Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Girl, Interrupted



Today was quite a leisurely day - one of the advantages (and constant reminders) of unemployment. Anyway, I did some work in the morning, did a quick workout, met Hayley's boyfriend's stepmom for a 2.5 hour lunch (!!!), then started to head home. Got a phone call that sick Hannah was feeling well enough to attend rehearsal, so I picked her up and drove back to the high school. Thinking I had to pick up Arlie soon, I decided to "kill time" by picking up a coffee and checking my email at Tully's. Ordered a lovely pumpkin spice tea latte and an almond croissant, picked a chair in the sun and settled in to check email, make lists and just take a break. Then my phone rang:

Arlie: "Where are you??" (said in panic stricken voice)
Me: "Uh, running errands." (ok this was a lie but if there was an emergency I certainly didn't want to increase my guilt by admitting I was having a coffee break.)
Arlie: "The dogs are barking and screaming and howling and freaking out and I don't want to be here alone!" (dogs can scream?)
Me: "They do that all the time. Just tell them to shut up!"
Arlie: "Oh, ok."

So, since my reverie was interrupted, I decided to head to Walgreen's to run a real errand. I had to wait for a prescription so I wandered the aisles and enjoyed a moment to just "window shop". Then my phone rang.

Hayley: "Uh, yeah, mommy? I'm having a little PROBLEM with my car."
Me: "What kind of problem?"
Hayley: "Well, it's smoking. A lot. Like tons of smoke came out of my hood."
Me: "Are you driving now?"
Hayley: "No, I'm in the school parking lot. Our rehearsal got out early."
Me: "So, where DID you drive?"
Hayley: "To Taco Bell."
Me: "Why did you go to Taco Bell? We're going to have dinner soon!"
Hayley: "To get something for Austin."
Me: "So you drove Austin?"
Hayley: "Uh, yeah. So, there's smoke coming from like the radiator or something."
Me: "Did you check the fluids?"
Hayley: "I don't remember how to do that."
Me: (explains how to check radiator fluid. Confirm it's low. Don't know the answer to "can I just put water in it?" when it says "coolant goes here" so call husband. Many phone calls go back and forth.)
Me: "Can you tell where the smoke is coming from?"
Hayley: "Yeah, it's like this cannister or cylinder thingy. You know and it goes all the way to the back?"
Me: "Back of what?"
Hayley: "Back of that cavern thing that the engine is in. It's like as big as if you put my two hands around it, and it's black and it goes all the way back."
Me: "Can you have someone start the car while you look under the hood to see where the smoke is coming from?"
Hayley (does as instructed) "Yeah, there's a big rip or tear or crack or something in that hose. I think that's my radiator hose."
Me: (Calls husband. Calls ex-husband. Determine this is out of my expertise and involves things like duct tape. Let the guys deal with it)

So, I go home. And by this time Harrison and  Arlie have been home alone for a couple of hours. I find Arlie sitting at the computer where a bowl of a cornstarch/water mixture is perched dangerously close to the keyboard. I point at it and Arlie says "Harrison." I yell at Harrison to get it out of the office and discover he's watching TV and has not done his chores or homework. Yell at Harrison for not obeying the rules when I'm gone and tell him I'm going to hire a babysitter for him. Check the "pulled pork" in the crock pot that has become dangerously close to becoming something I like to call "burned beyond recognition", then head upstairs to unload drugstore items and switch laundry around.

Check email, Facebook, blog. Then my phone rings.

Hannah: "Ok, so our car is retarded. There's like this crack in the radiator and we were at school, and these guys......"
Me: "I already know the story."
Hannah: "Ok, well this is going to take FOREVER and I have a headache and I just want to come home."
Me: "I am not driving down there to pick you up just because you're bored. I'm home making dinner and it's a waste of gas. Just suck it up, hang tight, and you'll be home within the hour."
Hannah: "FIIIINNNNEEEEEE!!! Good-BYE!"

Now, I'm off to finish dinner and fold the mountain of towels on my bed before making pumpkin bars, carving pumpkins, making sure the broken car gets fixed, and trying to finish all the other things I didn't get to today because I was busy "relaxing". I could really go for another pumpkin spice tea latte right about now! Or a Valium/Tequila cocktail.

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