Thursday, January 16, 2014

Grandma Had a Very Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Just like Alexander in the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst. (I have been around the grandkids too long this trip...)

Terrible may be overstating things. It was one of those days when a series of situations piled on each other. The total was very trying, indeed.            

Grandpa and I are on babysitting duty. The day began when baby (a.k.a. Sydney) - 2 1/2 so technically no longer a baby  - awakened earlier than usual, thanks to an older cousin who could no longer wait to play.

There was breakfast, story time, and the main event of the day - a trip to the zoo, followed by lunch.

We decided on Mexican for lunch. Suddenly Sydney, sitting nicely in a booster seat eating her cheese quesadilla, swooped her hands around, providing visuals to something she was saying, knocking my glass, full of diet coke and ice, off the table. It shattered into several pieces, spreading ice and coke all over the floor.

The restaurant staff was gracious. The busboy carefully swept everything up immediately, and we finished lunch without further disruption.

Home again, Sydney takes a nap.

Meanwhile I transported the 3-1/2-year-old (a.k.a. Sami) to her swimming lesson. We needed to leave no later than 2:45.

I carefully watched the clock, preparing to leave. Unfortunately the little one is not so time-oriented. When nature calls, she must listen. This was not a mere pee interlude. I recently read an article that stated all mammals take an average 20 seconds to pee. That would have met our tight timeline.

This time poop was involved, and that is a much longer, more involved process.

She could not be rushed.

By the time we left we were running late. In the car and pulling out of the driveway, Sami insists she needs Booie, her favorite stuffed schmatta (rag blanket-animal). I grabbed my phone and called hub, who was inside the house.

Booie was in the washing machine, getting clean after the trip to the zoo. With a bit of coaxing Sami accepted a temporary proxy, and we were once again on our way.

I parked the car and we ran to the pool. Now it was time to put on Sami's bathing suit.


Grandma messed up, grabbing only the top part of a bathing suit - and not the bottoms.

What to do now?

After a crying deluge by Sami and a discussion with her swim instructor, the instructor came to our rescue with a (freshly laundered, ready-to-wear) borrowed bathing suit. It was big, but satisfied Sami.

Disaster averted. Once again, all was temporarily good.

About 45 minutes later, the lesson over, Sami got dressed and we headed home. About ten minutes later we were turning right from one Main Street onto another main boulevard, when suddenly - Bam!

I hit the car in front of me.

Sami was not hurt - my first concern. I was fine, just shaken. I followed the car in front of me to the side of the road.

I was driving a rental car.

The other driver was upset because the right rear bumper of his two-months-old Toyota Camry was damaged.

Before the important work of exchanging licenses and other information could occur, Sami decided she had to go potty (again). I abandoned the car, told the other driver I would be right back, and Sami and I ran to the nearest potty, which happened to be inside a Duffy's Sports Grill. (Does that make me a hit and run driver?)

Then it was back to the scene of the accident.

The Palm Beach County sheriff arrived. We drove to the nearest parking lot, off the main road, and began the slow process of filling out forms. I called hub, and he came to my assistance. Our insurance company was called while the police officer filled out an accident report. The other driver was on his cell the entire time lamenting his damaged new car to a series of unknown individuals.

The police officer assured him the broken piece was plastic and easily replaced.

The officer issued no citations. She said, "Simple fender bender, happens all the time..."

The other driver was not appeased. His son (or grandson, could not be sure) was in the car, and he told the officer he was going to take him to the emergency room. The officer asked, "Was he in his car seat?" "Yes," the driver said. "Then he is fine," she said.

If he was so concerned about the boy, he should have taken him to the ER before spending an hour on the phone lamenting his impaired car. Not once did I hear him voice concern about his son/grandson.

Damage, if any, to the rental car is minimal. I am sure the rental company will inspect it carefully when returned.

Finally getting back to the house in time for dinner, I was worn out.

It had been a no good day.


  1. Some days, it just doesn't pay to get out of bed.

  2. What a nice police officer. Glad neither you nor Sami were hurt. Your story reminds me of when my mother-in-law took our sons out when they were young - if they came back and said they had an "adventure" I learned years later that was code for some mishap happened.

  3. Better watch out for that guy in the Toyota--sounds like the type who will develop whiplash symptoms, be unable to work, preform his husbandly duties, etc. It is great that you had such an objective police officer on the scene.

  4. Good grief! That does sound like a tough day indeed. And I am also glad you ended up with a decent police officer who wasn't going to listen to that guy. Glad THAT day is behind you! :-)

  5. You are one terrific, terrifying grandma. Thanks for the bedtime story…just kidding.


    PS and boy was that instructor with it.

  6. What a perfectly awful day. It was like an opera, each awful thing worse that the one before.
    But what a sensible police officer - at least you were lucky there.