Yesterday, I drove Queen Teen back to Stanford Audiology in Palo Alto. Neither of us was pleased about this. What fun! Sit in the car for three hours, sit in a doctor's office for two, then sit in a car again for another three hours, if we're lucky, because if we hit traffic between Novato and Windsor that will add another hour to the commute. Can't frickin wait.
I woke up at 6 am and rushed around to get myself ready while guzzling enough decaf to shake the cobwebs out of my brain. (Yes, I know it's easier with caffeinated coffee but caffeine makes me more agro than I normally am.) Then I woke up Queen Teen and spent the next hour and a half dragging her from bed to kitchen table to bathroom to bedroom to car. She decided she didn't want to go, and didn't know what she wanted to wear, and didn't want just one pony-tale in her hair, she wanted two, and her socks felt funny and her sunglasses were dirty and she needed books to read in the car but she couldn't decided which books to bring and why did we have to go to Stanford anyway?
It was a very good thing I didn't have caffeine because it was 8:30 before we got on the road and I was so annoyed with being stuck in the car with grumpy teen I probably would have run over the first squirrel who decided it would be fun to play chicken with my car wheel. As I filled up the gas tank (another joy inducing venture), I took a deep breath. This has to stop, I thought. It's going to be a very long day with a lot of driving and if you're this unhappy before leaving town it will be an unbearable day. As I drove the van onto the freeway heading south, I took another deep breath and decided to make the best of it. We can have a good day or a bad day. It's really up to me.
I decided to have a good day.
After a few minutes I felt calmer, not exactly pleased to go to Stanford, but not dreading it as much. And Queen Teen seemed to pick up on my improving mood as well because she started to chatter about how sunny it was and weren't the trees "pretty." We listened to Laurie Berkner and sang along to our favorite songs, although Queen Teen decided that I needed more practice singing. We arrived in Palo Alto with enough time to have lunch at the Stanford mall and then take a stroll. The shops are starting to put up there decorations and there was already a Santa display with Santa Clause greeting children. Queen Teen decided not to say hello, but she grinned when she saw Santa.
The appointment was quick. The doctor checked her ear molds and cast new ones, then checked the settings on the hearing aids themselves. She also fixed the battery door which kept popping open, and worked on the FM system. A lot done in only an hour and half. Queen Teen was relieved there were no long, BORING hearing tests this time. We'll do that when we go back next month to pick up her new ear molds.
We did hit rush hour traffic past Novato, but it wasn't as terrible as it could have been. I stopped at Borders Books in Santa Rosa for a break and so Queen Teen could pick out a few books to replace the ones she's thrown out. After another hour of driving, during which Queen Teen sang Christmas carols, we were home at 6:30, weary and hungry, but not miserable.
As I kissed Queen Teen goodnight, she said, "I had fun with you today. Except for the boring car ride. But it was okay."
"Me too, sweetie," I said.