Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Animal crackers and van trouble

I took Zoë out of bed this morning and put her directly into the stroller so that we could walk to the pool in time to meet our friends. Knowing that she'd probably think she needed to have breakfast (these kids—they think they need three meals a day or something) I put some animal crackers in a little container for her.

Not exactly a breakfast of champions, but honestly if she expects more than that she's got to got to bed before 2 AM. Last night she went to bed at 2 AM, woke up twice before 6 AM, and we had to meet our friends at the pool at 9:30. Technically 9:30 isn't early, but we had to walk to the pool so we had to leave at 9:00 because it takes us about twenty minutes to walk to the pool (if I make Benjamin walk) and I wanted to be sure to be a little early.

Lucky for us, our first lesson of the day had to cancel or we'd have had to leave the house even earlier.

And why were we walking? Well, because on Sunday morning when I turned on the van there was a terrible shaking and grinding noise. It sounded like the van was a gravel-chewing monster. I quickly turned it off and texted Andrew.

"Uhhhh...I think we're going to be late," I wrote.

"Why?" he asked.

I explained the whole gravel-chewing monster bit. It was clear something terrible was happening under the hood and although I wanted to go to church (I had my nursery lesson all ready!) I was much happier being stranded in our driveway than I would have been stranded on the side of the road somewhere.

"The van's not making it to church," I concluded.

Andrew said he'd find a ride for us, but the only problem was that anyone with a vehicle large enough to carry us all was still en route to church. People with passels of small children don't show up to church half an hour early, as a general rule. I opened the hood to take a look while we waited for rescue. You know, because of all my know-how regarding engines this would be a helpful thing to do.

"There's a belt that's all chewed up," I texted Andrew.

"Which one?" he texted back.

"The one I can see?" I offered.

That's about as far as my know-how goes. After watching a few youtube videos I guessed it was maybe the timing belt (but evidently not because our neighbour came to look at it yesterday and apparently the timing belt is covered; this was some belt that goes on the harmonic balancer (which is completely mangled)).

Andrew ended up borrowing Sister Rogerson's van.

"We're going to be late," the girls fretted from the way, way back when we turned onto the main road.

"We already are late," I said. "We're going to be super late. Maybe we'll just sit on the couches in the foyer instead of going in."

"We can't do that!" Andrew said.

"Why not?" I asked.

"They're not there," he said.

"Why not?" I asked.

"Bedbugs," he said. "They were fumigated and they're locked in a classroom to air out."

Because of course they were.

"That's the kind of Sunday we're having," Andrew sighed (he'd had an unfortunate incident with some bad pork in the morning; he didn't eat any, just discovered that it was green inside as he was preparing it for dinner (and we'd only purchased it the day before)).

The rest of our Sunday went a lot smoother. The van still doesn't work, but our neighbour's going to try to get it up and running later this afternoon (we shall see). For now we're still carless, which is why we had to walk to the pool this morning, Zoë with her animal crackers in hand.

Apparently she'd been dropping them the whole way to the pool because on our way home we kept finding animal crackers in our path. It was like Hansel and Gretel! We followed our trail the whole way home. Benjamin thought it was great and kept picking them up to eat them (five-second two-hour rule?).

Swim snack of champions.

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