Jump Start

I would love to wake up one day and everything go smoothly.  Why does it always feel like I am constantly fixing things that go wrong in my life to survive.   I never hear anyone else talking about this kinda stuff,ever.  Do I have a black cloud over my head?  Do I set myself up for trouble?  Is everyone else lying?  What’s going on?  It’s Friday and I am writing a blog that I have been trying to write all week but every single day I have been blind-sided with another household drama that needed my full attention. That being said, I picked this particular story for my blog because it was the one that caused me the most misery. I also know that you people are a bunch of sick mother-effers and you love to laugh at someone else’s misery. For some depressingly strange reason, I’m ok with that.  Let’s move forward.

Tuesday morning started off semi-normal.  I got the 2 big kids off to school and as I walked by the Suburban sitting helpless in the driveway, I was reminded of the weekend drama.  It’s a mystery which child left the car door ajar draining the battery..but it happened.  We jump started it once but when I tried starting it again on Sunday, she was as dead as a door nail. Ming had plans to be out-of-town on business all week so I borrowed his truck.

Is there anything more feminine? I think NOT!  I know I drive a Suburban but there is something about a pick-up truck that takes it to another level.  Ugh. It has a HEMI, they tell me?  When I say “they”, I  mean random dudes throughout the day.  The guy in the parking lot, the guy at the drive-thru, the guy at the gas station.  Guys are so weird about their cars/trucks.  Who cares?  I am so NOT a car person.  I don’t even know how to respond.  When a dude yells “nice HEMI” I respond “ok, you too?”  I realize that this makes zero sense.  It’s a technique I use to end a boring conversation.  It’s not my ideal vehicle but who cares?  It’s realiable..well? Most of the time?

Teagan had a field trip on Tuesday.  Do you know what that means to a 4 year-old?  Basically, it’s like telling a little girl that they are going to Cinderella’s Ball.  She was very excited!  I started the process of getting out of the house early so she would be there in plenty of time for her field trip.  All was going well until the karma Gods screwed me.  The keys were not in their normal spot on the key rack.  Strange?  Where could they be? I checked the diaper bag, the counter top, my purse, my jacket pockets…nothing.  Then I took a deep breath and retraced my steps.  Ah yes!  How could I forget?  The evening prior Molly had to “help” Teagan close the heavy truck door and accidentally slammed her hand in the process. Ouch!  I panicked and raced Teagan inside to ice her hand.  Maybe I left the keys in the truck?   I ran and looked inside the truck and there they were.  Sitting in the ignition in the “on” position.. “F**K!”  “Can we go to my field trip now pwease mommy?”  “Um? Well? Mommy needs to start the car first.”  I turned the keys and nothing, absolutely nothing.  Teagan starts crying.  “But Mommy? I’m gonna miss my field twip!”  I wanted to scream!  OMG!  I have 2 cars both with dead batteries and no husband.  On a scale of 1-10.  10 being the suckiest.  This was a 10 situation.  What am I going to do? I called my friend, Kat, and prayed that she could help me. Can I just say thank goodness for good people?  She came over right away .

So..here’s the situation.  I have never jump started a car in my entire life.  I have no idea what I am doing and I hate sparks!  This should be fun!  I needed an education so I did what every reasonable person would do in this situation.  I Googled that shit! I typed in first time jump starting my car into my iPhone!  Whamo!  It’s like magic!   I found step by step instructions on how to jump start my car.  Everyone knows that if it’s on the internet it MUST be true, so I read carefully paying attention to every detail.  Although we never met and she had no idea I was using her instructions, I felt like I bonded with my new Google friend.  She seemed to feel the same way I was feeling and it was her first experience too.   A few minutes later, Kat pulled up into my driveway and for the first time in my life I looked at a minivan and thought, “bad-ass”.  It was a beautiful sight.  We connected the jumper cables.

To a nurse this is better described as a car defibrillator

I won’t bore you with the details but basically we couldn’t get Ming’s truck started but we did get the Suburban going.  Kat saved the day and I kept her cell on speed dial just-in-case.  Ok..now we are in business!  I zipped to preschool and somehow got Teagan to her field trip!  I was petrified to turn the engine off for fear that I would not be able to restart it so I found random errands to keep me busy for the next 3 hours.

I drove by Walgreen’s and I noticed a police officer in his car doing some paperwork.  Perfect!  I need milk!  I pulled up next to the cop, rolled my window down and yelled out my window.  “Hey there!”  He looked confused as hell. He responded with some hesitation, “Hi.”  “Can you help me out?”  “Sure.”   “Excellent!” I then proceeded to unload my whole morning drama on him.  Poor guy. I continued,  “So? You can probably understand why I’m afraid to turn off my engine?  Would you mind keeping an eye on  my Suburban while I run in and grab a gallon of milk?  I’ll be quick?”  To my surprise he was very agreeable. I bet he would have been willing to do anything to shut me up.  I put the car in park and left it running with the officer babysitting. I  grabbed Maggie, bought my milk and returned to my car safe and sound.  “Thank you so much!” I yelled over my shoulder to the nice police officer.  Mission #1 accomplished.

5 gallons a week = Doherty consumption

Next mission: clean the car.  I pulled into the car wash and gave her a spa treatment.  This took an entire hour but it felt good! I vacuumed up the normal funk in my car and gave it a new fragrance tree to complete the make-over.

Febreeze for the car

Now I have a screaming, hungry baby.  Mission number 3- eat.  I  can’t turn off the engine so a drive-thru is my only option!  Dang it!  Why didn’t I do this before I cleaned?  I pull into the McDonalds drive-thru and place my order.

Me: “Can I please get combo #2 with a Diet Coke and a 4 ct chicken nugget?”

McD: employee: “Did you say Diet Coke?”

Me: “Yes!  It’s the healthy choice, right?”

McD: [giggling] “Would you like that biggie sized or an apple pie for 50 cents?”

Me: “No thank you!  Medium please. What are you doing are you trying to kill me?”

McD: “No, definitely not. Is that all?”

Me: “Isn’t that enough?”

McD: [giggling] “Please drive around to the first window.”

Me: “Ok..I’ll see you in a second.  I’m on my way.”

I retrieved my order and carefully picked a parking spot where Maggie and myself could  enjoy our feast in private. I found the perfect spot.  The last parking space in the corner.  Nobody would ever find me there.  I scarf down combo number 2 like it was my job.

I took this self-portrait. Does this outfit make me look fat?

Mags was in heaven eating her nuggets and watching her movie on the DVD player.  I, on the other hand, stared out the window for the next 30 minutes wondering why I have no self-control. Food coma anyone?

Finally, it was time to pick Teagan up.  I pulled into the parking lot of the preschool and left the car running while I signed her out.   I quickly buckled the girls up and raced home.  The big kids would be getting off the bus in 20 minutes and I was 15 minutes from the house.  Everyday I give myself a panic attack as I race home to catch the bus.  I ran 3 yellow lights and popped a wheelie turning into the driveway but I made it!

Phew!  I have survived the day!  I have nowhere else I need to be so I could stop here but I don’t want to.  I still have a dead truck in the driveway.  I rationalize my options before I turn off the engine.  If I jump the truck now, then both vehicles will be functioning again.  I wouldn’t have to explain everything to the hubs and I would have a back up vehicle. Mmmmm?  I talked myself into it.

I gave my cell phone to the kids and told them to call 9-1-1 if you see mommy laying on the ground. [Scaring the shit out of your kids is another fine example of good parenting.]  Whatever. Those kids need to be prepared. In my opinion, I was doing something huge and life threatening. I was petrified that I would shock myself to death.  I have hated sparks and fire or anything that can shock me for my entire life.  I don’t even like sparklers on the 4th of July.  Ok, here we go. I connected the positive first, no sparks. [I talk to myself]  Ok looking good.  Now I connect the negative.  First one on…no problem.  Ok…last one.  Shaking I squeezed the handle and clamped it around the battery.  SPARK!  “Ahhhhhhhhh!”  I screamed like a school girl.  The kids ran outside.  “Mom? Are you ok?”  Playing it cool.  “Yes!  I’m totally fine.  Just some sparks.”  Meanwhile, my heart is racing, I am sweating and my hand is shaking but I was determined. Every bone in my body wanted to abandon the mission but I hate to fail and to me…that is worth a little shock.  [A sign of a very intelligent person?] I closed my eyes, said a little prayer and then forced my hand to connect the cable no matter how many sparks went flying.  SPARK-SPARK-SPARK!


I let go of the clamp.  Yes!   I’m connected!  I did a small victory dance and then jumped in the drive seat of the truck and turned the key.  Holy cow!  It worked!  I did it!  The engine is running!  Hallelujah!   I was so pleased with myself.  I look over to the living room window and 3 kids are celebrating giving me the thumbs up!  I felt like a rock star!  Woo hoo!  There is nothing better than feeling that sense of independence.  I disconnected the cables and parked the vehicles for the day.

When I walked inside, the kids hugged me like I won an Olympic medal.  I know jump starting a car sounds so simple to most people but to me it was a huge task.  That being said, I really have no desire to ever do it again.  The best part of this story  happened when I sat down to open the mail.  I opened a bill from Allstate Insurance and tucked inside was the equivalent to a AAA card.  What are the odds?  I had to chuckle.  The karma Gods got me again. Molly was confused.  “What is a AAA card?”  she asked.  “It’s a card that you can use if you ever need roadside assistance.  Like..a flat tire or a dead battery?”  She thought about that for a minute and then said “You don’t need that mom! You always take care of your own problems!”  [giggling] “Well? It’s always good to have a back-up plan, right?” “Right!  I tucked that card into my wallet, hung the keys in their spot and prayed for a better day tomorrow.

4 thoughts on “Jump Start

  1. This is the first entry that I used your app to read, and so naturally I’m now in the waiting room at ryan’s orthodontist laughing my butt off with a bunch of people looking at me like I’m crazy. Thanks for the experience Ronda!

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