Sunday, February 12, 2006

An Accomplishment Small, yet Monumental

Yesterday I got through the day without a chest pain.

Some of you might know that I get these at times. Like, at one point, enough to get prescriptions involved, that kind of thing.

My Boy was at the annual town Winterfest type thing with a buddy. I had four hours alone with my Girl. I don't get enough time with her. Ever since the Boy came along when she was two, she's had to share me. It's really not so bad, since the two of them have an interesting world that nobody else can get into. They tell me about it, yes, but I don't ever really cross the threshold to invade their little world. They don't really hate each other. Much. But I had her all to myself and what did I promise her we would do together? Yep. I told her we'd go shopping.

Some of you might know that I hate spending money. I'm afraid of it. I like Getting Stuff as much as anybody else. However, once you have stuff, you no longer have money, and then what do you do if you need to buy something? We don't live in a culture where you can trade undies for food. And truthfully, that is good.

My daughter and I embarked on our shopping adventure with cash and the good feeling of togetherness. We parked our rodeo-stickered truck beside a rodeo-stickered truck. Nothing came of that, I just wanted to type it. We had an agenda: New tank tops and T shirts, and her first pair of jeans in over a year. She has just grown so fast that the hand me downs couldn't keep up, and I won't shop for jeans without her, because she is VFD: Very Fussy Daughter.

I fought away the frustration. Trying on jeans with an 11 year old girl is very frustrating. The worst part is the repeating of history. It all felt so familiar: all the jeans are too big. It takes a long time to try things on because stuff doesn't feel right. The jeans that look best don't come in the right size. I have been through this before.

But, success: we walked away with two nice new pairs of jeans and some new T shirts, and, cool ones at that. She was a good enough sport to put up with me buying necessary underthings. Then we picked out a bunch of new tank tops from the kids section of the Old Navy. (No logos. We figure Old Navy should be paying us to show off their name.) To reward ourselves for our good shopping, we stopped into a few shoe stores to drool over ridiculous pretty stilettos that have nowhere to go, and lust over all the boots which are going on sale, and get ideas in our heads, but then walk out bootless. So far. We even got ourselves a little sushi snack- no wasabi. Dare I say, we were having fun!

We headed back out to the truck with time to pick up the Boy. I got behind the wheel. Happened to look at the light switch. Uh oh. Turned the key. Nothing. Bit my tongue, having promised not to swear in front of my kids. Cheerily decided to go back in, call the friend's house, and blow off a half hour or so to let the battery charge itself up. Wishful thinking.

I called CAA. They could send a guy in within the next 45 minutes. I hit the payphone to make sure my boy and my dog were taken care of. The Girl and I sat on the steps by the food court, watching the parking lot and chatting while the mall closed itself up behind us. I had no idea the mall closed at 6 pm on Saturdays. I don't spend enough time there to know that. We talked about clothes, and other girls, and the clothes that other girls wear. We discussed school and all of its difficulties. We covered her friends and her plans and stuff she wants to do. Piano, singing, dancing, writing stories. All confirming my brilliant gem of advice to her from last year: you can hire an accountant sweetie. Not everybody can dance.

I leaned on the stair railing and told her that as much as I wished I hadn't forgotten the lights, it wasn't so bad sitting there with her. It really wasn't so bad. And despite feeling stupid, I really wasn't that upset.

The CAA guy rolled up to boost my battery, approximately 47 minutes later. He told me the battery was too small; that's a lot of truck for a small battery. Did I feel macho about that! He tested the battery, told me that it had no cold cranking amps, and couldn't guarantee that it would get me home. Then offered me a new battery, right there on the spot, for a price of blah blan blah. Well he didn't know what I know, I guess. I damn well know tht I could drive home just fine. I simply could not shut it off until it had all 4 tires planted in my drive way, that's all.

Finally at 7:30 we were home. Our puppy was happy to see us and not traumatized, having been let out and fed by our neighbour. The boy told us all about his amazing day, and how glad he was that I didn't come to pick him up until later.

And then I looked at the kids, and said, "Hey! I have an announcement! I don't have a chest pain!"

I got a big hug from each of them. We nuked up some popcorn, watched the Olympics, and then went to bed.


Smartypants said...

You need to get a truck that dings dings dings when you leave the lights on. = )

And a mall that closes at 6pm on a Saturday! Wrong.

But, seriously, the stars aligned so you could spend more time with the girl-kid.

Heidi the Hick said...

Sometimes you gotta look at the star alignment. And the truck probably did buzz, I just didn't hear it. Mental filtering, eh? I haven't done that in 10 years so I'm good for another 10!
And girl had a hard time deciding what to wear today!

Notsocranky Yankee said...

I have an 11 yr old daughter too and just had a few hours the other day doing the shopping thing with her. She was happy we left her 2 little brothers with grandma.

Just found your blog via a comment you left on Balloon Pirate's blog. I'll try to catch up on previous posts...

p.s. I carry jumper cables in my cars so I can ask (almost) any passing motorist to give me a jump start. But I think your time waiting with Girl was well worth it.