Oh. My. Word. I brought Peanut to Boulder, Colorado, for some alternative therapy to help speed up his development. The trip was almost bad enough that the hoped-for-development-milestones weren’t quite worth it. Almost. (OK. That’s not true at all. I’m a mama. We do crazy stuff for our kids).
It started out badly, in a rush. We had 2 house-showings the day before. The two older kids were headed to camp the next morning. Dreamboat’s birthday was 2 days after I left. And the list goes on.
On our way to the airport, after we dropped off my car for repairs from backing into another car (I admit no fault — total deniability.), we were thrilled the Express Lanes were open in our direction (LOVE that invention). Then Dreamboat accidentally took a wrong turn onto an off-ramp that deposited us downtown. I should stop here. The day took a definite downward turn.
Finally arriving late to the airport, after more wrong turns…once again, deniability. ( I directed absolutely none of them), and with my stress-induced-adult-acne going into overdrive, and after Dreamboat handed me some cash as I had NONE, I gratefully chose the “family in need of assistance” line at security–to the chagrin of the passengers around me. There were some pointed, passive-aggressive comments about ‘cutting’ being spoken very loudly. Directed at the back of my head. I kept telling myself if they were only brave enough to be passive aggressive, then they didn’t deserve an answer…but I think that’s when the shaking started up in full swing.
After what felt like an eternity, Peanut, his car seat, his stroller, my briefcase, our suitcase, our shoes, and all the jewelry I wisely chose to wear for the airport screening, made it to the gate. We were the last people on the plane. While finding our seats, I got a text from my sweet cousin saying she was waiting to pick us up on the West side of arrivals at DIA, to spend a little time together while she was to take me downtown Denver to pick up my rental car.
Wait. What??? Oh. No.
I had given her our departure time to pick us up. Not the arrival time.
So she, 10-and-a-half-months-pregnant (ok. Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration), her husband, and their 2 year old little girl, had driven and hour and forty-five minutes to pick me up. I fessed up to my idiocy and profusely apologized.
They went to Ikea instead. While I continued to lament my idiocy.
When Peanut and I landed, I called the rental car agency to see if I could pick up the car at the airport, instead of downtown. They couldn’t help, as I’d booked on Hotwire (trying to save money). I called Hotwire and listened to their lovely hold music for 49 minutes and 32 seconds before I accidentally hung up. You know that made me happy.
I talked with the local car rental desk who let me know the downtown office was closed anyway. More joy.
Peanut only screamed twice, when he banged his head into the sharp suitcase handle hanging over his stroller. Which, as the good mother that I am, I left there. Because otherwise, how would I manage him, his stroller, his car seat, my bag, my computer, and our suitcase?
I lugged all our stuff onto a tram and headed out to the rental car lots. By the way, Peanut has some latent fears from his accident. Trams are one of them. There was lots of screaming and tears. From both of us. And I don’t have a traumatic history. It wasn’t pretty…but it was loud. We got high scores for sheer volume.
After pleading my miserable story to the rental agency, and after trying to charge me DOUBLE the rate, she found me an available car. Cheap person that I am, I went with a two-door option that was $5/day cheaper. Once again, I’m an idiot. But, after only 20 minutes, I was able to maneuver the car seat into the back and got Peanut safety buckled.
I should just skip this part. You don’t need to know how truly idiotic I can be. But, in the interests of full disclosure, here goes.
It was a car with a button start. Keyless…
And I couldn’t figure it out. For a good 10 minutes.
I sat in the parking lot and kept pushing the damn ‘start’ button to no avail.
That’s about when I realized I’d only printed directions to the hotel, from the downtown car lot. But, after figuring out how to start the car, and after only a couple of high-speed u-turns on the Denver freeways, I made it.
And, the nice gentleman from the liquor store (yes, that was my first stop), who carried my purchases out to the car, mentioned the car was still running.
Wait. What?? Oh no.
Yep. The ‘off’ button doesn’t work if you hold it down too long (which you have to do to start it). And I left our car running in the parking lot while we bought wine and all the fixin’s for Mojitos. And I talked myself out of buying a bottle opener. Once again, the whole ‘cheap’ theme seems to not be serving me so well…(I’ll remind Dreamboat of this when discussing future purchases.)
When, late that evening, we finally made it to our hotel, the clerk at the front desk commented on the length of our stay. You see, Peanut’s therapy is a two-week, intensive course. The clerk asked if I’m here to visit family.
“No” I said, as sweetly as I could.
“Oh. Are you here for work?” she continued…
“No” I said, as sweetly as I could.
“Oh. You just want to be HERE for two weeks?” she inquired? By now, we had her FULL attention.
“Yes” I said, as sweetly as I could. You see, I didn’t want to get into Peanut. And his accident. And why we’re here for treatment. And the hope I am trying to not feel.
She pursed her lips, arched her eyebrows, stopped asking questions, and handed over the room keys. I’m sure she marked my file to keep a close eye on us. If this were a TV show, I would have been entered on the ‘person of interest’ list that involved a room search and time in the local jail.
Then the real fun started. In my kitchenette, I unpacked our ‘groceries’ and got out a glass.
I dug through the drawers and found the kitchen gadget that looked just like a bottle opener. It wasn’t. It isn’t.
I hurt my fingers, and my ribs, when my hand flung off the rim of the bottle. After several failed attempts (ok. It was MANY attempts), eventually I gave up.
No wine for me. (However, I did eat ½ a bag of chocolate chips).
But, peanut gave me lots and lots and lots of kisses. And cuddles. And we’re safe. Unlike many people who went to watch the movies in Aurora just a few miles from here.
So, after a trip from hell, I go to bed grateful.