And You Think You Had A Bad Day!

It all started out innocently enough, I have one day off a week, Wednesday, so that is the day I schedule appointments. And by “off” I mean, I don’t have the others, I still have my two little ones so “off” might not be the right word, but that’s what we will use here. I had scheduled my “second opinion” dental appointment for today since the first appointment did not go so well. Basically, the first dentist was the devil incarnate. She put down my kids, she wouldn’t listen to me, she basically just didn’t care much about anything other than herself and her makeup (which I might add was caked on way too thick and it did not make her look young as she had suspected it would). She had the nerve to mention that she noticed that I had kids “late in life”. Are you serious lady and now you want me to listen to anything after that? Wah wah wah wah wah (Charlie Brown teacher talk in case you didn’t catch on). So anyway….today was the day I was going to see another dentist, hopefully this would go better, I needed work done, and I needed it bad but not by that lady!
So appointment at 11:00 am, this should be easy right? Not so much, the babies did not want to cooperate, matter of fact, they wanted to do just the opposite. They decided to pick this morning of all mornings to beat the holy crap out of each other and referee was NOT on my agenda. It’s OK though, I have fruit snacks and juice so I bribe them (as all good mothers do) and they behave. We get out of here at 10:25 am which should be plenty of time, but it’s not. You see, we live on an island and none of the dentists (or doctors for that matter) are covered under our horrible insurance so I have to travel extensively to get to a “covered” practitioner. So as usual, I’m in a rush. I punch the address into the GPS (by the way, this bitch has a crush on my husband and HATES me so I’m always leery about trusting her, especially if I’m in a hurry). GPS says we’ll make it on time…and we’re off! UT OH…gas is extremely low and the idiot light is flashing but I know I can make it so no need to stop!
We’re almost there and all of a sudden I hear “recalculating”. Oh no, here she goes. GPS whore got jealous again and decided to get us lost. Gas light and dinger still blinking on a regular basis. So she put us 10 minutes behind with her round-about ways. It’s OK, we all make nice and pull into our destination. Enter dentist office…stage left. I sign in and the kids and I sit down. News on the TV and one of the nice ladies notices the kids are not happy and turns on PBS…YAY Barney! We sit, and sit, and sit, and sit, literally for half an hour. The lady behind the counter asks impatiently if I have finished my paperwork yet to which I politely reply that she never gave me any. Oops, her bad, she forgot. She brings it to me, all 7 pages, OK kids are getting restless now. I fill it out with a quickness and bring it up front. Now the fun really begins. I’m called back for x-rays, Bubby is NOT pleased. X-rays complete. Sit another 10 minutes. Called back for one more x-ray, wow, this can’t be good. Again, Bubby is not a happy little man. Settle back in the waiting room and the dentist is ready for me. We go back….cars, baby dolls, diaper bag and babies…all of us. At this point, they are anxious and ready to leave, it has been over an hour. I sit down, the dentist walks in. He is all of 12 years old and I’m thinking maybe the overly painted lady might have been a better choice. Much to my surprise, he is a very kind, soft-spoken, intelligent young man and he is OK with the babies being there. Asks his assistant to get them some paper and pens and proceeds to check x-rays. OK, now we’re talking, this is going great! Then the bad news starts trickling in. I need some work done, it’s been too long since I’ve seen the dentist and things have run a muck (damn recession). The kicker is the root canal that apparently is a must even though I have no pain in that tooth. The tooth that I busted long ago and far away while opening a beer bottle in college as a party trick, and although I knew the old cap breaking off was a problem, I didn’t know that the decay had become such a problem behind said cap. So after a little chit-chat, I head back out to the lobby to get my estimate (like I’m a broken car or something). Estimate total is $1177…WOW…the things I could buy with that! OK, so I broke down in tears in the lobby, but let’s not go there. We left and headed for Burger King, the kids deserved that!
They didn’t eat, of course not, there was a playground, so we packed the meals and headed out to try to do a little shopping (I seriously need some clothes, who can live with only one pair of pants that fits their skinny ass?). They were NOT up for that and they did NOT want to behave so we left and I figured I could look into that this weekend. I’m OK with that, but once I got them strapped in, I realized that I still had not gotten gas and the idiot light was blaring at me now reminding me of this every 5 or so seconds. Oh crap, so I plug in gas stations and the GPS whore tells me I’m only about 1.5 miles away. So we drive, then we sputter, then we stop. No, we don’t stop at the gas station because we didn’t make it that far, we glide into the off ramp, turn on the flashers, and we sit. Now what? I crank the car, nothing. Crank again, nothing. Don’t crank again because I might flood the beast and that will add a whole new myriad of problems. I turn off all electronics and I sit, sit, sit. A lady “across the way” asks if we’re OK. Of course we aren’t, but I tell her we are out of gas and she tells me she’s going to go get some and be right back, she never did…BITCH! Then an older gentleman in a yellow shirt drives up next to us and asks what the problem is, I explain. He tells me he has a gas can at home that already has gas in it. He’ll go get it and be right back (oh I’ve heard that before). Now I’m thinking he won’t be back either but what other choice do I have? So we sit and wait.
So I’m sitting there and see the police in my rear-view….great….am I going to get a ticket now too? Seems about right with the way things are going. Nope, he walks up and asks what the problem is. I say “just hanging out” then I laugh, what else would I do at this point? I explain that someone is on the way with gas assuming he will just drive off but he offers to stay; doesn’t like the babies and I sitting there on the side of the road. Much to my elated surprise, the guy in the yellow shirt drives up shortly with the gas! YAY! He seems a little uneasy that the po-po has joined the party and shakes a bit as he pours the gas in the tank (I’m beginning to believe he had some run-ins in his former life). But the gas is in the tank now and we are all set to go. I crank….tick, tick, tick. Are you kidding me? Pop the hood, battery is corroded, one of the downfalls of living on an island. Dude in the yellow shirt has Dr. Pepper in his car so he pours it all over the battery, corrosion gone (note to self: do NOT drink Dr. Pepper). And again we crank….tick, tick, tick. About this time, po-po #2 pulls up to the rescue. He saunters over to the car with some sort of tooly thing and starts poking around under the hood. The dials on my dash are going insane, but that’s about all the action this poking brought about. The guy in the yellow shirt is looking more and more nervous and decides to depart and why wouldn’t he? His work here is done. So po-po 1 and po-po 2 decide there is nothing else they can do except push me to safety (a little access road a ways up) where I will sit for another hour waiting on my husband. Bubby’s asleep and Bug is playing with her Burger King toy, we’ll be fine. They didn’t like leaving us there but I explained I was a big girl (why were they rolling their eyes?) and that I appreciated their help but they had done enough. So they reluctantly pulled away, giving me their cards just in case.
So I sit and I wait, make a few phone calls, update my Facebook status of course and then I see po-po #2 pulling back up with a tow truck behind him. He apparently had been thinking and decided that even if it was my alternator or solenoid, jumping the battery might be enough to get me home so he brought Friendly the tow truck driver to do the jumping. Positive to positive, negative to negative, crank and folks…we have lift off! The relief I felt at this point is simply indescribable, until of course I looked at that damned blinking gas light again and realized that I would not have enough gas to make it back to the island. Damn! Po-po #2 really was a very nice man who had been amused by my ramblings throughout this ordeal so after giggling at my last cuss-filled tirade, he offered to follow me to the gas station a mile away but instructed me NOT to turn off the car when we stopped for gas. I argued (because that’s what I do) that you are supposed to turn off the car, the signs say so. He rolls his eyes, I know what this means, I’m in trouble, so I get in my car and head to the gas station, po-po in tow. Put $15 in my tank (leaving the car running as instructed), I bid a fond adieu to my new friend and with butt cheeks clenched, I begin the long drive home to the island.
We made it, no sputtering, no problems whatsoever as a matter of fact. I didn’t stop at the grocery store as planned, I didn’t dare, but that’s OK because I was just happy to be home. I unload the kids who seem unphased by this whole ordeal and I go back out to check my car. Cranked right up first try. Go out a bit later, cranked again. Matter of fact, it has cranked every time since then. Not quite sure what the forces that be were trying to tell me but I think it must be something major. Karma is a bitch so let’s just hope I only did a little something wrong and this was the entire punishment. I just don’t think I could handle another one like this! So much for a day off, better luck next time!

Disaster In The Making: Day 2

It’s 10:00 am, 5 hours till take off and things are NOT going well. Let’s start with the fact that my oldest daughter “gets” me, bless her little heart, she “is” me! So last night she offered to pick up the boy child and his sister this morning and bring them back to her apartment today to take one more bump out of my otherwise rocky road. B called the boy child who informed him that his sister is not at home so this will not work with their schedule. I know, you are shocked as was I. So we go back to the original broken plan of having to meet them Thursday morning before going to my mom’s house. At this point, I’m handling this all quite well, Bud Light and Marlboro seem to be my only friends though.
I believe I mentioned that Bubby has had an over-active bowel problem over the past few days and has developed a rash. Well, wonder of all wonders, I wake up with the same problem, not the rash of course but I have the shits (enough with trying to put this politely). Oh and to add to this complication, I have a spasm in my back. I’m beginning to think this all might be a little stress-induced, but not certain. It’s OK though, I’ve got this. I have Amodium and Goody Powders, it’s all good!
I text B to see what time his “lunch” is at work today so I know when he might get home and I can be ready so we can leave. I know this too will shock you, but until today, he has neglected to obtain this little important tidbit of information. So the lunch is from 11:00 until 1:00 (2 whole hours…but he has to stay for it or he won’t get paid for the whole day, and God knows we need the whole day’s pay). This puts him home at about 2:00 pm putting us in Georgia somewhere around 3:00 or 4:00 am their time. Yes, this is going well, right according to plan! Then shortly after this blow, he calls to tell me that the waste-of-air had called him to “warn” him that the boy child and the in-laws have jumped on the crazy train so we might want to be prepared. Really? I didn’t know they had ever gotten off the ride. Thanks for the information lady, now go waste someone else’s air! Oh but she did say that the boy child had lied to her and there was absolutely no reason baby girl couldn’t have picked them up this morning. OK, so now I’m just getting pissed. On to packing.
First step of course was to go clean out the car. As you might imagine, B is somewhat of a slob and although he does wash my car regularly, he is also prone to leave candy wrappers, tools, cups, drink bottles, etc. just lying around in there. But I managed to get all that out, and unload all of the toys that were in there without my wheelbarrow, now I’m ready to start loading. No I’m not, what’s that I smell, Bubby just shat again? Yes, oh yes, this is going exactly according to plan!
I’m sure it will all be OK. I’m certain that I will get packed and ready in time. I’m positive that we will make it there safely. I am not quite as optimistic that I will be able to maintain my cool and I am really working on trying to maintain my cool. I tried to ask for advice from 17 but apparently he isn’t speaking to any one of us anymore, except of course the goat, they are tight. None of us can quite make out what they are saying, but it does NOT sound pleasant. We are all afraid, very afraid!

A Disaster In The Making: Thanksgiving In Atlanta For My Family Of 8

I am a natural-born planner, and I’m OCD to the ten-millionth degree. If you have a picture on a wall, then by God, there better be a complimentary picture equidistant on the other side or I will go nuts. And this is how I approach my life and all the plans that I attempt to make. Not such an easy task for a 43-year-old mother of 8 children ranging from the ages of 21 to 2 (some in Georgia, some here in Texas) that’s married to a spur-of-the-moment kind of guy. So why am I always surprised and agitated when things go a muck? Who knows, but it gets me every time! And here we go again.
About a month and a half ago (47 ½ days to be exact but that’s neither here nor there), I asked my husband if he would like to drive to Georgia for Thanksgiving so that we could get the whole family together and visit our parents. He was all for it and promised he would help me with whatever arrangements I deemed necessary. I should have been excited, but instead I kept hearing that little voice in the back of my head saying “let the nightmare begin” and of course, I’m finding out that the voice was right. That voice is almost always right, its number 17 of the 21 of us in my head (one is a goat), and it tends to be the most reasonable and intelligent of us all. I really need to start listening to 17 a little more, but instead, I began planning.
I’ve been nervous from the beginning since I am such a creature of habit and am quite content in my own little bubble. My 4-year-old daughter, Bug, is head-strong, way too talkative, and down right difficult sometimes. My 2-year-old son, Bubby, is a momma’s boy at a ridiculous level. So the thought of taking them on a 13-hour drive into pure chaos was already overwhelming me and my over-active nervous system. But still I planned, they should see their other sisters and brother more often so this was a good thing. And of course, they really needed to see their grandparents.
I started plotting our time line right from the beginning, but no one was cooperating. I kept asking my husband, B, to contact his ex (that is a whole story in itself, she is a rather large useless piece of flesh sucking in precious oxygen) to see how many days we would be able to get “his” kids while we were there. Of course, I heard “I’ll do it tomorrow” so many times, I almost forgot what day it was. My mother is a planner as well so of course I needed to tell her how many of the 8 of us would be at her house for Thanksgiving dinner, so I just kept asking him every day. I kept hearing “I’m sure whenever we want”. So frustrating, but that’s the way he is, so I will just plan around that and revisit later, far in advance of course. I told my mom to plan on all 8 of us just in case.
Plans were made for the four of us traveling to stay with my oldest at her and her friend’s one-bedroom apartment, and of course, my 16-year-old daughter would be staying with us as well. OK, so seven of us in a one-bedroom apartment might be cramped, but it was only for a few days and I convinced myself that we would be fine. Although 17 still kept chiming in, the rest of us had decided this was the most logical, peaceful choice for our stay as it was the center point of all of our many travels while we were there. Then slowly but surely, we had decided to spend Thanksgiving day at my mom’s house who lives with my sister, her husband, and their 5-year-old daughter. There have been issues over the past two years in our relationships, but for our mother, all of these would be overlooked and we knew we could all visit in peace and harmony for our brief stay (well 17 still isn’t convinced of that either). We would go to my mother-in-law’s on Friday for fellowship with them (again more issues/drama but it’s all good). Then a nice peaceful day on Saturday at my daughter’s apartment just enjoying some quality time with the kids before making the long journey back on Sunday. So it wasn’t a perfect plan, but it was a plan, and I was sticking to it. I was beginning to feel like I had won this battle and that things might actually be falling into place and then last night, the bottom fell out! Damn you 17 for always being right!
At approximately 6:27 pm. last night, B gets a call from my step son saying “When are y’all going to be here? I am not going with her (the mother) and I want you to come get us the minute you get here.” What? Wait? This was NOT fitting in with my plan. We won’t be getting in until about 1:00 am., then we need to get some sleep so that we can get up in the morning to round-up the troops and take them to my mom’s. This in fact was the plan, and plans are NOT meant to be broken. I’m starting to feel sick. B senses my pain so he calls the boy-child back to see if we can make “better” plans. So as usual, the plans are bent to accommodate the waste-of-air’s schedule and it was determined that we would get the kids on Thursday morning and they would stay with us through our entire visit. Now in case you’ve lost count, that is a total of 9 people in this one-bedroom apartment. Although I’ve been told at this point, we have plenty of air mattresses for us all, I’m wondering if there is even that much floor space. Then of course 17 just had to remind me that there will only be one bathroom as well…thanks for that tidbit! I did have a melt-down at this point, calmly (that was a joke) expressed my concerns to my husband, fixed their plates for dinner, and left for the store by myself. When I got back home, I actually did calmly explain my grievances and asked him to call his mother to let her know that we would be there on Friday (I had just found out that he’d never bothered to do that). What is wrong with these people? Well, at this point, it is what it is and we can’t change it, and the plans are set.
So I woke up this morning with all intentions of getting packed and ready to go tomorrow once B gets off of work. As all good planners would do, I looked up the weather only to find out that on Thursday, the high in Atlanta will be 54 and the low will be 30, these degrees are listed in Fahrenheit not Celsius in case you were wondering. Are you serious? Now we have to go purchase warm clothing for my youngest two and I am babysitting all day, guess packing will have to wait until this evening. My oldest calls to tell me she just found out that they only have three single air mattresses, sure that will work! My husband calls to tell me that he will call his mother some time today to let her know we will be coming on Friday. Bubby’s over-active bowel system is acting up and he has a rash. Bug has decided that she doesn’t even want to go now. We haven’t even left yet, and I’m a wreck! We are leaving tomorrow, I’m not packed, we have nowhere to sleep, and no one knows we’re coming. And people wonder why I try to make and stick to actual plans. Spontaneity is over-rated, OCD rules! Yes, this is great….a true disaster in the making! Wish me luck and stay tuned! Oh and send in the Calvary if you haven’t heard from me in a few days, but for God’s sake, make sure they organize the posse before sending them in!