It was an extremely warm last day of September; temperatures hovered around 100 degrees, so I gave Az a paint brush and a bucket to paint outside as a constructive form of water play. In the afternoon we brought Z into Forestville to meet up with my aunt Denise. Z and Denise had a date to go to the movies, but unfortunately Az didn't understand that she wasn't invited on the date. She heard Z talking about going to the movies with Denise in the days leading up to the event and she began talking about how she too was going to the movies with Denise.
When Denise got out Az was very excited to see her. I had explained over and over that we were just dropping Z off and that we would see both of them later, but she was still taken by surprise when Z climbed into Denise's van and they drove off. It was bad enough that Denise had left so quickly, but she had taken Az's beloved Zaezae with her no less. Denise had given us some money to get ice cream and a bag of pistachios so I was able to divert Az's attention soon enough though. Az climbed into her car seat and we headed to get ice cream before going home to see Minchi and paint outside some more. Except that when I tried to start the van it didn't cooperate.
I've been having trouble with the van starting lately. It seems like when it hasn't sat long enough it will sometimes be very reluctant to start. I finally got the van to start and drove all of twenty feet before it died. When the van is being reluctant to start I have to keep it moving for a while otherwise it dies again. To get out of the park n ride where we had met Denise I had to stop at a stop sign before merging across oncoming traffic on busy River Road. When I stopped at the sign the van decided to go ahead and extend that stop.
The day before I had gotten someone to come out to work on the problem with the van Big O had found. It ended up costing me $180 total for parts and labor, much less than the $500 Big O had quoted me. My experience with Big O wasn't horrible but I won't be going back to them. One of the issues with the van they had advised me of ended up needing nothing more than some readjusting of the part. I usually avoid going to chains for my car care but I had been eager to just get it fixed. I learned my lesson.
So luckily the van was fixed of its previous problem, though it still needs an alignment, but now it has the resurfacing problem of not consistently starting. We sat at the stop sign, me jumping out over and over to wave people by, for about an hour. Az had to stay strapped into her car seat because if I did manage to get the van started again I would have to get it moving immediately. Az was stuck in that car seat in the hot van, not getting to be with Denise or Z. It was not her day. Thankfully we had those pistachios; I think she would have been completely miserable if she hadn't at least had those.
When I finally did get the van to start, having done nothing but sit there waiting until it was ready, I was suddenly met with a stream of traffic that seemingly appeared from nowhere and the van almost died again. I got it going, and Az immediately exclaimed that it was ice cream time but I was afraid to stop the van again for fear that it would refuse to start at all this time. It just wasn't the poor girl's day.
By the time we got home she had fallen asleep in her car seat. I decided to let her keep sleeping and sat with her until she woke up. I owed her at least that. (And don't worry, she did get her ice cream the next day. And the day after that too.)