Pages from the Hartle Playbook: What a Jonah Day!

What a Jonah day! (I hope you Ann of Green Gables fans out there appreciated that reference). Today is proof that you’ve got to be tough to be blind.  Our lives aren’t always as glamorous as you might think they are.  So, I thought I’d share my day today with you all, just for the fun of it. 

            Last night, because it was late, and I was distracted, I let my daughter run off with my phone for a few minutes.  My husband was doing the dishes in the kitchen, and well, you can probably see where I am going with this.  Yes, the phone took a bath in the dishwasher.  We realized it about 10 minutes later when I tried to find my phone and we couldn’t hear it ringing, even though we knew it was in the kitchen.  Who knew this one little momentary lapse of attention would result in such a day as today! 

            So, I set off for the Apple store today to see if anything could be done.  (we don’t have a house phone, just our cells.) After getting off to a late start (my daughter has been sick and was up a little bit last night with some congestion), I finally left the house and headed to catch the bus to the mall around 11:30.   The mall is only a little less than two miles away from my house.  It takes about 7-10 mins. To walk to the bus stop, and about ten minutes on the bus to get to the mall.  So, we headed out, bundled up and ready to brave the cold.  Twenty-five minutes after arriving at the bus stop, the “every 10 minute bus” decided to make an appearance.  I struggled onto the bus with my rebellious stroller and wiggly toddler.  Fortunately, this nice woman took my daughter and helped get her to a seat while I wrestled the stroller and tried to keep my cane from hitting the bus driver in the head while doing so. 

Ten minutes later, we were at the Apple store, only to learn that I’d have to buy a new phone.  “Ding, ding,” I remembered I had purchased insurance from AT&T, so we left that store and headed upstairs to find the AT&T store.  Keep in mind, mall navigation for the blind isn’t the easiest thing in that it’s not like you can just walk directly to the stores.  You have to find landmarks and sometimes ask directions to get to the stores you need, unless you’ve been there a lot and really know the place.  So, this took me a little longer.  I also had to find elevators since I had a stroller and it seemed like they were a little out of the way.  I’ll even admit to you that I went in a complete circle around the rotunda of the mall because I missed the hallway that I needed off of it.  This really nice gentleman I’d seen in the elevator, also with a stroller, came up and told me this, right about the same time as I was realizing it, and walked with me back to the right hallway.  I finally found the AT&T store and went in side hoping to hear the great news that my insurance would cover the cost of the phone in full.  NOPE!  The “AT&T Deductable” was as much as the cost of a replacement phone at Apple.  So, I  could either place an insurance claim with AT&T and have a new phone mailed to me, or else go back downstairs to the Apple store and buy a new phone which would be ready for me right then to use.  No brainer right? Fortunately, the Apple tech must have known I’d be back because he scheduled another appointment for me before I left.  I had an appointment across town at 2 p.m., so I’d made the second Apple one for later just in case I needed to come back.  So, by this time, it was nearly 1 p.m. and I still needed to get back home, drop off my daughter with our babysitter, and head out to my other appointment.  The “every 10 mins. Bus” only kept us waiting for about 15 mins. This time luckily, and I got home right at 1:30, just in time to meet the sitter, had she been on time.  She showed up forty mins. Later.  It wasn’t really her fault though.  She had bad transportation issues too and missed her train and had to wait another hour for the next one.  (She is also blind.) In her defense, she tried to call me, but alas, I didn’t have a phone.  Had I been able to drive, I still could have made my appointment within the “late grace window”, but no deal.  So, needless to say, I rescheduled my appointment and hung out with the sitter for a bit at my house while my daughter napped.  Around 4, I reluctantly started the whole process over again and headed to the bus.  This time, we waited for nearly forty-five minutes for the “every ten minute” bus to arrive.  By this time, it was getting dark, and even colder. My toddler didn’t want to wait in the stroller, didn’t want to leave her hood on, and didn’t want to wear her gloves.  Oh yeah, did I mention that five, yes five buses passed us going the other way.  Something was really off with the bus schedule today. 

They say that necessity is the mother of all inventions, and so it was today as I had to invent some pretty creative games to play with my daughter to keep her hands warm and to entertain her while we waited in the cold. An hour after our Apple appointment time, we strolled in to the store.  Fortunately, they squeezed me in since I’d been there earlier, and I was able to get a new phone set up. 

            An hour later, after a quick trip up to Macy’s to return a Christmas gift, we were back outside in the cold waiting on the same dumb bus.  My daughter enjoyed pulling me up and down a step near the stop, and I’m sure my melodious rounds of“If you’re happy and you know it…”or recitations of “Daisy’s dance” from the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse had nothing to do with a near-by couple’s decision to move down the sidewalk a few yards.  

When our bus arrived this time (late again), our boarding of it was quite the scene.  Usually I’m a pro at collapsing the stroller, scooping up my child, and looping the stroller through the other arm, all while still using my cane and getting out my bus pass in a reasonable amount of time.  (I don’t like being that person that holds the bus up for everyone.) But, not tonight.  Instead, the stroller jammed and Kayla started throwing a tantrum –you know the ones where the child arches their back making it nearly impossible for you to hang on to them.  She’s a master at this one.  WE really made a scene too.  A couple of people offered to help, but I couldn’t exactly give them my temper-tantrum-throwing child , nor could I show them how to close the stroller.  And,I couldn’t put my child down to close it myself.  Finally, this sweet young guy grabbed the stroller and drug it onto the bus for me.  He probably just wanted to get me out of the way so the line of people behind me could get on the bus and get warm, but whatever the reason, it helped.  So, I got on, set my daughter down on the seat, and started to wrestle the stroller again.  I lost.  While trying to collapse it, the driver started moving (I thought she was waiting for me, but she wasn’t), and Kayla fell forehead first off of the seat behind me and onto the adjacent seat.  I quickly stopped messing with the stroller and attended to her, announcing that I would not be closing up the stroller.  People would just have to deal with it.  Kayla was okay, and we made it home safe and sound.  I should mention that Kayla also face planted off the bus earlier this afternoon when she stepped off ahead of me before I could grab her hand.  Did I mention I hate public transportation?  Turns out the cold had somehow jammed my stroller’s handle and that was why I was having so much trouble with it today. 

            When I got home, my husband was lying in bed sick with a stomach bug and not really in the mood to hear my rant. So, I tended to him for a few minutes and then headed downstairs to start dinner. Bbut, we’re out of groceries, and I couldn’t just “stop off at the store “on my way home like most people would have done, so we “made do.” This meant eating cheese casadillas (melted cheese on a tortilla) and popcorn for dinner.  Healthy I know. 

            So there you have it, a day in the life.  I really hope tomorrow is a little bit better.  I think I’ll go take a couple of aspirin now and head to bed. 




1 thought on “Pages from the Hartle Playbook: What a Jonah Day!”

  1. What a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad (not to mention expensive) day! Good thing you are tough! Days like that are not for the faint of heart. Hope tomorrow is better!

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