Monday, November 21, 2011

Finding JOY during a car appointment gone bad.

This morning I scheduled a standard oil change appointment for 9:15 am. When making the appointment I confirmed the length of the appointment and shared I would probably have two kids in tow. They said, "one hour."

I got the boys out the door extra early (8:40) so we could pop in on our neighbors and meet the hamster they babysat all weekend.

Dropped off Charley (9:02) and as he got out I confirmed that he had his shoes in his backpack. Confirmation failure. He forgot. I didn't have time to race back home so I told him to deal and I would maybe get him his shoes at lunch.

Arrived on time at the dealership.   There was an unusual line of people waiting to speak with the attendants. Got a little nervous. A gal came and got the cars stats and told me to go get in line. UM, hello? It is like 30 or 40 degrees out and this is basically like standing outside since the garage doors are open and I have a 9 month old who I hadn't planned to have outside. Luckily, she did have a jacket and socks on. Henry was dressed for anything. phew!

At 10:05...45 minutes of standing in the cold, we got our information turned in and could go sit in the waiting room. He assured me we would be in the express lane since it was just a standard oil change and he would rotate the tires for free, if they needed. He would have us out of there by 11:15 Whoopee - that helps the situation. (rolling my eyes)

I fed Sydney breakfast, we played on her blanket, she proudly held my phone, and Henry worked in his workbook. We looked at a hunting magazine...tried to find a free cookie (but the tray was empty, thanks to all the solo adults with their snazzy ipads and computers or yummy novels in hand). We gazed at the vending machine...but I wasn't giving this place any more money than we needed.

11:20 the guy rolled out to tell me I also needed a new battery and four new tires. BONUS! He insisted they could throw the battery in and it would only take a few minutes. 1 hour later I packed up my partly whole tribe and went to voice my frustrations. I didn't want just a free tire rotation - in my mind, I don't even understand a tire rotation. It wasn't going to make missing Sydney's breakfast, nap, and now lunch, any better.

Oh, and I had to postpone a playdate that was supposed to arrive at 1:00.
Had to say no to helping a friend who had a doctor appointment.
And wasn't able to pick up some items on my to do list.
I also had to interrupt Ed at work several times to share my whoa is me moments.

The guy helping me felt bad. No tire rotation was needed so he gave me the labor on the battery for free and only changed me for the battery. That made it a little better. But still. What a frustrating experience.


I was surrounded by those lucky adults that had their coffee and book and their quiet. And I caught glimpses of tipped heads, sighs, and chuckles as Henry and I chatted and Sydney did her cute Miss Sydney thing. I felt a vibe of "I'm glad I'm not you at this moment" from many who passed by...but this only motivated me more to enjoy these quiet moments with my two. I have admitted in the past that sometimes I feel like the best mom every when I am in the waiting room of a car dealership, because my best comes out. My patient comes from deep parts that I didn't know existed. I focus on my children and not the laundry, the messy kitchen, or the 100s of other things. I am always blessed with children who go with the flow and find fun in a workbook, a cup of water, a game of "eye spy", or just chatting.

So this morning, in between frantic texts to my friend Sarah about how I was slowly losing it and feeling like Debbie Downer lately, I found much to be thankful for. Thankful that we had a car to take care of, that my children were with me and happy and behaved, that I had friends emailing about the weeks plans, and a husband who answered his phone even though he should have just had his "work brain" turned on.

Sydney's napping now.
Latte is made.
Friends to arrive momentarily - and I have decided to let go of the need to pick up just a wee bit more before they get here.

It's Monday.
We are alive.
It is a holiday week.
And there is so much grace to be felt.

How's your Monday? Hope your Monday morning wasn't spent in a car dealership's waiting room.


April Kaiser said...

a very similar thing happened to me once! I had all 3 kids and the waiting area was super gross.... it was a regular garage, not a nice car dealership. Learned my lesson!!! :)
On a brighter note, I am eating Jelly Belly's :)

Heather (One Take On Life) said...

I think this might be the number one reason I do this on the weekend, no kids to bring with.
Buying new tires never a fun purchase. Tire rotation is key to making tires last longer:)

Goings on at the Glenn's said...

I love love loved this post. So sorry you had to spend all that time at the dealership. That is never fun, especially with kids in tow. And I am betting they sold you a "have to have" battery and NEW tires seeing you are a woman with children. That is so not cool but maybe you did need them I don't know. I just hate it when you go somewhere to get 1 thing and it ends up costing so much more. My favorite part of your whole post was your talking about feeling like the best mom ever when you are waiting "because my best comes out. My patient comes from deep parts that I didn't know existed." I sooo can relate. But it is a whole other story once we get back in the car and are under watchful eyes again.

Evonne said...

Sadly, I did spend my Monday at the dealership for an oil change and new tires. Turns out, the brakes need work and I have to go back tomorrow. I didn't have my kids with me yesterday, but I will tomorrow. I hope they behave like yours did.


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