Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Another Senior Moment Ruins the Day

Whoever told me that I'm the unluckiest person they know wasn't exaggerating.  Maybe I should have an Unluckiest Person on Earth contest to hear everyone's sob stories so that I can put my own problems into perspective.  Today was my son's driver's test.  We diligently prepared for it by putting new tires on the kids' car, not to mention nearly a year of teaching our son how to drive and helping him study the rules of the road.  As he and his father were walking out the door in the pouring rain, they were getting the paperwork together for his test.  Upon climbing into our kids' car, they discovered that the registration papers were missing from the glove compartment.

I was working from home (because I'm still sick), talking on the phone when my husband ran up to the window to my office and yelled, "Where's the vehicle registration?"

I stupidly said, "They don't send it anymore.  They just send the sticker."

He said, "Where's the piece of paper the sticker was stuck to?"

I said, "I threw it away.  It didn't look like anything important."

Sigh.  Another senior moment.  My husband grabbed my son and raced to the Cadillac.  Oh crap.  Our son is going to take his driver's test in a storm in a big city in a brand new Cadillac.  Not good.

He's driven the Cadillac before, but not when he was nervous about taking a test.  So, it suddenly hit me that if I threw the registration paper away for our kids' car, I probably threw it away for other vehicles too.  I ran out into the raging wind and rain and searched through all the glove compartments.  The last registration paper I could find for my truck was from 2007, so I've been throwing these important little pieces of paper away for years apparently.  The really stupid thing about it is that I had all the registration papers for the horse trailer dating back for many years.  For some reason, I can think straight when it comes to the horse trailer.

So, I called my husband on his cell phone at the DMV and informed him of the situation.  He said he just finished up getting replacement papers for our kids' car and he'd have to wait in line for another hour to get them for my truck.  Oh well.  Bad timing on my part, as usual.  Right then he said, "Oh no.  Our son just drove up and he's barely been gone for a few minutes.  That's not good."

They bring 'em right back if they fail.  Sigh.  So, I'm sitting here waiting for them to get home to find out the details, and an ambulance goes racing past my house in the direction of where they'd be driving home at that point in time.  Nearly every time that my daughter went out driving on her own, an ambulance went racing off in the direction where she would have been, and I nearly had a heart attack worrying that it was she who got into an accident.  It never was, except for the one time when she got hit by a drunk driver and no one called the police or an ambulance.  That was the ONLY time I did not hear a siren, and I should have heard one.  Instead she just walked in the door and said that some guy hit her and then left the scene of the accident and she didn't know what to do.  Great.  I failed her as a mother.

Fortunately, the ambulance wasn't for my son, but he did fail his driver's test.  Not only was he driving a car he wasn't familiar with, thanks to me, in a city he wasn't familiar with, thanks to the state's budget problems, in a storm, thanks to Mother Nature, during his driver's test, but he had a cop stalking him closely the entire time!  Did everything have to work against this poor kid at once?

One of the things he got marked down for was driving too slowly.  Say what?  His friends were failed for going one or two miles per hour over the speed limit.  I guess they want to you be right on the speed limit the entire time.  He also encountered an intersection that is nothing like what we have out here in the country.  It had a flashing yellow light.  He handled it correctly, but it was one lane that turned into two, and he didn't know which lane to turn into.  He chose the wrong one, of course.  I wouldn't know which lane to turn into myself, and I've been driving for nearly 30 years.  Also, because he hadn't practiced parallel parking in a big Cadillac before, but only in his little car, he hit the curb.  Oh well.  He's got two weeks to get his act together.  At least now he knows the route and has the replacement for his registration papers, so he can drive his own car.  I failed him as a mother, and my mind failed me.  I suppose it is fortunate that we discovered that the registration papers were missing now instead of when we get pulled over or in an accident.

You know, when I was younger it seems that life moved along smoothly.  I don't remember being permanently frustrated like I am now.  I'll bet if I were living in a monastery my life would move slowly enough that I could think and concentrate on one thing at a time.  Isn't that what Buddhism is all about?  Be here now.  I'm tired of being all over the map, multi-tasking, forgetting things, struggling to handle the bombardment of stimuli that always seems to arrive all at once.  It is cruel for me to have this much responsibility and such a meager mind.  One of the symptoms that goes along with my head tremor is memory problems.  I'm thinking it's time that someone else in the family handle the vehicle registrations, pay the bills, and balance the checkbook.  Mama's goin' senile.


fernvalley01 said...

Mamas not senile , just tired and overworked and HUMAN!!!! we all make mistakes and I hardly think you have failed you kids , bet if I asked them they would say you are an allstar mom!Get some rest feel better ,and let someone else hold the world for a few minutes

Breathe said...

I think you're being hard on yourself. As a fellow over tasked mom, I'm telling you now:

Cut yourself some slack!

Everyone throws out those things, everyone forgets to fill out forms, everyone has stopped balancing checkbooks when there's so much going on at home.

You've got a schedule no one can manage and things are going to tip over in the bowl. It's simply too full and you can't get it emptied out right now.

It happens.

He'll pass the next time, the papers will be in the glove box, the weather will pass.

Now you have to start going a little easier on YOU. Because that adds a whole other dimension of stress.

Hang in there!

Katharine Swan said...

Hey -- stop saying that you've failed as a mother. It ain't true!

Someday it will be a funny story -- how Mom was throwing away the registration slips for the cars for several years before anyone noticed. I've got a similar funny story -- when I was 17 and had just gotten my license (and a sports car), I was quite the speedster. I kept getting pulled over, but every time the cop let me go. One did write me a warning, however, which was on a slip of paper the same size as the registration. Of course, I just threw it in the glovebox. The next time I got pulled over was at night, and my glovebox light didn't work, so I accidentally handed the cop my written warning. As you can probably imagine, I didn't get off without a ticket that time! ;o)

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Sherry & Breathe - Thanks for putting it in perspective. I'm not too serious when I say I failed as a mother, but I am pretty angry that I do such ditsy things. I have this habit of visiting the trash can more often than I should, because I'm always in a rush to get junk out of my way.

Katharine - Thanks for the laugh. I'm sure you were kicking yourself at the time, but that is really funny.

Mary Olson said...

There's just too much input coming from all directions in all kinds of forms these days. I think pretty much everyone feels the same way - overwhelmed and like they are always screwing things up because of that. So hopefully, you can take comfort in that we're all in the same boat.

Vaquerogirl said...

Oh Hunny! You are way too hard on yourself!
No. 1 Failing his test will make him better prepared next time! Frustration has a way of making you dig down to do better! And real life doesn't just give up and go away cuz it's your first day!
No.2 Your daughter was able to come home after an accident.
No.3 Lucky you that you have lived so long that now you are able to forget stuff! And that is what the internet is for- so you can look up the stuff you have forgotten!
No. 4 If they's old enuff to drive- they's old enuff to do their own thang- make them remember to pay the registration, put it in the car, etc- DELEGATE!
No.5 -well thats about all I guess- I forgot what else I was gonna tell ya!

Once Upon an Equine said...

That sounds like a very frustrating day! Don't be too hard on yourself. Life does get way too hectic sometimes and it is hard to keep track of everything.

Hopefully your son will have a better day for his test in 2 weeks. Foul weather and a cop on his tail was a double whammy of bad luck.

The D-Meister said...

That's all really no biggie. You live, you learn.

People fail their drivers tests all the time. When I took mine, I was fortunate that the guy wasn't actually paying as much attention as he should have been. Seriously... you've driven with me; you know how much I fluctuate in speed.

And a failure as a mother is probably the farthest thing from what you are. You don't see me knocked up, on drugs, and in jail do you? Nooooo way, Jose.

Are you gellin'? Like Magellan.

Paint Girl said...

Sorry to hear that your son failed his driving test, but do not blame yourself. It just wasn't meant to be right now. He will pass next time!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

hah! You're not alone...on the senility stuff AND the unluckiness, too.

Oh yes, I have wonderful things to be thankful for, but luck isn't always on my side. For example, I've only fallen ONE time in my life before my Christmas Day fall, and that was, as a child.

And I've read, seen and heard about all of the falls that folks have...and they just get right back up, dust themselves off and get back on...with maybe only a few bruises.

Heck, some people have extreme falls, like from horse racing and when a horse is galloping or making a huge jump, and the rider falls off and rarely suffers more than a few bruises, some swelling, maybe a sprained muscle.


I just kind of expected for my first adult fall to be that way, too. Why is it that my fall had to be so serious?

Anyway, don't say you failed as a Mama. Your kids are healthy, smart, and are living great lives. Now, if you were a drug addict and your son was a pimp, and your daughter was pregnant with 3 kids and unmarried, I might question that. But they're not, and you're a great Mama. We all can't be perfect, and we all make mistakes. You just need to delegate more, and give yourself a break from so much responsibility.

And put your feet up, enjoy your hobbies more often, and drink a few glasses of wine. hehe!

Feel better, NM!


Leah Fry said...

Don't beat yourself up too badly. According to every study I've ever seen, Americans are the busiest people on the planet. It's no wonder we're a tad forgetful. What I want to know is, why does everyone think they need everything RIGHT NOW? That's how mistakes happen.

I failed my driver's test the first time too. It was the parallel parking that did me in.

Anonymous said...

I went through a similar period in my life and it turned out I was very sick. I have wondered the past few days if you have an auto-immune disorder - mine was thyroid. Get some antibody tests! Oh, and delegation IS a great thing - try it!

Cheryl Ann said...

Sweetie, you aren't a failure, you're just OVERWORKED and STRESSED! Happens to me all the time. And, yes, I think most of us are overworked and stressed. Really, I lost my students' homework the other day, hunted all over for it, and there it was, right on top of my desk~ EGADS~

Laura said...

Too bad about your son's driving test - sounds like the odds were a bit against him... I agree with the others - you are overworked and tired, so throwing away a piece of paper here and there can be excused...

Hope he gets his license on the next try!

When I got my learners permit (back in the day) we had to take an eye test using this weird machine. I was so nervous that I failed it and the lady didn't believe that I didn't wear glasses. So, I had to go to the optometrist to get an eye exam and a certified note saying that my vision was 20-20!

lytha said...

NM, I'm no parent, but you did not fail him as a mother. You made a small mistake and he made some, due to circumstances beyond his control.

Funny, your blog post sparked a conversation between my man and I about our driving tests. I had never heard his story before, and it was similar to your son's, with the turn onto a two lane and not quite knowing which lane was correct.

I know your son will pass next time.

Thanks for the story!