You know, I am positively kicking myself for not grabbing the Post-It on which the dipstick was scribbled. I should’ve said, “Can I take that with me? You know, to refer to it later?” A golden opportunity, missed. I hang my head in shame.
I also wish I’d brought all of you with me, as you were much more out for blood than I was. You could’ve made them cry, I think. My stance was more or less one of confused incredulity, where everything they said to me just pushed me further into wondering if there were hidden cameras around, or perhaps I’d stumbled into an episode of The Twilight Zone. “But… I should HAVE an oil gasket, yes?” (“THERE’S SOMEONE ON THE WING OF THE PLANE!”) Like that.
In the end, my money was refunded, they gave me a coupon for a free oil change (you know, once when I was pregnant I got salmonella from a chicken pizza, and when my ex called the pizza place to yell at them for poisoning his pregnant wife, they offered him a coupon for a free pizza) (so apparently following up gross negligence with the suggestion that you come back for seconds is commonplace), and we stood there and went back and forth for a while on whether or not the ensuing repair was, in fact, their responsibility, either in whole or in part.
Now, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that I have no trouble sinking my teeth in and not. letting. go. when I am convinced I am in the right. They did screw up my oil change; no question. Whether or not they caused the problems that followed… well, that’s a tougher call. I think they probably did. But it’s not easily proven. And the truth is that I owned the car before this one for two years without having to repair it, and I’ve had this car for nearly a year without repairs, and part of me feels that this was a small price to pay to learn the great cosmic lesson of not letting drive-through places touch my car. So.
I am at peace with the outcome. It would’ve been lovely if they’d forked over the repair costs, but I didn’t expect it. (And really, the illustration of the dipstick along with the lesson in how fluid is checked was an unexpected bonus. I shall be retelling that little tidbit for YEARS.)
It’s also possible that I am strangely sanguine over the Oil Change Debacle because of what happened earlier in the day. Before I dealt with that, I went over to school to have a meeting about Monkey.
You may recall that the communication channels were not, how shall we say, operating at top efficiency when it came to Monkey’s difficulties at school. He was still having trouble, and I wasn’t really feeling the love for his teacher as we tried to get a grip on things.
But yesterday, ahhhhh. Yesterday I remembered why we moved here, why we picked this school district. I walked into a roomful of people all there to HELP. I found myself on the verge of tears several times throughout our meeting, not due to frustration but out of gratitude.
The people there who know my kid (his teacher, the guidance counselors, a specialist who’s worked with him) smile when they talk about him. They see the funny, warm, loving kid underneath the trouble he’s having. They don’t talk about him like he’s just a pain in the ass (and I’m not sure I would blame them if they did). They’ve gotten together and compared notes and already picked out things and made connections that have us considering options that never would’ve occurred to me.
In the middle of the meeting, the person running it turned to me and said, “What do you think is happening, here? You know him best, and I believe in listening to mother’s intuition. Do you have anything to share just based on what you FEEL?” It seems much more granola-crunchy and let’s-compare-crystals-y than it was. In actuality it was perfect; very matter-of-fact, attentive, and as if nothing could make more sense than to ask me if maybe I had the answer.
Too bad I don’t have the answer. But I did appreciate being asked.
Anyway, it was an hour that went a long way towards restoring my faith in humanity. And it plunked down a few more pieces into the puzzle that is my Monkey. We have a plan, and I suspect more answers are coming.
In the meantime, I just have to hope my kid doesn’t actually combust during one of his conniptions. (“Honey, you have to calm down! We’re only five evaluations away from figuring out what makes you tick!”)
I’ll leave you hanging on the current working theory, both because I suspect it’s only of interest to me and because I’m feeling a little too euphoric to deal with any “Oh I know a kid with that and he—” horror stories. Especially when we don’t really KNOW anything yet. We merely suspect. And I am spending a lot of time slapping my forehead and saying “of COURSE!”
My adoration for the school team’s creative efforts was cemented when Monkey came home with his “feelings book.” It’s a gripping tale, I tell you, all about Monkey and his many feelings. The classroom aide took the various action shots of Monkey and his pals and they typed up the text and laminated the whole shebang. “Sometimes I get angry!” is accompanied by Monkey making his best angry face (and the red eyes from the lousy photo just make it better). “Sometimes my friends can help me!” shows his best little girlfriend (he has many girlfriends, despite his numerous outbursts; proving that girls really do like guys who act like jerks) tying his shoe for him.
“Everyone has lots of different feelings,” the book concludes. The picture of Monkey flanked by two friends, all making different feeling-faces, on that last page, is his favorite.
“This is a great book, buddy,” I told him, giving him a squeeze. “You are the best book-maker I know!” He scaled my side and wrapped himself around my torso.
“And YOU are the best MAMA I know!” He rubbed his cheek on mine and I inhaled the scent of his shampoo. “You love me and take care of me just like a mama should.” He put his head on my shoulder and sighed, content.
Yeah. Yesterday was a pretty good day.