The Day That Never Was...
Wednesday dawned like any other day... the alarm went off (before any of the children), and we snuggled down hoping to sneak another 20 minutes of shut-eye before the inevitability of another day dawned. We managed it - tick, it was a good start!
Button got up with us, but 'lil M stayed asleep until 8am - another tick! By the time he woke, we'd all had breakfast, and were all dressed. Hubby had left a good hour earlier, and I had cleaned the kitchen, made the beds and got Button's Preschool bag packed and her lunch made. I was starting to feel a bit Super-Mumish (is that such a word??)! I had his breakfast ready, and his clothes laid out - so all I had to do when he woke, was get him dressed, feed him and race for the door to drop Button off at Preschool by 9am. The plan was to be out of the house by 8:45am, and I was feeling pretty good about it all... He and I would then head straight down to the shops for a quick cupboard top-up, and then dash to K-Mart for a couple of small things; before coming home, giving him morning tea and putting him down for his sleep! THEN, I would relax and get some much needed down-time...
That was the plan... but one thing I have learnt, since having kids, you can count on your plans never going to plan. Always have a Plan B in the back of your mind, always be flexible, and try not to stress TOO much!
What actually happened never even entered my head as Plan S, let alone a Plan B AND it had nothing to do with the kids... it wasn't even in my sphere of thinking, my realm of reality, my thoughts or consciousness. It really wasn't that dramatic in the end; but it could have been SO much worse!
We got out of the house at 8:50am... doing pretty good! We got to the top of the drive and I noticed the car shuddered a bit, and when I looked down I saw it was still 'cold', strange when our drive is nearly a whole kilometre long and is quite steep. Never mind, won't take long to warm up I figure! We turn right at the top and start heading up the first hill towards Preschool; half way up it feels like the car is losing power, so I put my foot down on the accelerator, expecting it to jump into gear and start to pick up speed... nothing. I push down harder, still nothing. We make it to the top of the hill and suddenly the car veers to the left, I manage to straighten it as Button calls out from the back seat 'What was that Mummy?'
I tell her I am not sure, as it starts to dawn on me that my steering has totally gone, so I jam on my brakes only to discover they're also no longer working, and then I realise the whole car had died... DIED, just like that! Kaput, nothing... I manage to get the car to the side of the road, and right off - the only section in this entire stretch of the road that has a verge large enough for the car to come off safely.
I'm a blogger - I simply couldn't help but take a photo...
It was all for you, of course!!!!
I explain quickly but calmly to Button that the car was broken, and I wouldn't be able to get her to Preschool, just as I discovered my phone had no reception either... so I turn everything off, and turn the emergency lights on - take the kids out, and get them across the road quickly and onto the footpath; had I mentioned it was also RAINING! Oh yes, when it rains - it pours, quite literally! I noticed the phone had reception a few metres down the road, rang our neighbour and asked him to pick us up and found some shelter under a tree for us to wait. A few moments later another car stopped, and offered us a lift home - he'd seen the whole thing out his window, and had come straight out looking for us; such a sweetie! So grateful for a caring community...
But our neighbour is the treasure who picked us up, and was there in a matter of minutes to take us home... we get Button into the back seat with an big person belt on:
Then Eric took 'lil M to let me get in, and 'lil M got to ride on my lap in the front seat (please note that we were only about half a kilometre away from our long driveway when the car died), we popped back to the car first so I could turn off the emergency lights (and not give us a flat battery as well as everything else), and pick up Button's Preschool bag and other important things (oh - and to take that first photo above as well)!
So we get home safely, and the first thing I did was to ring hubby and share the story... thinking he'd be my Knight In Shining Armour and come straight home! Nope; and so then the tears started, and the 'OMG - what if..." scenarios started passing through my mind! I look back and am very proud of how calm I stayed when I needed to, and how well I coped in the moment; but afterwards I had a few tears as my imagination took flight - so lets list those blessings:
- We were only half a kilometre away from home.
- Due to going up a hill, we were going slowly anyway; which meant it was an easy stop.
- We stopped right beside the only verge big enough to allow the car to get right off the road.
- There was no other traffic in those few moments on the road; nothing behind and nothing coming towards us.
- Our neighbour was home to come to our rescue, he was literally walking out the door when I first rang!
- No extra damage to the car, and no damage to either myself or the children (whew)!
- We weren't on a main road, nor were we going fast.
And they were just the main points...
The rest of the story goes like this - I then spent the remainder of the morning going between hubby and our neighbour sorting out keys and tow trucks and checking if it restarted (it did - traitor), getting our neighbour to bring it back home so we didn't need the tow truck... and so it went on. Basically our neighbour spent his ENTIRE morning running around after us, he was amazing!
Thankfully good friends of ours own their own mechanical business in Papakura, and popped out and picked it up from home that afternoon... and it has been 'in surgery' ever since. The upside is that we will get it back on Monday, and it is not a 'worst case scenario' (not hydraulics or electrical)... AND they are fixing all our other little problems at the same time (oil leak, lack of air con, new spark plugs etc)! So by the time we get her back - not only will I have gone insane without a car for 5 days and be so appreciative of her, but I'll feel like I have a brand new car... generally all I do is grumble about this car; but never again!
So - today is the end of DAY FOUR stuck at home, and Day Three without a car... I had chosen to keep the kids home on Tuesday, as it had dawned on me that Button had been out every.single.day for an entire fortnight and was exhausted! We did sneak out for an hour yesterday, so Button could say goodbye to her favourite Preschool teacher who is leaving us for greener pastures! Have I mentioned that our Preschool is AMAZING; they'd found a car seat for 'lil M (both car seats had been left in the car in all the drama), and a booster seat for Button and had popped out to pick us up so Button could say goodbye... but as 'lil M needed a sleep, we couldn't stay long!
Saying goodbye to Teacher Mel!
I had forgotten what it is like to be dependant on other people for transport... I didn't get my learners license until I was 29 years old, nor my full license until February this year, so I have spent many a-year asking / waiting / begging for rides. But now that I do it myself, I hated having to ask for help on Thursday... but we did it, and Button got to have to say her first goodbye, and pass on the gorgeous card she'd made in preparation.
And now - the evening of Day Four, and I am still at home, ALONE... hubby has deserted me, and taken off to his mates for the evening (the ones who are fixing our car) to pick up the car seats so we can get out this weekend, and have some man-time! Urghhh - I have turned from being 'Super-Mum' to being 'Super-Wife', as this afternoon it felt like the walls were closing in around me... he owes me, yep - he owes me!
And on that note, I think I will sign off and think of how many ways he can repay his debt ;-)!