This morning, The KingofHearts went out the door at his usual 6:00 am to leave for work in BFE. I called the babysitter (read, turned on Disney Channel), put The Caterpillar in her bouncy chair, and went to take a shower. When I got out of the shower, Disney Channel was still on so I let that go for awhile and started the dishwasher filled with last night's dishes. While I was doing that, The Caterpillar began to scream to be let out of that horrible torture device that plays John Lennon tunes and vibrates.

All at once, there was a lull between shows in television, The Caterpillar took a breath between screams and the dishwasher paused between the wash and rinse cycles. Suddenly, I could hear a man in our kitchen talking. I went to investigate, wondering what ax murderer had broken into the house and was now holding a conversation with the toaster oven.

Turns out there was no ax murderer, it was The KingofHearts talking on the answering machine. Apparently, he had broken down on the way to work and had called six times in the last ten minutes. I never heard the phone ring, much less the four messages he'd left on the answering machine.

Lesson learned: my house is too noisy.

Anyway, it turns out that the car - the BRAND NEW CAR - had just stopped running on his way to work. I can't help but believe that it would be easier just to have a horse.

He called a tow truck and had it towed to the closest repair shop and I called in late to work and then packed up the girls to go pick him up. When we got there, the mechanic told him it'd take a couple of hours to diagnose the problem, and since he works not even a little bit close to home, we decided to wait for that rather than drive all the way back later. We went to a nearby cafe and had second breakfast (you know second breakfast? The meal that comes between
breakfast and elevensies, well before luncheon) while we waited.

Once they diagnosed the problem, they said they could fix it within a couple of hours, and since he works not even a little bit close to home, we decided to wait for that rather than drive all the way back later. So we went to the nearby Target shopping center and walked around. It still wasn't even 9:00 so pretty much nothing was open, but we now know every store in that strip mall should we ever get stuck there in some sort of migration.

After a couple of hours had passed, we called to check on the progress. They said it would take a couple more hours before they'd be done, and since he works not even a little bit close to home, we decided to wait for that rather than drive all the way back later. (Are you seeing a theme here yet?) So we went to the area mall to walk around for a bit.

After a couple more hours had passed we called again. Two more hours.

Three or four "two more hours" later, we finally were able to pick up the car. But not before we'd squandered an entire day in the mall. We got my hair cut, got The Dormouse's hair cut to correct the horribly uneven cut she'd received at this place, bought shoes, looked all over creation for a twenty-two inch long chain for a necklace I wear, ate lunch, nursed the baby in just about every place you could imagine, considered Christmas presents for both girls and all our family, ate ice cream, threw pennies into fountains, watched puppies at the pet store, and rode the mall rides.

We started to realize that there are "mall groups". We were even there long enough to learn which was which. There are the morning mall walkers. The soccer moms who are there every morning with their kids. The senior citizens who just sit at the food court and drink McDonald's coffee. The businessmen who come for lunch from the nearby office park. The security guards. The kiosk operators. They all know and recognize and greet each other in line at Chick-Fil-A. I can safely say, I have never spent quite so many consecutive hours in a mall.

I never got around to doing a stitch of work today. My maternity leave is over and I am now officially six weeks and one more day behind on all the stuff I need to do at work. I kind of hate malls. I don't like shopping. After a couple of hours I'm so over stimulated, the only thing I really want is a couple of aspirin and a quiet room. In any other life, this would definitely not be where I'd want to spend eight hours. But wandering around, doing nothing with my husband and two girls?

All in all, not a bad day.