Spoiled Brat Anyone?

There are moments in our lives where things seem absolutely terrible, then you’re reminded of how much of a spoiled brat you can be in situations that are inconveninent at best.

Let me explain:

We traveled to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving. We knew it would be a very long trip, especially with three kids, one being under 2 years old. I hadn’t made it easy for my husband on this trip because I knew our little man wasn’t going to like being strapped in a car seat for a total of 10 hours. Plus, now due to American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation that children remain rear facing until 2 years, the distraction of a video wouldn’t apply to him.

We broke the trip up over two days, stopping to visit friends half way. Then we drove the other half to our destination of Hobart, Oklahoma. Don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of this town either until I’d met my husband.

It’s a small town (population 4500) with friendly folks and everybody knows your name (cue the Cheers theme).

The visit with family was very nice and the food was amazing (as always), but our Little Guy had trouble navigating a non-baby proofed house and really got tired of hearing “stop” and “no, not for you”.  After hearing him scream for three days, I’m pretty sure everyone there was ready for us to go and I was ready for a vacation. The last thing I wanted to do was get in a car and drive for 10 hours back home with a kid who’d had enough of not getting to do much of his routine.

Thank God that our older children had a blast visiting cousins and were great at entertaining themselves in the car.

We headed out on Friday morning, but our trip had an immediate hiccup. A Nice. Flat. Tire.

Now, that wouldn’t usually be a big deal except that we have those run-flat tires, which means no spare. You’re supposed to be able to drive on them at 50 MPH for about 120 miles. This is supposed to give you time to get to the dealer and get this special tire changed.

Oh, did I mention we were in Southwest Oklahoma? So the biggest town (Lawton, OK–population 96K) with a dealership was a good 60+ miles away. After I had a, let’s say, a dramatic moment about the entire thing, we headed on our way.

The first town we came to was Blair, OK  (population 894) and a very nice mechanic, who reminded me of Mater from Cars, said he could give us a tire the same size so we weren’t driving on a flat. Well, he tried, but unfortunately, we’ve not only got a special tire, but it’s a special metric tire, so he has no tire that will fit.

He put the run-flat tire back on, charged us nothing (which was so very nice), and we started the drive to Lawton.

So where’s my appreciation moment? Bare with me, it’s coming.

We’re trucking along at about 40 MPH and we’re only 8.2 miles from the dealership (per the GPS) and the  back of the van begins to shake…a lot. We pull over and we can’t go any farther.

I call the roadside assistance and the conversation goes something like this:

Operator: “Yes, can I help you?”
Me: “Yes, our run-flat tire is flat and we’re 8.2 miles from the dealership. We’re just outside of Lawton, Ok.”
Operator: “Ok, can you tell me what the cross street is where you are?”
Me: “I’m on highway 62 east bound, 8.2 miles from the Honda dealership. I”m in Cache (OK).”
Operator: “Oh, I need a cross street.”
Me: “I’m on a highway between towns. There is no cross road.”
Operator: “Look outside. What’s around you?”
Me: “I see a donkey and a horse.”
Operator: (silence) “Oh…are there homes?”
Me: “Yes.”
Operator: “Do you see any the numbers on the house?”
Me: “No, they are farms.”
Operator: “Okay, we’ll have someone out there within the hour.”
Me: “An hour? There’s no one available before then? I’ve got three kids in the car, two of which have to pee.”
Operator: “No, if they aren’t there in a hour, call us back.”

So we waited an hour and called back only to learn that it would be another 30-45 minutes. We waited and another 45 minutes went by. By then, we’d gotten out and made friends with the donkey, the horse and local two dogs.
I called again only to learn it would be another 30-45 minutes, probably.

I’m feeling very insane about that time when I get a text from my best friend. She let’s me know her hair is falling out in clumps due to chemo and she’s headed to the hairdresser who’s offered to shave her head.

Between texts and waiting for the tow truck, I’m also reading a book by Kevin Sorbo (AKA Hercules) who talks about his recovery back from having three strokes.

I want to scream, sob uncontrollably for the things I can’t control. Things I can’t fix or make better, but it won’t do any good right now because I’ve got kids who are hungry and have to pee and a very sweet husband who has kept his cool through this entire episode.

So I’ve got a choice. I can continue to fume and act like a spoiled brat, make my husband more miserable than I have, OR I can realize I’ve got a problem that’s at best inconvenient.

For the first time that day, I realize I’m fine.
I don’t have cancer at the age of 43.
I haven’t suffered a stroke at the age of 38.
I’ve got a flat tire, a few hungry kids, and I’ve got to pee. Big F-ing Deal.

But it’s all FIXABLE, all of it.

Then, a wonderful (Cache) police officer comes by, calls a friend who has a tow truck service in Cache, and he also calls a taxi so we can ride in it while our car is being towed. We all make it to the Milo Gordon Honda dealership where the service department helps us with not only getting our tire fixed, but lets us know who delivers food so we can eat.

After a delay of 5 hours, we’re on our way back to Texas. We end up stopping in Abilene for the night.

It’s after ten at night. Everyone but me is tucked in. I’m finishing the last few pages of Kevin’s book because I have to see how far he fought to recover.

I’m sitting on the floor, in the doorway of the bathroom for light. I finish the Kevin Sorbo’s book and applaud his perseverance and determination to recover from a debilitating stroke.

I think of my best friend on her journey of recovery. Her head is shaved and she’s posted her bald pictures.  I’m afraid to look at them because I know I’ll lose it.

I sit in the bathroom of the hotel and cry because I’ve got nothing to complain about. Nothing to be upset about and I acted like the world was coming to an end because things didn’t go my way for the day.

How easy it is to get wrapped up in life’s inconveniences, things that don’t work out they way you planned. Since then, I’ve apologized to my husband and not complained at all.

I can’t promise I won’t freak out when things are too many things get piled on me in a day, but I do promise I will do my best to breathe and count my blessings everyday because life can change on a dime.

Check out Kevin’s book. It’s an inspiring and amazing journey.

And check out my best friend’s post about her journey to baldness: https://candidaboutcancer.com/2011/11/26/becoming-one-of-the-follicularly-challenged-a-k-a-bald/

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Diane Willi
    Nov 28, 2011 @ 12:25:49

    You are AMAZING!

    Your article is exactly what I needed to read today.

    Reply

  2. Paula Miller
    Dec 03, 2011 @ 11:59:19

    That was wonderful!!! I needed it, too!

    Reply

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