Saturday, July 19, 2008

Still life (ventilating my frustration)

July 18, 2008

This is my mommycar. I love this car. I am beginning to hate the dealership where we bought it. This open window (L's window) had been stuck closed, possibly since we purchased the car. I don't know if I ever used the back windows before E was born, since the car was purchased in late October and E was born in January. Then I certainly didn't open the back windows when driving around with E as an infant. I've known it was stuck since whatever day it was, probably last summer, that E could conceive of such a request and then speak enough to ask for the windows down. But I haven't wanted to return to the dealership for just that. So last week when my car was in for a transmission issue (that was allegedly repaired when I brought it in in December (at which point I forgot to ask them to look at the window, because it was winter and it wasn't on my mind (also because I was nine months pregnant or perhaps a week post-partum, so tiring was that time that I don't even remember the specifics, as relate to Midge (that's my car's name)))), I asked for the window to be repaired, too. This was last Friday morning. We dropped Midge at the dealer on the way to the airport for our Detroit trip (if "on the way" means driving in the opposite direction from the airport, thereby doubling the distance to the airport but fabricating a comfortable napping window for the children (even though one of them (ahem, E, I'm thinking of you) chose to chatter without pause instead)).

We returned Sunday night (Monday morning, really) and we shared one car on Monday by dropping off M at the Metro. I spoke to the service department that same day, thinking my car would be ready, and was informed that the window motor is a special-order part that happened to be on special backorder. But hooray! this qualified me for a free rental car. So Tuesday morning we dropped M off at the rental car place, figuring for short-term I'd drive his car (with car seats) and he'd drive the rental car (no car seats).

Tuesday - part's not in.
Wednesday - part's not in.
Thursday - part's not in.

L had been coughing since Monday night, probably having picked up some evil airborne disease during our airport experience from hell, and when I went down to feed her after her nap on Thursday she looked pitiful. Her face was ashen and her eyes were red-rimmed and she was coughing incessantly, and goo was coming out of her nose and her eyes and she was just gross and sad, and exhausted, because she hadn't been able to sleep. I was on a training assignment all week so I called M, who dropped everything to pick her up and get her to the pediatrician's. But first he had to navigate my federal government parking labyrinth to pick me up in the rental car he was driving, convey me to the spot where I had parked his car, and steal the car seat out of his own car and install it in the rental.

[Hi, grandparents picking up the phone right now: L is fine. Lovely doctor gave her a dose of steroids to help with the coughing and breathing issue, said it's viral and needs time to work its way out, said she's strong and overall healthy and will be fine. And look when you're reading this -- it's been 2 days and 7 hours at the time of my typing this since she went to the doctor. Think how old this news is by the time you read it. Probably nearly three days old. So don't worry, and don't call. Don't do it!]

(So then I used Thursday afternoon, whereby M already had L and I knew she was taken care of, as an excuse to offer a treat to E. A new gelato place opened a month ago near our house and I asked her if she wanted to get some chocolate ice cream instead of going straight home. I think you know the answer. And may I just say: it was good.)

Friday I got called - car's fixed. M and L had stayed home together to facilitate her recovery [nobody touch that phone] so they took a late afternoon drive to the nearest franchise of the car rental place, returned the car and caught a ride home. (The rental needed to be returned, according to contract, before I could collect my Midge.) I forfeited a day's chance to earn a little credit time at work, picked E up earlier than usual, and she and I went to pick up the car.

So happy were we to have our car back after eight days. And E was very excited to be sitting in a cross-breeze with both back windows open for the first time. So imagine my delight when we got home, pulled into the driveway and the window wouldn't go up. The window that for two years was stuck closed was now stuck OPEN.

(That's much worse, no? At least with a closed window I didn't fear anybody breaking in. At least I could drive without the July sun baking my infant daughter's face.)

So we turned right around and drove back to the dealership, where, past business hours on a Friday, I didn't get a lot of help. The manager was able to pull my window closed manually, but I need to bring the car back. At a minimum, I need to "have the track realigned;" or, perhaps "the motor was faulty." The special backorder motor. He asked me to bring the car back on Monday. "We'll have our guys look at it right away."

Here's the problem. (Here's the problem? Which part? Which part of MY LIFE IS CRAZY can be identified as THE problem?) M is tied up in meetings downtown all day (tomorrow and) Monday, leaving very early and returning home after the girls' bedtimes. Then he's in California from Tuesday through Friday. I can't juggle getting to work AND dropping off the car AND getting a rental AND installing the car seats WITH the girls with me AND returning the rental AND deinstalling and reinstalling the car seats AND getting the girls home on their schedule. I don't have enough arms or enough hours. And again I don't even know how long they'll keep the car; what if it needs a whole new motor, and what if it takes another week to arrive?

So it's sufficed for two years -- we're going to drive another week with a stuck-closed window. I'll take it back in on Friday afternoon when M is back around. But seriously? Dudes, did you not check the window's functionality before returning my keys? Oh, the complaint letter I'm composing, pending the final outcome of this saga. (Mad props, though, to cashier lady Katherine who entertained E with panache, and who also introduced her to her first ever Tootsie Roll. For that, Katherine, I'm pretty sure you're E's BFF.)

Recurring transmission issues and a faulty window. Is my beloved Midge a lemon? Because I am SO not in the mood to make lemonade right now.
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Civics lesson

Freedom of expression:

E was sitting on my lap. "I have to get down," she said. I asked her where she was going. "I have to get down to the ninny grinny." Do you by any chance mean the 'nitty gritty,' I asked, after thinking for a moment. "Yes!" she said, as she jumped to the floor. "I have to get down to the niddy griddy."

Freedom of religion:

E was talking loudly in the back of the sanctuary in synagogue and M shushed her, saying that the rabbi was making announcements. "Where?" she asked. "I don't see!" M held her up and pointed to the man speaking. "That's not a rabbit!"

Right to bear arms:

And for the first time in our sort-of-potty training operation, E urinated all over the floor. In the bathroom, standing right next to the toilet. "I peed! Hey, guys! I peed on the carpet! Now you have to wash it!" Pin It