Tuesday morning, after we loaded up the car and left the hotel, I began work on one of my summer passtimes — dehydration. We were out on the street in the middle of the day, and it was naptime. I had considered going to one of the outlet malls, but stubbornly determined to do something Las Vegas, and thought that something cool to see would obliviate our need for rest. We went to check out the flamingo habitat at the Flamingo, as the Bellagio fountains didn’t start until 3pm (I planned on seeing those after we picked up Paul.)
To avoid driving the strip at noon I went along a back street, and we parked at the Westin. Little Red protested when I unbuckled him, buckling himself back up. “No, Mummy, no,” he said. “Drive.” I asked him if he wanted me to drive so that he could sleep, and he said yes. I told him he could sleep in the stroller but that we’d be in the car all night and we needed to walk around right now.
It was a bit of a hike in the 110 degree weather from the Westin to the Strip and over to the Flamingo, but we did it. Early Bird slept in the sling and Little Red, awake, sat lethargically in the stroller. The habitat was cooler than the lion one, I thought, but we were all too hot and tired to really enjoy it. I had forgotten the 1.5L water bottle in the car, and at this point we’d been out for an hour in the midday sun.
As soon as we got to the car we had a drink, and then we started sweating. “hmmm,” I thought, “we’re dehydrated.” I fed Early Bird and decided to head to the convention center to meet Paul. I knew the convention center would be air conditioned and it would be good to pick up Paul and head out of town.
Someone had parked to our left, and closer than I would have liked, so I watch the car carefully as I backed up, and turned out as soon as I was sure I had cleared the car. Instantly I heard the most horrifying grind and pop. I looked to my right to see the square, cement pole I had just hit. The passenger side mirror was lying on the ground.
Have you ever wanted a do-over so badly that you really thought you could make it happen? I only wanted to go back one minute, or even 30 seconds. I just wanted to go back long enough to check the other side before I turned the wheel so slightly. If I just wished it hard enough . . .
I felt so sick. I was so upset. I would have cried if I had had more to drink. My wishing wasn’t helping anything at all.
So I picked up the pieces and opened the passenger door which made a horrible creak and groan, and I felt even worse.
When I got back into the car Little Red chirped from the back seat, “Mummy broke the car!”
Off we went to pick up Paul. I taught Little Red about confessing your sins on the drive, and blurted the news to Paul almost as soon as I saw him –not on the way out to the car as I had planned. He had to stew with the news for nearly an hour before he finally got off work. Poor guy, I know I distracted him and I hadn’t wanted to do that.
“How bad is the damage?” he asked.
“It’s really bad.”
When we got to the car and he looked at it, I cried. And I cried the whole rest of the day.