Tuesday, September 01, 2015

A Stressful Start to September

I am worn out today. Some good things happened, but there was also a lot of stress. Here’s how my day unfolded.

In the morning, I had to convince Creegan he was going to preschool. He’s never been as defiant about it as he was today. In fact, in my opinion, he’s never quite qualified for the label “defiant” before, even when he has seemed less than enthusiastic about going to preschool. The problem is, he stayed home yesterday with an incessant cough. This particular preschool takes illness very seriously due to the medical conditions of some of its students, so we kept Beegy far away. Today, he tried to tell me he was still coughing, but it was always in the form of demonstrating it to me, not something I overheard him doing naturally. Anyway, Creegan’s dragging feet made this morning move slowly, and I thought we’d be late to his school. But we got there much more quickly than I expected and were basically arriving in perfect timing. But that was some mild stress to start the day.

While Creegan was in school, I went and parked in a nearby shopping center and read various things I had brought with me—books on theology, the owners’ manual for my new (but used) Honda Accord, etc. I redid the car radio presets to my satisfaction and let the music play while I read. I was pleased that the time passed as easily as it did. I had my car window down, and I was enjoying the day. After a while, it started to feel rather hot with the sun blaring on me. I didn’t want to waste gas, so I didn’t want to run the car, but I thought it’d be nice to find some shade. So I went to start the car and move it somewhere a bit cooler. I turned the key and … nothing. “Are you kidding me?!?!” I yelled. I couldn’t believe it. Less than a week of having the car and I was already having a problem! But I immediately knew what the problem was, and I knew it was my fault. I had (unintentionally) been listening to the radio (for nearly 90 minutes) with the key turned further in the ignition than is necessary. I had turned it past the first stop (auxiliary mode?) that makes listening to the radio possible and was in what I believe is called the “on” position without having turned over the engine. So, I was sucking battery juice like a 2nd grader sucking down Capri Sun. I couldn’t believe my stupidity. I turned off the car and waited several minutes, trying to keep my calm. I then tried the car again. Nothing. At this stage, I become almost panicky, realizing that Creegan needs to be picked up in the relatively near future and I have no way to contact his school. I start calling my parents, who live close by. I make multiple calls to both my dad’s and my mom’s cell phones. No answer. Which is normal for them. They rarely answer. But being used to them not answering is not helpful. If anything, it makes it all the more irksome. I call my sister Khrystine, because I know my dad was going to pick her up sometime this morning. She answers, fortunately. I tell her my situation. She hasn’t yet been picked up by my dad, who is on his way to get her—and hence quickly going in the opposite direction of me. But there’s nothing more I can do.

Thankfully, my mom then calls me back. As well as I can in my flustered frustration, I tell her the scenario and ask if she can take me to get Creegan. Thankfully, she can. Thankfully, she lives only a couple of blocks away from where I’m stranded. Thankfully, Creegan is also incredibly close by. Thankfully, she picks me up and we get to Creegan’s school in what is once again perfect timing. At this point, I calm down quite a bit. Getting Creegan was my #1 concern, and the task is now complete. Breathe. Mom takes us back to the shopping center. I run into a store to pee (because I really needed to at this point), and by the time I come out, my dad and Khrystine are already waiting at my dead car. Seconds later, my brother, who had been contacted by my dad, pulls up to jumpstart the car. Because I’m aware of what happened, I am 99% sure a jumpstart should remedy the situation, and it does. The engine turns over. All is well. But shee-it. Stress, stress, stress!

With almost enough of us on scene to consider it a family reunion, my dad treats us all to lunch. We head out west to a diner called Virg’s that, I now know, is notorious for serving monstrous portions of food. I get the small version of a breakfast burrito stuffed with hash browns, eggs, ham, and smothered in melted cheese and chile verde. I supplement it with a single pancake on the side. It’s a bona fide feast. Tantalized by a photo in the menu, Creegan orders a comically long corn dog (and a side of tater tots). The restaurant has Diet Mountain Dew on tap, which brings joy to my heart, except it ends up tasting terrible and has something wrong with it and can’t be fixed. So, I have to settle for Diet Pepsi. The next hour or so is relatively peaceful.

The couple of hours I spend at home in the afternoon are pleasant but brief. I then head to Back to School Night for Eddie and Peter. Per Melanie’s request, I show up early to help her out in her classroom before the official festivities begin. She takes Eddie and Peter out to dinner first and shows up 20 minutes later than when we were supposed to meet. It’s chaos for the first little while, with kids demanding something from a vending machine that supposedly exists but we cannot find without Melanie’s help. The initial stuff for Back to School Night is starting and we’re still having to placate the kids by pumping what seems like hundreds of nickels into a vending machine in order to get enough to buy a pack of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Then we rush to the auditorium, where of course there are no seats left. The people up front speak into a microphone that does absolutely no good for someone like me in the back, what with the unbelievable noise going on all around me. From what I can tell, 50% of the audience isn’t even trying to be quiet while the speech is going on. I understand literally almost nothing of what is said. Meanwhile, Peter and Creegan keep circling around me, taunting each other and making my body feel like some sort of toy in the process. I want to scream. I eventually give up on whatever is being said in the auditorium and head to Eddie’s classroom. The nice thing about leaving the auditorium early is that nobody is at the classroom other than the teacher. It’s easy-breezy. Even when get to Peter’s classroom next, no other parents are roaming around just yet. We wrap up pretty quickly. The day is done, and I couldn’t be happier.

That is my September so far.

1 comment:

  1. So sorry for your rough day. Hope you got some rest !