January 21, 2018


Over Christmas break, Laddie let us know that the 'teen' car stalled when he was stopped at a light.  Laddie and Eddie drive a used Mazda Tribute that we purchased specifically for the teenagers.  It was a great deal - most likely previously owned by an elderly person who didn't drive it much.  The mileage was low, the year was recent, the price was right.  We've owned the car for 3 years.

The original plan, to have Lad drive our old minivan, didn't last long.  We purchased a new minivan the summer he turned 16.  That fall he rear ended a pickup truck on his way to school.  I don't doubt that he was speeding.  He never allowed himself enough time to avoid a tardy.

Apparently a lady and her kid ran across the street in the middle of traffic.  They weren't in the crosswalk.  They were no where near a school.  My guess is they were dashing to the gas station across from their apartment building to buy milk or something.

The three cars ahead of Laddie jammed on their brakes, and Lad hit a huge, over-sized pickup truck.  I was just grateful that there were 3 cars serving as a buffer between my knucklehead and the pedestrians.  Thankfully, the other driver shared the info about the peeps running in the street, so the cop didn't give him a ticket.

Our poor little minivan didn't stand a chance against this muscle car.  The hood was peeled back and  all that important equipment stored under the hood was mangled.  Minivan totaled.

We waited months before purchasing another 'teen' car.  We suffered as we rolled out of bed crazy early to get our car-less driver to early morning swim practices, etc.  The Mazda has held up well.  No issues.  Until now.

I followed Eddie to the shop to drop the car off last week.  It was the same day I was driving Lad to the airport to fly back to school.  I can't imagine how we would've survived break with only 2 cars had the Tribute acted up at the beginning of break.  Three cars for four drivers was painful enough.

I almost puked when the mechanic called to let me know that the car needed a new engine.  The oil hadn't been changed since April.  The boys had burned out the engine.  The mechanic admitted that the car was an oil burner.  Shit!

This is the point of the story where I point out the obvious.  I don't handle car maintenance.  I also don't take out the garbage.  Everything else.  And I do mean EVERYTHING ELSE is my responsibility.  (Oh gentle reader, I see you nodding your head.  Are we in the same boat?)

Serious dust on my living room lamp . . .
 AFTER I asked Ed to dust the living room. 
He actually believes that he dusted it. 
My standards are crazy low, but come on!
I'm not saying that all of my tasks are handled in a timely manner.  I try.  There are plenty of things that get overlooked.  Housework is typically the lowest priority.  My crew is just going to mess everything up anyway.  Last time I checked though, failing to dust the living room isn't going to set us back three grand.

Still.  I make myself lists.  Constantly.  This is my way of trying not to forget anything.  I pay the bills, visit the grocery an obscene number of times a week, prepare meals, clean the clothes, fold the clothes, beg someone to put the clothes away, chauffeur kids, schedule doctor appointments, hangout at the orthodontist, clean the house (OK, I might suck at this - but I delegate to my minions, and that works out great, as I'm sure you can imagine), handle the birthday party invitations/gift buying, text the contractor begging him to finish our kitchen (I'm hoping that this will be resolved soon and no longer a problem - but there is  no end in sight), and all the other crap that is generally taken for granted by the people I live with.  I'm confident they think I have a staff who just does it all.

This is the loaner car we borrowed from the Mazda dealer, who happens to be a family friend.  A tad nicer than our 'teen' car.  Coach is driving  enjoying it while the Tribute is getting a rebuilt engine that has several thousand more miles on it than our original engine did.  To think, it could have all been avoided.  Best not to think in these situations though, I guess.
Coach admitted the lack of oil inventory was his fault.  In the next breath he fumed about how the boys should have told him they needed an oil change.  Going out on a limb here, but I don't think the importance of oil changes was ever explained to them.  Ed is very responsible.  He claims he told Coach when the oil light went on.  I did overhear this conversation, but I also think by the time the light is lit - it is too late.  Damn it.

I added 'educate the younger four kids about oil changes' to my endless list of things-to-do.  Then I 'splained it to each of them, and promptly checked it off my list.  AND later that day when I drove to Irish dancing in the great white, I got an oil change while I waited . . . then I raced to the grocery store, of course.


Beth (A Mom's Life) said...

Ugggggggghhhh!!! What a huge pain that could have been so easily prevented. I'm so sorry!!!! I am the one around here who has to take the cars in for oil changes and I secretly resent that I have to do it.

Gigi said...

Timely post - I just remembered I need an oil change. I just texted my guy to see when he could do it.

It sucks but yes, I'm sure the kids had no idea of the importance of getting the oil changed. From what I understand it is one of the single, most important things you can do for your car.