Monday, January 12, 2009

Blowout Birthday!

Last night we met my in-laws for dinner to celebrate Scott’s birthday. Hank, who is not a good restaurant child under the best of circumstances, had been up since five am and had just been ice skating for two hours, so he was absolutely vibrating with that 5-year-old-tired-but-wired energy. He managed to escape when adults were distracted by the arrival of some very good margaritas, and a righteous mother nearby enjoyed coming over to tell us that he had slipped out the door. I had to give him the “somebody could take you and you’d never see us again!” lecture, which reduced him to tears. One down.

Meanwhile, Juliet had quietly sucked down two huge Shirley Temples. As soon as the cold sugary liquid had completely filled her empty 8-year-old tummy, she turned white and announced that she was going to throw up. Scott’s mom, Janie, followed her into the bathroom. Fortunately no upchucking occurred, but even a walk out in the cool air didn’t make her feel better so she just sat silently with her chin quivering. Two down.

No one realized that “pizza” in a Mexican restaurant meant a tostada shell with beans and cheese on it, so when this arrived for Hank, Scott and I knew none of it would be eaten. Two kids meals sat untouched.

Realizing that the best way to salvage any enjoyment for Scott would be for me to whisk the kids home, I ate quickly, packed up the malcontents, and headed off, happy that we had arrived in separate cars so the three of them could at least finish their meals and their drinks in peace.

So, I pacified the children with a DVD of Ruff Ruffman, and was making pretty good time on I-5 by cruising in the fast lane to pass the ever-present line of semi trucks in the right. Then POW!

A blow-out. Three down.

I’m not exactly sure how I managed to get to the right side and pull off to the shoulder; I was too busy pretending to remain calm for the freaked-out kids. Scott came to the rescue, but it took about 15 minutes for him to get there, during which time our car was in a constant state of movement from the gusts of air of passing semi-trucks. The two tired and hungry kids sat in the back seat trying to concentrate on the DVD while teary eyed and whimpering.

Scott arrived, we changed the tire (and by we I mean he), and made it home safely. Oy. From now on I’ll have a bit more respect for the day that Mercury goes retrograde. No travel, no communication!

Happy Birthday, Scott. The rest of the year will be smooth sailing after last night!


jennie said...

Funny. Yesterday was bad birthday karma all around.

I turned 38, jolted awake by Daney's grand mal seizure. Unable to return to sleep, we then had unexpected company stay the whole day.

Reesie stabbed Dominic in the back with a wooden sword.

At Omar's, my husband ate my whole filet, while Reesie inhaled my special birthday sundae.

I gave the lowest grades in the history of my teaching to one of my writing classes.

Then I did laundry while everyone else watched "Cops."

Can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings, but one thing's for sure: next Jan. 11, I'm treating myself to a spa day, and I'm staying at a hotel!!!

Carrie Harris said...

Wow. I hope the rest of the year goes better!

PurpleClover said...

5yrs and 8yrs huh? So you're telling me it doesn't get better? We'll never sit quietly in a restaurant again huh?? Mine are only 20 months and 3yrs...that is scary! We do the same thing (separate cars and I eat fast...otherwise NO restaurants). sigh. We can never have dinner with friends. They don't understand the 10minutes-until-your-check-arrives rule.

Christy Raedeke said...

Jennie - We will rectify your bad birthday at Writing on Wednesday. I promise.

Purple - Sorry to say, you have years of torturous restaurant experiences ahead of you. If you have two boys, make that decades. If you have two girls, could be shorter. Sigh. Dining out used to be one of my favorite activities... Love that you get the concept of two cars. Often times my life feels like a bank robbery.

Carrie - Thanks! Haven't seen your name in awhile, I'll have to pop over and see if your book sold!

Suzanne Young said...

Christy, I just read this to my husband because it is hysterical! And I've been there!!!

And good for you about getting to the shoulder. Sorry to say, I would have been the one in the back whimpering!

Kelly Hudgins said...

It IS the stars. Anna's BD, on Jan. 10, wasn't much better.

A toast to all Capricorns (me included)! According to, the worst is over - finally - for goats like us.

tonya said...

I laughed till I almost pee'd my pants. Wow, today was one of those days that I needed to read that someone else's day was worse than mine.