...and other little everday, routine kindnesses that are often overlooked.
A brief update: Gaines is well. I'm not sore since the storms passed through on Tuesday, though I imagine Friday won't be a great day. Jacob is doing okay, though we're waiting to see if he has caught something from one of the kids in the church nursery (who was diagnosed with strep AND the flu, poor thing), or if his low-grade fever is just from teething.
Our car's air conditioning system, however, IS on the fritz, which precipitated our outing today. With Georgia's unpredictable weather -- 70 degree temperatures on Monday and a similar forecast for tomorrow -- this was not something we could let go, even though it is only March. Especially since we are driving two-plus hours to Alabama on Friday afternoon. A hot car with a hot baby boy stuck in traffic is not fun.
So, I went to the dealership to have them check why our A/C is not properly cooling our car. In the morning. At 9 am. After about two hours of playing on the floor in the lobby (which offers complimentary beverages and danishes and happens to have a nice clean carpet), we were told it would be at least another two hours more. Thank goodness I figured out how to lock my cell phone. It's amazing the hours of entertainment these little folks can get from ordinary electronic devices, even when they don't "work".
We did get a visit from our friend Nicole, who graciously held the J-man while I had to find out exactly how much this was going to cost us (gulp!). Then, only then, a fellow customer notified me that there was a playroom! A playroom! Thank heavens! This would've helped me earlier, but as it was, I was still thankful!
Now, I don't know about you, but I don't expect a playroom at a car dealership's service area to be all that nice. Doctor's offices, maybe, though they are well used and usually crowded. Well, this one was impeccable. Everything looked clean, especially the carpet, and there were even wipes available to wipe down the toys! A Lego play table, a box of Duplo blocks, a huge selection of books in great shape, and a kid-sized table and plenty of chairs took up most of the space. A bead maze and colorful, interconnected gears lined one wall. There were handheld toys like MagnaDoodle and Etch-A-Sketch hanging on a stand for older kids, and even the electronic ones worked! (I know this because I admit I played Tetris for a few minutes.)
We had the place to ourselves for a little while, and even then only one other mom and her little girl came in. At one point, we turned down the TV (you couldn't turn it off without asking a sales rep) and turned off the lights and Jacob almost went to sleep. In addition, the bathrooms were nicer and cleaner than most restaurants' and had a changing table. The only thing better at that moment would've been the baby supplies and comfy nursing chairs like they have at Babies R' Us. But beggars can't be choosers.
At this point, Jacob was getting very cranky, and I thought a long walk in the stroller (not in a small circle in the lobby) might help him sleep. I was also getting hungry, so we took the shuttle bus to the mall across the street. This was wonderful! Plenty of room and a food court and lots of things to see. (Again, something I would've liked to have known about earlier.) I am even more thankful for our stroller, which was a snap to open and close and carry one-handed on and off the bus.
While waiting for the shuttle back, I spoke to the lady with us, who I recognized from seeing her all morning either with a spray bottle or a duster in her hand. She happens to be in charge of cleaning the dealership and I complimented her on her job. You could tell she takes pride in her work, and she noted that she checks the restrooms and play area every hour or so. This particular customer is very thankful for her attention to detail!
Our best news was received after we returned to the dealership -- the A/C was fixed, and we could leave! I have never been more grateful to be able to get into my car and drive home, since we had been waiting for over four hours. So, if you ever need some repairs to your Honda and are in the Atlanta area, I've got just the place for you. Especially if it takes most of the day to get it done. You might not mind the long wait quite as much as you would somewhere else -- at least that's sort of a compliment, right?!
I just have to note that through this agonizingly long day away from home, our little guy was quite the trooper. He didn't fuss, much, and kept happily playing with whatever I could find to entertain him. Our ride in the stroller at the mall seemed to even perk him up, and he started pointing at things and exclaiming "Ahhh Baaa!" or something similarly babble-tastic. We are lucky parents.