The plan was for me to go to work while Tracey juggled the four kids through the morning. Good plan, I thought. Bye.
“I’m late,” said Tracey as I was breezing out the door with my car keys..
“I won’t hold you up,” I told her helpfully.
Then looked at the veins setting to burst on the forehead of my heavily pregnant wife. So I helped: cause that’s what us hero-type-dads do when the need arises – we swoop in and save the day. Plus I need her to still want to sleep with me when the kids are asleep.
There was no time to dump Miss8 at school or Miss1 at Grandmas. And no car seats in The Red Rocket, so we couldn’t divide and conquer.
“Come on!” I encouraged the kids towards the Pajero. “We’re late!”
When they were all inserted in their respective harnesses I raced up to The Red Rocket as Tracey shot off up the road. I turned the key. Nothing. I turned the key again. A clicking of some sort – it was difficult to hear it clearly over the cussing sound I was making. On my third try it started and I backed out of the drive and…….realized I had no idea where the mole scan clinic was.
I drove into town and did a few laps of the main streets, finally locating our 4WD. Parking on a hill in case I had to roll start I arrived in the waiting room just as the kids were rearranging the magazines into a less sterile arrangement.
Twenty minutes later it became clear things weren’t running on time.
“I need to go,” I mentioned weakly.
“But there’s noone to look after them when I’m being checked over.”
“I’ll take the strays to work,” I offered. Deal. I raced up the street with Miss1 & Miss4, leaving The Red Rocket to fend for itself and hoping the handbrake was going to hold better than I suspected it would.
Half an hour later, Tracey arrived at work to save us from the whirlwind of destruction which is our littlest two. She also drove my up to where The Red Rocket was parked so I could take it to work.
And the worst was over. Or so I thought.
As the words ‘see you tomorrow’ came out my mouth this afternoon someone pulled the plug on the clouds and the rain pelted down. By the time I jogged the twenty meters to my car, carting six loaves of bread and some groceries, I looked like a contestant in a wet t-shirt competition. Who am I kidding – with my puppies I’d be a finalist.
Tossing the bags in the back seat I shut the door and turned the key. Nothing. I turned it again. Nothing much. On the third attempt it fired and I breathed a sigh of relief. Prematurely, as it turned out.
You know what is worse than having a flat battery in the car park? Stalling the car on a hill and not being able to start it up again, meaning you have to wave the traffic past until you can roll backwards to a safer spot to park.
Fed up with the whole day I decided to leave The Red Rocket where I managed to roll it and called Tracey for a lift home. I figure I’ll call RACQ in my lunch break tomorrow.
“I can’t, honey,” said Tracey. “The Pajero is still at the mechanics.”
I’ve never really liked cars and at this point it seems unlikely to change.
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