January 8th, eh? Yeah, I think I’ve already blown it on Resolutions 1-3; however, I’m doing OK on 4 (updating blog at least once a week). So, 2009 isn’t a total bust yet.
Sunday night brought on one last bit of surprise snow craziness. Right when we think everything’s getting back to ‘normal’ – it’s a school night, I’ll get to go running in the morning, we’ll FINALLY get to have preschool again…yeah. No. We ended up going to church on Sunday evening at5:30. When we went in to Mass the rain was just starting to get a wee bit on the chunky side. An hour later, our car was totally covered and there was at least an inch or so already.
I don’t know if it was because it had been raining so the roads were already wet upon the snow’s arrival, but some combination of circumstances made for disastrous driving conditions. Yes, here in Seattle we don’t have a lot of experience driving in the snow and we don’t have the equipment to successfully cope with it, but this sudden snow storm brought out a.) the worst snow drivers ever and b.) the worst snow driving conditions which c.) made for a really terrible combo.
We’d only driven for a few blocks when we saw the first car do a complete 180 fish-tail. As we approached a fairly large hill that we needed to get up, I started to worry a bit. I was just about to suggest to Mike that maybe we go a different route home, when a snow plow truck flew down said-hill. He whipped around and parked sideways blocking the street whilst honking his horn. The driver got out and started waving his arms to the car in front of us. Yeah, don’t even try this hill! There may have been an accident somewhere up the road as he was pretty insistent on the no-passing thing, but I don’t know.
So, we continued on a different route where we passed car after car that was turning around on side streets, driving with flashers on or just plain stopped in the road. It was so strange because there wasn’t that much snow on the ground but it was really coming down and, like I said, the conditions must’ve have just been perfect for disaster. It was The Perfect Storm. Hey! That’s catchy. That should be the title of a movie or book or something.
The way we ended up driving is part of the route that I take to and from my music classes. I knew the street well enough to alert Mike as to whether a hill was coming up (or going down). As we rounded a bend, I said, “OK, and up here we go down hill to a traffic light.” Mike, being the phenomenal snow-driver that he is, gave himself plenty of stopping time.
We were sitting at the red light when Mike looked in the rearview mirror and said, “That guy is going way too fast.” A moment later we heard honking from behind us and then BUMP. Dude totally ran into us. And then Dude got into the right turning lane like he was going to pretend the Bump didn’t happen and keep driving.
I opened my door and then he opened his window. And, yeah, it wasn’t the ‘Christian’ thing to do but I immediately started in on him. It’s wasn’t “yelling” per-say, it was more my loud, stern Mommy Voice, “YOU ARE DRIVING WAY TOO FAST! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?”
Then Spikey Hair Dude in his Little Sporty Red Car goes, “I couldn’t stop. I just kept sliding. And I was honking. What are you doing stopped? YOU CAN’T STOP LIKE THIS! I was honking so you’d go. You can’t stop!”
“WE HAD A RED LIGHT! WE CAN’T RUN A RED LIGHT! YOU WANT US TO RUN THE RED LIGHT AND GET IN AN ACCIDENT?! WE’D BE SITTING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE INTERSECTION. WE CAN’T RUN THE RED LIGHT. LOOK AT ALL THE CARS DRIVING BY!”
During my little calm and collected exchange with Spikey Hair Dude, Mike had done the smart thing and gotten out of the car, checked the back for damage and walked over to Spikey Hair Dude.
Spikey Hair Dude looked at him and (I’ll give him credit for this) said, “Is there any damage? Are you guys OK?” Mike reassured him that we were fine. Basically Spikey Hair Dude’s Little Sporty Red Car bounced off of the spare tire on the back of our Honda CRV. If there was any damage it was to him. Our Honda CRV could eat Little Sporty Red Car for lunch! And while the jolt of the bump was the tiniest bit jarring, we were fine (just a little ticked off).
So, Spikey Hair Dude is about to drive away but then says, “I tried honking…I just couldn’t stop. I kept slipping.”
“YOU HAVE TO SLOW DOWN! YOU CAN’T DRIVE THAT FAST IN WEATHER LIKE THIS AND IN A LITTLE CAR LIKE YOURS.”
“Yeah, yeah, I tried honking…” he mumbled as he whipped into the traffic.
“BE CAREFUL!” I yelled at the Little Sporty Red Car blur that sped away into the snow storm.
“He shouldn’t have done that,” Matthew said calmly from the back seat. “That was a bad choice – bumping us.”
The rest of the way home, we saw car after car pulling over, slipping, sliding, getting stuck. I’ve never been so grateful to pull safely into our garage in my life!
So much for “normal.” By the end of the night we had 2-3 inches of snow. No morning run. No preschool. The rain did come and most of the white stuff was melted by mid-morning though, so I decided we NEEDED to get out of the house. The boys had been together NON-STOP for three weeks straight and were driving each other, us, themselves Ca-RAZY. So, we went to my favorite place in the world (well, one of them) – the gym. I figured that ripping around in the Kids’ Club would be good for them (and wonderful for me). It would, of course, change the serious attitudes that I’d been getting from my sweet, innocent offspring.
Somehow the Kids’ Club just wasn’t enough magic to immediately fix three weeks worth of cabin fever though. Within moments of arriving back home the boys were back to there same ‘ol shenanigans. Matthew was playing Lego’s in his room and yelling at Zach to get out. Zach was yelling at Matthew to let him into his room. A scuffle at the door started. I knew this could only end badly. So, I yelled for them to stop but, alas, the inevitable still happened – Zach’s fingers got slammed in the door. Saw that coming.
After a little while the hard crying turned into sniffling, snortling, snuffling. Zach wiped his eyes (more like smearing the tears around rather than clearing them away) and said, “I think I look like I have CRANKY EYES!” Yeah. Me too.
The only good thing that happened on Monday (OK, well the BEST thing that happened on Monday), pertains to the boys’ swim lessons. Monday was the first day back – the first day of a new session. We got there early so that I could pay and register. The Desk Chicky says, “Oh, we’re not offering Tiny Tots [the class that Zach and I take together] this session. We didn’t have enough teachers.” This doesn’t really surprise me as last session, Zach was the only kiddo in Tiny Tots, so it was great for him because he got a private lesson, and yet a bummer for me ‘cuz I was the only grown-up who had to be in a swim suit.
So, Desk Chicky says, “We could try him in PreSchool Level 1 (PS1). Wait, how old is he?” (For PS1 the kids have to be 3).
I immediately turn into One of Those, “Well, he’s 2 ½ but he’s a genius and he swims like a fish. He’s had Tasha for a few sessions now. She’s a great teacher and I’m sure she’ll tell you that he’ll be fine in PS1 without me.” (Fingers crossed. Please, please, please).
“Well, Tasha is teaching PS1 this session, so since he knows her I’m sure that’ll help. We’ll try it and see how he does. If he’s ready and does well in class and fine without you there, then he can just stay in PS1.”
Like forever?! We won’t have to do Tiny Tots again? I won’t have to wear a bathing suit in front of all the other parents and the entire high school boys’ swim team (they’re finishing up practice when we arrive). I try to not hyperventilate with excitement and glee. He still has to do well.
OK, Zach. This is what we’ve been preparing for. It’s your big moment. Keep your head in the game. We’re ready for this. You can do it!
And HE DID! He kicked Swim Lesson, PreSchool Level 1 BUTT. And I don’t have to shave my legs until like June!