Thursday, July 01, 2010
As promised, we had a flat tire to contend with today. It was flat-flat. Flat as a pancake flat. Flat as Kansas flat. Flat as a cat in the sun on a summer day flat. In other words, it was pretty friggin flat.
I called the dealer to get some clarification on the terms of the extended warranty I bought. (Burning question #1: WTF possessed me to get an extended warranty? It was one of the more idiotic decisions I've made, no question.) The dealer wasn't yet open, so I left a message requesting a call-back and then called the roadside assistance peoples. I know how to change a tire. I changed a flat once on my Malibu, all by my little ol self. But I wasn't about to haul the kids down to the car, buckle them into their car seats, and hope they didn't simultaneously melt down while I huffed and puffed and put the spare tire on. We paid for the roadside assistance coverage, so why not use it? There's only so far I'm willing to go with this "I am woman, hear me roar" business.
Plus I'm pretty sure we don't have a jack.
So someone came out and put the spare tire on. I did end up having to put Soren in his car seat with a box of raisins so he wouldn't get in the way, but he was perfectly happy to watch the goings on out the window. There was a brief moment of panic when the guy asked if I had a key for the wheel locks. Wheel locks? We have wheel locks? He gave me a "duh" look and pointed to one of the lug nuts, which looked kind of like one of those barrel-key bike locks. Fortunately, there was a little "wheel lock parts" kit in with the spare tire, so that issue was quickly resolved.
Burning question #2: Is it appropriate or expected to tip the roadside assistance guy? I generally haven't tipped, and wouldn't really think to tip, if we're just getting the car jumped. But tire changing seems like rather a bit more effort. Certainly more effort than walking a dinner delivery up to our apartment, and I tip for that, so I gave the guy 5 bucks. I didn't have to pay anything else for the service call, so whatever.
Since it was still early enough in the morning by this point I opted to go ahead and take Soren to playgroup so he could at least run around before we had to deal with getting the tire patched. We were meeting at an elementary school playground today, and I mused briefly at how huge and scary the playground equipment would have seemed just a year ago. Heck, even six months ago. But he ran around with his buddies and had a grand old time. Eleri slept in the pouch, eventually. It was pretty sunny though, and she's almost 6 months old, so I went ahead and put sunblock on her for the first time, just on her legs. She's getting all growed up.
Eventually, the ride-on lawn mower brigade came out to mow the field next to the playground. Not wanting to see our overeager children chopped up into toddler mulch after wanting to run over and give the lawn mowers hugs, we (the Moms) decided it was time to depart. By this point it was nearly noon and I had still not received my call-back from the dealer. I got a recommendation from one of the moms about a service station just down the road, in the event I didn't have to take the car to the dealer, and I loaded the weasels up in the car. I tried calling Hyundai one more time, learned to my chagrin that the extended warranty did not cover tires (What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Huh, wah...good god, y'all.), so over I went to the recommended Texaco.
Which was packed. Super busy. I snagged a temporary parking spot (blatantly blocking one of the maintenance bays, but I wasn't staying there long), flagged down a mechanic and asked if I needed to have an appointment for the tire repair or if I could just do a walk-in (drive-in) sort of thing. He initially said, "Uh, yeah, you want to leave the car here, it'll be about an hour" and I played the Mom Card ("I have my two little kids with me, so if it's going to be that long, I don't know...") He said to go park the car over at the side, took the flat tire, said he'd fix it right up and call me when he was done. We could wait inside the air conditioned mini mart. Cool beans.
So we waited. The mom who recommended this particular place to me said the owner was really great, and a grandparent, so he was totally family friendly, blah blah blah. Indeed, there were some chairs set up in the corner and a little 3 drawer cart with some toys and crayons and paper. Soren had his sippy cup of water and snack trap of cereal, so we settled down to wait.
About half an hour in, he dropped his sippy cup, and the lid came flying off, and water splashed out all over the floor. The nice lady working in the office right nearby got a mop and cleaned up the puddle. Not long after that, Soren started getting a little bored, so we pulled out some Duplos from the toy cart and played with those for a while. Then I resorted to letting him play with the spelling app on my iPod, which kept him busy for another 20 or 30 minutes. I started to wonder just how long it took to patch, reinflate, and reinstall a tire, but I figured that I did wander in without an appointment, so I couldn't expect to be made a priority. More time went by. Soren started getting really restless. We took some walks around the mini mart, me trying to keep him from grabbing things off the shelf, Soren trying to thwart these efforts of mine. Eventually, the mechanic I'd initially spoken to came in, apparently on his break. He looked at me and said, "Is your car the Mitsubishi?"
"No, the Hyundai."
"With the flat tire?"
*realization dawning, slight look of horror* "Oh man, I completely forgot! I mean, the tire's done, but I...I'll be right back."
Burning question #3: Why did I wait almost two hours without even asking what the hold up was, when it was supposed to be "just a few minutes?" Related burning question #4: Really? THIS is when I develop the ability to be all patient? Really?
In the end, we walked out of there just about 2 hours after we'd walked in. I guess I didn't notice the time so much until near the end, since Soren was super well behaved for so long. But man, when he was done, it made every additional minute we were stuck there feel like a frickin fortnight.
On the way home I caved to the siren song of fast food. Too hungry to even contemplate having to throw together lunch after we got home. Oh well.
After lunch I was tending to Eleri, and Soren was playing in his room. I could hear him reading one of his books (reciting, really), which was super cute. Then he came trotting out, diaper and pjs in his arms, saying, "Get ready for bed!" I asked if he was tired, and he said, "No!" So I chalked it up to him being a weirdo. Then he stripped off his clothes and diaper. Um...okay. I asked if he wanted to have potty time and try wearing his big boy underpants, and he seemed to think that would be great fun. So we did that for the rest of the afternoon and evening. It went pretty well. One accident right at the very beginning, and then nothing thereafter. So that's good! Pretty encouraging, I suppose. We'll see how it goes. Maybe we can stick with it again for a while.
And Eleri sat up on the floor, all by herself, for a little while tonight. Go Eleri! Work those back muscles.