Why Being a One-Car Family is Going to Give Me Gray Hairs
In January of 2009, I totaled my car. (It was last in a three month period of crappy events that began with our South City house being broken into.) At 4 am, I was on my way to open the bakery. It was a typical St Louis morning in the winter: very cold. It was also very icy and despite the fact that I’d driven this route a hundred times before – many of them in worse conditions – I hit a patch of ice and lost control. The car spun across four lanes of traffic and the back end slammed into the median. I was extremely lucky. It could have been so much worse but fortunately, I wasn’t driving that fast and there were no other cars on the road. Anyway, this is a really long way of saying that my car was fucked.
At that point in time, we weren’t planning on having kids for awhile (HAHAHAHA – Lorelei is my little happy accident) and, in an attempt to get our financial situation under control (HAHAHAHA!) we decided to downsize to one car. Brian sold his and we bought an itty-bitty Chevy Aveo. So we also really downsized. Despite the fact that I learned to drive in a minivan, I’ve always been a lot more comfortable in a small car. And again, we thought kids were going to be a few more years down the road. It made sense at the time and since it was only two years old, it was still under warranty (thank goodness).
I’ve already gone over the mechanical problems it decided to develop around Thanksgiving. Two-plus weeks later, we picked it up from the dealer and it still had a smell when I drove. Turns out, there was something wrong with the valve cover gasket and the car was leaking oil. We needed to take it in for scheduled maintenance anyway, so when Brian discovered the oil leak yesterday he freaked and made an appointment to take it in this morning.
It wouldn’t have been bad except one of the downsides of sharing a car is that occasionally, Brian is the one who needs it. Last night, he started teaching an ACT-prep class in Belleville. He came home for lunch and then took the car back to work with him. Starting at 1 pm, I had no means of escape from the apartment. The car went in for service early this morning making it more than a day since I last left the confines of these four walls.
Look, I’m not one to complain – okay, maybe I am – but there is only so much that a baby can do in a 1,000-square foot apartment (half of which is usually closed off). Correction: there is only so much a baby is allowed to do. If I let her pull all the books off the shelves like she wants, she could amuse herself for hours. Anywho, the two of us tend to go a little stir crazy which is why we usually go out for an adventure in the morning (story time, MOBOT, grocery shopping, etc). We had no means of escape today so while I puttered around doing some cleaning, Lorelei was being destructive in the living room.
And then she decided to start climbing on the box of test-prep materials – it’s all Brian’s fault, see? – that had just arrived this morning. I didn’t see the climbing and I didn’t see the fall but I did hear the crying. I most definitely saw the vomiting.
She’s fine. Really. I kept her up for a couple hours after the fall and other than the one time puke-fest, she didn’t show any other signs of a concussion. Phew.
Today, I am very thankful for excellent children’s movies (we watched Wall-E and Shrek the Third) and bubbles. Those were the only things that kept me from going insane today. The movies for at least small stretches of quiet time and the bubbles because they made her laugh like a crazy person. Also, we found the finger puppets that I bought her for Christmas after she emptied EVERY! SINGLE! THING! out of her toy basket. I didn’t know it was possible to amuse a baby just by tickling her with a cat head finger puppet.