Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Theme for the Week: Good News/Bad News

It has been one weird week around here. (I shudder to think it's only Wednesday--can I just hide out until the weekend? I'll be hiding under the covers...wake me on Saturday...)

We'll start with last Saturday (I know, technically not this week, but it fits the theme, you'll see). Royce took his car in for routine service, and we already knew it was going to be an expensive one (105K miles, timing belt due to be replaced, on top of the other scheduled under-the-hood stuff).  Expected cost: around $700-800. Foreshadowing of doom: Royce brightly mentioned as he headed out the door to go drop it off, "Hey, while they're poking around in there, I'll have them check out that unexplained clunking noise I've been hearing for about a year!" Of course that little knocking sound turned out to be "very dangerous, must be fixed right away!", to the tune of:  $2,400. (I'd tell you exactly what was wrong, but I'd never heard of the particular parts the mechanic mentioned, so he could have been making them up for all I know.) Obviously, that's the bad news. The garage manager did quickly point out (probably in response to my hyperventilating in his ear, trying not to faint at the total) that "these Hondas are usually good for 270,000 miles!"  Well, that's VERY good to know, as Royce will now be driving this car until its wheels fall off.

The next day, Riley woke up with an odd pain in the vicinity of his left hip.  No visible bruise, no memory of hurting it, no pain when touching the area...he just hobbled like a little old man when he tried to walk or bend. This was the second time in the last several months that this mysterious ache has shown up overnight, so I was a bit worried. Off we went on Monday to the pediatrician, who palpated and stretched and examined him. Just to be safe, she ordered an x-ray. In the meantime, she also remarked on his gunky nose (which I had dismissed as "stupid pollen, flying around already") and listened to his lungs. So the good news: the x-ray was negative (although that means we don't know WHY it hurts, it should go away with Motrin-the-wonder-drug).  But the bad news: she heard a faint "wheeze" and he has...bronchitis.  What?  Not a proud Mommy Moment, let me tell you, when you don't even notice your child is sick!

Tuesday, nothing (proving once again that time-honored adage: no news is good news!)

But then came Wednesday, a day chock-full of chores and general running-around for me. When I returned from my journey to Target and was bringing the bags inside, I happened to glance at the garage floor where my car is usually parked and saw a small puddle of oil. Now, the only time my car has ever leaked oil was when it had a blown head gasket (for those who don't speak "car", head gasket means: really-stinking-expensive-repair).  So you'll pardon me if I freaked out a little bit and started making plans to get rid of the car, tomorrow if possible.

However, I calmed down enough to go back out I went for one last errand, and this time when I came back I noticed my rear passenger tire looked a little low. I made a mental note to check the pressure later, and went inside. Flash forward to about 4:30, when I was preparing to go pick Riley up from basketball (yes, he does recover remarkably quickly).  I backed the car out of the garage into the sunlight to better read the tire pressure gauge...and in those few feet, it went completely flat.  At this point the neighborhood boys gathered around staring in apparent fascination at a real, live flat tire.  Derek very helpfully pointed out, in case I hadn't quite grasped the problem, "Mom, your tire's, um, really flat!" (I refrained from smacking him...just barely.) The situation had become so absurd, there was really only one thing to do: "Well, guys, let's see if we can find the nail!" I suggested.  And sure enough, there was a big old shiny screw in the tread. The good news, I guess, is that I made it all the way home on it. The bad news may come when I get the dratted oil leak checked out (grrr!). (Oh, and I got a ride from a neighbor, so Riley is NOT still at school waiting for me.)

If unfortunate events are said to come in bunches, then surely I'm done for the moment! Thursday should be all rainbows and bluebirds and sunshine, right? If not, I'm staying in bed!

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