Small window of time before there's so much screaming and crying that I take back all of my previous rejoicing at those long ago positive pregnancy tests.
This brings us to tonight. Choir rehearsal finished on time. I hurry the kids to the car, getting sidetracked on the way. Hurry, hurry. before the window of time closes. (I may have only had two kids for 13 weeks, but I learned this lesson FAST)
I drive home, forcing my poor little car to travel in the cold (remember my previous moans about my car??? Well, to add insult to injury the muffler is now about to fall off...commence story)
The back seat is silent except for occasional whines from Addison who fell on her head off of the piano bench right before we left church. I worry about a possible concussion.
Phew, our driveway. I pull up, hearing my car huff and wheeze and work so hard to roll to a stop. Carter's starting to stir. oh no. Hurry, hurry, hurry.
I notice that a police officer has followed me into our driveway. perfect.
I try to remember if I had been speeding. It sounds like something that I would do, but wasn't paying attention as I had been thinking about Addison's head and praying that Carter wouldn't wake up yet.
A flashlight is shined into my car as a balding police officer approaches.
"You live here?"
"Do you realize your registration sticker is expired?"
how did he see that in the dark?
"no, my husband takes care of that."
"And I think you have a brake light out...and it sounds like something is wrong with your exhaust"
well, rub it in that my car is falling apart. thank you. I had no idea.
"yes, we have an appointment for the car on Thursday"
"Driver's License, registration and insurance card?"
Carter begins to wake up with a small whine. oh no.
"Your address is wrong on your license. How long have you lived here?"
"Your updated registration information was probably sent to this wrong address."
"And this insurance card expired a year ago."
In my mind I can remember exactly where I placed the up to date one in a pile marked important when turning the office into a nursery. Unfortunately it never made it out to the car.
The police officer gives me a dirty look. So many infractions. The whining from the back seat intensifies.
I lean out the window and give the officer my best persuasive speech stare down.
"Could you do me a huge favor?" I ask.
His beady eyes shoot up as if expecting me to ask to borrow his gun.
"Could you write me a ticket stating that my car is unfit for a mother of two to be driving?"
"Excuse me?" He looks shocked. I briefly wonder why.
"Well, if you wrote me a memo...maybe ticket is the wrong word...to my husband stating that he should buy me a bigger car, that this one isn't safe to carry children in, maybe he would buy me a better/bigger car since it would be a police order."
Policeman laughs. Offers me his car. Walks away holding all of my Expired/Wrong Address information while still chuckling.
Carter's whine escalates into a cry.
By the time the policeman comes back, Carter is screaming like he hasn't been fed in a week. His sobs turn into gasps and empty swallows. I can't reach him.
Policeman gives me a piece of paper that I have to bring into the police station with updated information by the end of December, tells me my ticket was going to be $160 dollars but that he was going to waive it for me this time. (at least I think that's what he said. I could see his mouth moving but couldn't hear his voice over the screams)
Policeman tries to maneuver out of my driveway- neighbor drives by and rubbernecks. Carter is screaming like it's the end of the world and Addison cries while rubbing her eyes and mirroring the very word pathetic.
We all collapse in a pile in the living room. The window of time is GONE.
Now a peacefully loving bedtime ritual turns into tears and fits and headaches while both kids DEMAND to be fed, bathed, clothed and put to bed at the same time.
but at least I didn't get a ticket. Because I talked my way out of it? Let's face it, Carter deserves all of the credit for this one. The police officer just felt sorry for me. I'll take it. $160 worth of pity. Who said you couldn't measure emotion?