Today should have been joyous and festive. I've been looking forward to it for the last month. I took Dante, gathered all the donations and drove out to my Family's apartment to deliver. Aaron warned me that my battery light came on when he took my car out the other night and we made sure that my phone had a full charge. I drove most of the way with no heat in the car just to make sure things would be okay, and for the most part they were. The light turned off and we got out there to play Santa. So when we pulled in, their little boy was talking home in tears because he'd missed the bus to go to the Boys and Girls Club for the swim party. I tossed him in the car and drove him home to bring the loot. We got there and his mom was out (she ran to the store) and their dad was there with another child that I've never seen. Suddenly this wasn't working out at all like I envisioned it. Dante and I brought everything inside, and were on the way out to take the little boy to the Boys & Girls Club when I see Mom coming up the sidewalk. I suddenly remembered the gift card and cash in my back pocket for her, and went out to give her a big hug and let her know that there was a ton of stuff in the apartment for her. (I was glad to see that their dad brought gifts for them, so they had things under their little tree.) She was really happy, and that's the important thing. Now if I could end my story here I'd be all set, but that's no where the end.
I drive over and drop Little Man off, and no sooner does he get out of the car than the car sputtered and died. Right there directly in front of the doors to the Boys and Girls Club. Right smack in the middle of the "No Parking Ever" zone. I called Aaron, and chewed him out for never getting around to putting me on his AAA card as an authorized user. He calls them to try to do so, and they say it's going to be $58 (!!!!) and that the card is rejecting. He tells them that we have plenty of money and to run it again. She runs it again and it rejects again. Now he's getting Alex dressed again to come out and meet us, and call them again, when his mom calls. He tells her the issue and she calls them and pays to add me to the card. I'm talking to him when I get a call on the other line from the AAA dispatcher, who tells me that due to the fact that the car died while it was running, it would have to be towed and the wait would be 90 minutes...(!!!!) This is at 4:45pm. Dante and I are bundled up to the max but eventually it gets cold in the car and we're freezing out there. I call Aaron and let him know that he has to meet me at the Pawtucket B&G Club only to have him tell me that his mom is coming instead. Meanwhile, there is some sort of emergency at the Club that requires an ambulance and the nice gentleman from The Club asks me to move my car, at which point I let him know that the reason the hazard lights are on is because the car is dead...and I can't move it. This makes me feel like a major jerk, especially when they have to go the long way to take the kid on the stretcher to the ambulance through the cold. Now that there was an issue where the ambulance was blocked (my car being broke down), they proceeded to set up road blocks, and put a man out there in the cold to direct traffic. He's none to happy about it and he lets everyone who dares to pull up and park know about it. (He bit off a little more than he could chew when he barked at my MIL though, cause she gave it right back to him and he backed right down. More of me feeling like a jerk.)
Speak of the devil...she just came through like a hurricane with her arms full of Christmas gifts for me to shove in my kitchen closet till tomorrow night. Anyway, back to the narrative.
So I send Dante over to get in her car and tell her where to park before she gets hauled away in cuffs for attacking a parking attendant, and then they come over and I let them know that I still had 30 minutes before the AAA truck would be getting there. I was freezing to death so Jim (bless his Wisconsin heart!) sent me and Linda back to her warm car and he stayed with mine. (Dante tells me that Jim goes out in the snow in bare feet!) When the truck got there, the driver wasn't sure how many miles away the Goodyear in East Providence was from our location, but said that he'd mark it down as only 3 miles so that we didn't have to pay anything for the tow. What a great early Christmas gift that was, considering that we're likely going to have to replace my alternator. So we left, and he dropped my Taurus off at Goodyear like a gift for their mechanics. I have to call them tomorrow to have them take a look at it, and then I have to make arrangements to visit my FIL on Christmas day. It's going to be a lot like joint custody for the boys and I...Aaron will drive us up, and his dad will drop us back home.
And then there's tomorrow. We're supposed to be at Aaron's cousin's for "Night of the seven fishes" (of which I won't be eating any). The problem is Alex's sleep issues. He's just got to be in bed by 6pm or Christmas will be full of tears and tantrums. People always try to weigh in with their "helpful" insights on what we're doing wrong and how he'll just have to "get used to it" and how he "knows he can get away with it". I've already (mostly) raised one child and I know what I'm doing so I don't need the unsolicited advice. He goes to bed just fine. He falls asleep just fine. He does not stay asleep and when he wakes up he can't get back to sleep. He's so tired that he has issues with impulse control, behavior, mood...all behaviors that look a lot like ADHD but his aren't because they all disappear when he's somehow finally dropped from exhaustion and gets some sleep. We have an appointment for next week to have him screened for a sleep disorder, which after doing a few hours of research last night, I have discovered is not very uncommon in children. It's called pediatric insomnia and recent articles show that it's hard to nail down the exact cause sometimes, and that many pediatricians learned most of what they know on the subject through experience with patients than they did in med school. So I'll have to go armed with stats and knowledge, and push my pediatrician to take the next step to see what's going on with Alex. Because all of the other "things to do" we're already doing, and it's not enough.