barf-and-carry-on-blah-blah-blah. I spent my birthday lounging around with my babies, accomplishing a whole lot of nothing besides spending obscene amounts of time on the internet reading all about how angry/disappointed/thrilled/nauseated/ecstatic various groups of people are after this week's election. Mister gobbled up an entire yogurt for lunch and after I cleaned up the cottage cheese Bug accidentally dumped all over the carpet (CURSE CARPETED DINING AREAS!) we had an all-around relaxing day.
|Honestly 8 seconds before the cottage cheese launched itself onto the floor.|
|Two minutes after that. Who's my favorite child? (Kidding.)|
That afternoon, the Schmoopse got home from work and I jumped in the shower to get ready for our date night. I washed my hair (for the second time in two days, might I add, and that's a lot of hassle) and Paddy packed up the kids to go hang out at Grammy Lu's house. The plan was to have dinner without the kids and then catch a movie without the kids and maybe even dessert without the kids. Parents, raise your hands if you understand the importance of those last three words. Right.
So into the car we piled, kids, diaper bag, husband, and me with my clean hair, and we made it exactly half of one block--very literally down the road and around one corner--when we heard an awful sort of knock-pop sort of sound. We both looked at each other, made a couple of jokes about running over a cat, and thought maybe that was the end of it. Another two or so blocks down the road we stopped for a red light, and when that green arrow flashed brightly and Schmoopsy hit the gas, my birthday hopes and dreams ground to a halt with the odd rumbling sound coming from the back drivers-side of the car.
You guessed it. We had blown a tire. (Sort of wish we'd hit a cat.) (KIDDING.)
So anyway, we pulled into a parking lot and stood in the falling snow looking forlornly at the absolutely completely flatter-than-a-pancake tire and trying to think up a reasonable solution that included a snowstorm in the dark with two tiny children. And no jack to lift the car. (In our defense, we just bought the vehicle.) Oh yeah, and a husband who had worn a short-sleeved shirt with no coat because, in his own words, "I"ll be fine! Have you planned some sort of sledding activity?"
Famous last words.
So anyway, eventually Paddy decided to jog down the road to a tire center outside the mall that was blessedly very close to where we found ourselves stranded. They were kind enough to let him jog out of there with a tank full of pressurized oxygen, even if he was wearing the little lightweight jacket belonging to his WIFE that was luckily hanging out in the backseat under the diaper bag. We blew up the tire as best we could, and even though we could hear the rushing of the air leaving the destroyed tire, we rolled as carefully and as quickly as we could down the parking lot of the strip mall, stopping to re-fill the tire every 150 yards or so. We made a break for it across the busy road to the tire center and felt so, so blessed that we made it there in one piece a mere half and hour before they closed.
The tire was a complete loss, and we weren't really interested in replacing all the tires on our 4-wheel drive vehicle right in that exact moment, so the good folks there put on the spare (which they had to inflate, so the lack of jack from earlier was really a non-issue) and we limped ourselves home. Speeding down the freeway to Grammy Lu's house was not an option anymore, so the long and short of it is that my clean hair and I whipped up some name brand macaroni and cheese, Schmoops used our other car to pick up a piece of cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, and we huddled in for the night with our babies and a movie from the redbox.
And now, looking back, I really, really can't complain. We spent the night as a family, which is rare and treasured with the crazy schedules we keep. The tire exploded quite close to our house and even closer to a tire center where we could get help, instead of on the freeway in the dark on the way home. We were nearly always safe and warm and together, and we got to teach Bug about how our family is a team, and sometimes being on our team means being your very bravest self, even when you'd really rather go to Grammy Lu's and play store.
Together, with my little team, was not a terrible way to begin 29. Happy birthday to me!