the babies had a pediatrician appointment. They are doing well and gaining weight, although compared with my previous babies, these two are little peanuts. But coming home from the pediatrician, there was some wood in the middle of the road which I couldn't avoid, but thought I had managed to drive over so it was between the tires. I was so convinced of this that I didn't think anything else about it. That is until I get a call from my mom later on that day.
She and my dad had driven off in the car to go get some take-out for dinner. When they arrived at their destination, they discovered that one of the tires was completely flat. We have AAA, so I thought it would simply be a matter of calling and having someone come out and change the tire for them. But that would have been far too simple. It turns out that AAA benefits only follow the card holder, not the card holder's car. This is great if I happen to have trouble with a borrowed car, but not so great if someone, my parents, say, borrow my car. The only way to get service is for me to be there in person with my card in hand. This is where it starts to get complicated. My first thought is that I will load up all the children and meet my parents at the restaurant. We'll eat dinner there while we wait for the AAA guy. So I call my mom to have her get a table and we'll be right out. Evidently lack of sleep has hindered my ability to count, because A. then points out to me that we don't have enough seats in the van. (We are borrowing a mini-van during the week since my big 15-passenger is up north with J. and B.) I have 7 seats, but 8 people. The AAA guy then calls and says he's on his way so I have to come up with plan B rather quickly. I send A. into the house with P. and the little boys, telling her to put on a DVD and lock the door. I put the babies in the van and drive off to meet the AAA guy. I aso call my mom and tell her to cancel the table, we're back to take-out.
When I arrive, it turns out there is not one, but two flat tires. I guess I didn't miss that wood after all. Since the AAA guy didn't come in a tow truck (because he was only changing a tire), we now have to wait for a tow truck to arrive. When the dispatcher calls me, I find out it could be more than an hour. I explain that I left many small children at home and can't wait an hour. We compromise that I will leave the car and the dispatcher will call me when the tow truck is 15 minutes away so I can drive back out to meet him. In the meantime, our take-out, ordered when we were still all on plan A (or was it B?), is either getting cold or melting, depending on its original state.
So, working on plan C, we drive home and quickly get dinner on the table. My father and I eat rather quickly since we don't know when we will have to get back in the car. The babies have fallen asleep in their car seats and are peaceful for the moment. After being home for 20 minutes, AAA calls to say the driver is on his way, so back into the car we go, leaving my mom to hold down the fort. With plan C, I was going to have the driver tow the car somewhere, sign whatever needed to be signed so they could fix it and pick up the car in the morning. We weren't going to be gone all that long, which is why I didn't wake up the babies to give them a quick snack.
Plan C didn't take into account the fact that it was after 6pm, and the place we usually get tires was closed. I wasn't sure how to go about leaving the car and key at a closed business, so I asked the AAA guy for a recommendation. He suggested a place just into the city which was open 24 hours, had lots of tires, and reasonable prices. It didn't take long to put the car on the truck and off we went to the tire place. At this point I'm still planning on handing them the keys and going home.
When we arrived at the tire place, it became evident that we would have to move onto plan D. The place was extremely busy and for some reason reminded me of Vietnam, though most of the men working there were Hispanic and not Asian. I think it was because it was very busy with a lot of people of all ages around, it was at night, and there was evidently a system to the madness, though I never quite figured it out. The car was immediately put on the lift and the mechanic went off in search of tires. About 15 minutes later, he returns annd says he has two tires that will work and he will be done in about a half an hour, 45 minutes, tops. But I know I have two very hungry and unhappy babies at home, and my father doesn't drive in Chicago, so I am a driver short. Since the mechanic is not open to me leaving it 'til morning, I suggest going home, feeding babies, picking up a driver and coming back within the hour, which is what we do.
So back into the van again to go home...again. The babies were indeed hungry and A. was doing a valiant job of helping my mom to comfort them. (This is after she and P. put the little boys to bed.) I quickly feed the babies and this time my mom and I jump into the van. The car is all done when we arrive and I'm even able to locate the mechanic who worked on it. He was able to repair one tire (it was just a puncture) and had a good used tire for the other. And it was only $75 for the whole affair. It was 9:30 by the time I finally returned home for good. The last crisis of the evening was that TM was highly disturbed by all the coming and going, and had ended up sobbing in his bed during the last trip because he thought I had forgotten about him. Thankfully he was able to be calmed down fairly easily.
The best part of the night? The babies slept from midnight to 5:30 am! It was probably the best night's sleep I've had in months.