Life · Parenthood

The smell of burning rubber can’t be good

I am officially a mom, I’m driving around in a Mini Van. Correction, I am actually driving around in my brother’s Mini Van.

This past Sunday we celebrated my niece’s birthday party, her first step into double digits. They live in Anaheim (we live in Santa Ana) so the plan was to meet up at a restaurant in the Anaheim/Yorba Linda border for lunch and then go watch a movie (Epic) with the family and like 8 of my niece’s school friends.

Now, before I go on I have to ask, why is it that unexpected things always seem to happen to me when I’m alone with the baby (my husband was at work)? Do other people experience as much excitement as I do? So it’s just my daughter and I at home Sunday, with Biggie. When our daughter woke up from her morning nap I got her all changed and loaded her and all the rest of the loot of bags I’ve acquired since becoming a mom. I called my mom to let her know I was on my way and felt so proud not to be running too late. I was driving along all happy to be somewhat “on time”, got onto the freeway and decided to turn on the AC since it felt a little warm. But then I noticed that my AC wasn’t quite pulling its weight and it actually felt cooler in the car if I rolled down the window. That’s when my eyes swept toward the temperature gauge and that little bar thing was way at the top by the “H”. This can’t be good, I thought. I know nothing about cars except they run on gas, need water, oil changes, air in the tires, and regular maintenance. But I figure, okay it’s still running, maybe the gauge is just off/broken? I know, I know, all you savvy car people are probably thinking “oh no”. Then I began to smell something like burning rubber, so I roll up the window and the next thing I hear is a soft rattle coming from the engine. At this point I am about mid point to my destination, so I keep going but cautious to all the sounds/smells of my car and checking to see if any smoke is coming out from the hood. Nothing.

I finally make it to the Imperial Highway exit off the 91 East and am thinking hallelujah. I’m the first car in the far left lane and as I come to a full stop my car shakes and then dies on me! Just stops, dead in its tracks. Next thing I know smoke is coming out of the hood of my car! Yeah, I’m slightly panicked at this point and I quickly grab my cell phone, turn the intermittent lights on, and pull Celeste out of her car seat. Thankfully about a foot or two from my car is like a sidewalk area where we’re safe from any moving vehicles. Remember, I’m on the exit to the off ramp here and we’re in CA, there’s some reckless not paying attention drivers out there. So while I’m dialing my mom’s phone and carrying our daughter in one arm, I’m waving to the cars behind my car to go around because my car is stalled.

Well, can you believe some mother f-ers actually honked at my car to get moving?! I guess they didn’t associate me, standing to the side of the car and carrying my baby, as a part of the package included with the stalled vehicle. Hello! Maybe they thought I was asking for money? So I got closer to the car and made a “move along gesture” with my free hand and pointed to the car like, “it’s stalled!” One guy was actually waving his hands in frustration at my car completely oblivious to my hand waving (like when you are trying to tell a driver to move their ass). When I finally got his attention, like, hello, stalled car, baby in hand, he just went on his way, frantically trying to finish adjusting his half done tie. Sheesh!

Then I saw this guy walking on the sidewalk and it turns out he lived nearby and saw me standing there and walked over to help. How nice is that? I told him my brother/dad were on their way too and he checked the hood while we were there and then helped them push it to this empty construction area on the 91 east on ramp so they could leave it there until it got towed.

I was still able to enjoy my niece’s birthday celebration, we figured the car’s not going anywhere so why not, then once the fun was over we got my car towed back home to our mechanic. I love my little 99 Honda Civic, well with the exception of the color, why on earth I ever decided on black still baffles me. I’ve had it for 14 years and it’s always been so reliable and economical. I wonder if it’s getting close to its end of days? So far the mechanic has changed the radiator and checked some other stuff (that I can’t remember the names of right now) and says he’s going to check some fuses or something. So in the meantime I’m driving around my brother’s Mini Van, which mind you needs some checking up of its own. They were going to take it to the mechanic today but what with my car completely dying on me, fixing mine first sort of took precedence over their Mini Van. I’m not going to lie, it’s SUPER comfortable driving around in that van with our daughter, getting her in and out is a breeze in comparison to the way I sometimes have to contort myself to get her into the back seat of my Honda Civic, but I still miss it.

Hopefully the damage won’t be too big.




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