I will begin my story with the happy ending: I’m home, no one was hurt, maimed, killed or sent to jail today despite the weather that could have caused all of the above, and I have tea and a pecan butter tart.
Still interested in my many mishaps? Read on, then…
Last night (Saturday) my daughter played her second game in a tournament east of the city at 6pm. They lost again and we knew that even if we win game 3 on Sunday morning there is no chance to make the finals.
We were ok with that. They play hard, they aim to play competitive, sometimes they win, sometimes they don’t.
Before we left the rink to head home we were advised to check our phones prior to leaving on Sunday morning due to a freezing rain/winter storm alert coming through all the weather channels.
We use an app called teamsnap that sends us scheduled reminders two days prior, alerts or emails for supplemental info. All good, right? Our team manager said she would update us via teamsnap if there was a change in the schedule due to weather.
Here’s the thing about teamsnap: everyone uses it. All the teams for both of my kids use it. That’s hockey, ringette, baseball for the boy, house league baseball for the girl, development baseball for the girl..
In addition, there are often extra messages coming through about other events: Christmas parties, fundraising, carpooling requests, etc.
It all feeds through email.
This time, the place holder schedule for this tournament wasn’t deleted which duplicated this tournament schedule’s reminders: two sets of reminders for the actual games, two sets of reminders for the place holder.
So many messages.
It’s no excuse though. I am, after all, no amateur here. I’ve been schlepping kids to rinks for ten years now based on teamsnap.
Still, despite many of the messages not pertaining to me today or coming up as duplicate, I should still read every single reminder that pops up.
It turned out that we were playing at a different rink on Sunday than we did on the previous two days.
Yes. I took my child to the wrong rink. 🙄
But that wasn’t the first mishap of the day, more like the third…
Note to self: double check each reminder in teamsnap and confirm time and location. DO NOT MAKE ASSUMPTIONS.
Rewinding back to my morning at home, I did read the alert that came in about the game being on despite the weather. I sipped my one and only coffee to avoid having to stop halfway to the rink. I learned that lesson before. 😐
With about an hour before having to leave the house I checked out the window. A bit of rain, nothing dramatic. Seems Minnesota and South Dakota listened to my pleads after all and kept the white stuff stateside.
(I will deal with the two of you later because we all know you can’t be trusted with the weather.) 😛
Google maps predicted the trip will take an hour. All good, right? An hour is nothing in my life of schlepping rink rats.
Five minutes before leaving I start to get the equipment to the door to pack up the car. I get to drive the new, modern Elantra today, with its seat warmers and Android Auto app on a gps thingy mounted to the dash. (My own car is 16 years old and although it runs perfectly it doesn’t have any bells and whistles…which normally suits me fine but I will admit a bit of luxurious convenience is a nice thing to have on a long trip during winter weather).
My partner helped us load the trunk.
“There’s half an inch of ice on the car,” he said to me as I navigated the front steps.
Sigh. That was fast… a few minutes ago there was rain. Now it had changed to freezing rain.
I was also looking for my house key. The last time I saw it was on Friday (two days ago) after the game when my daughter asked for it so she could run in to pee the minute I pulled into the driveway. She said she put it in its regular location after…
Well it wasn’t there.
Anyway. Who knows what happened to my key.
So that was the first mishap of the day.
We finally make our way across the city passing through freezing rain, ice pellets, wet snow, fat-flaked snow, slush and white-out conditions.
But I had seat warmers. 🙂
About 40 minutes into the trip I announce we have to stop after all.
“You know I can’t hold my coffee,” I tell my girl and she starts to fret about being late.
The gps tells us we’re 15 min away which gets us to the rink on time, so if we stop quick for a pee it’s not the end of the world.
There’s usually a million Tim Horton’s or fast food joints along this highway, I’m sure it won’t be a problem.
Long story a tiny bit shorter; of course there is none of the aforementioned establishments. There is however a Walmart.
We go to Walmart.
We walk around Walmart.
Every freaking Walmart I’ve been to has restrooms located by the registers near the entrance.
Not this Walmart.
There is no washroom and no sign to point us to a washroom.
I hate Walmart even more than usual.
My child is not impressed.
We finally find one on the lower level and I wistfully glance at the McDonalds corner store thingy which was selling coffee but we have to go.
That was the second mishap. The stopping-for-a-pee-break-on-the-way-to-the-stupid-rink which caused us a 15 minute delay.
I promised myself that as soon as we arrive I’d drop the girl and head out in search of coffee after.
This of course starts a new chain of events what with the wrong rink location and all that…
I did what I said. I dropped her off at the door and drove off to get coffee. My poor girl child had to call me while I was in a coffee drive-through to alert me of the mistake.
No coffee for mom, again.
I get back to the child, pick her up and get her to input the other address into the gps thingy.
Luckily that rink is only 10 minutes away.
Unluckily it’s now snowing like we’re in Antarctica so everyone is driving at snails pace.
My kid is now sobbing in the back seat, stressed she’ll miss her game. I’m stressed because she’s crying, because I’m an idiot for not checking ahead of time, and because of lack of caffeine. Also the weather is getting on my nerves. It had to start today? I couldn’t wait till tomorrow?
So I’m navigating weather, driving in white-out conditions, keeping an eye on the clock to assure her we will make the game and at a traffic light manage to send a quick text to a mom at the rink to tell her we’re coming.
We make it with a few minutes to spare.
Except, as I park the car, a text comes in from that mom that we have to go to the back.
I look at the building ahead of me. It’s a HUGE complex. A sign at the door that I can’t ready but my child can (through tears) says there is no arena access through these doors, we have to go to the back.
The roads are all white with snow. I can’t see lines, or anything. I don’t know if the back is this way or that.
My child is crying harder.
Anyway, we start driving aimlessly and two minutes later find a building that looks like a telltale arena and I see people I recognize standing by the door. The mom I texted, another player’s dad and the assistant coach were ready to whisk my child away so I could go park the car in peace.
There was a little tiny light at the end of the tunnel though (besides the fact that we made it prior to game start) – the snack bar was open, and the coffee was good and hot. (Trust me, this is an exception rather than the rule at these places). 😀
I saw my child with her team at the gate before the refs arrived and she had managed to compose herself. I went over to assure myself that she’s ok, and she was, and then sat with the rest of the parents to cheer on the team.
Turns out I wasn’t the only parent who drove to the other rink. Not that that makes me feel any better though, but it just goes to show what is involved when you have kids in sports…
The game went underway, and the girls hustled and played hard. Not only that, my little skater scored the first goal. ❤
Sigh. What an ordeal that was.
Later, when she asked me about food, I suggested we head back to the west end first given the storm was getting worse. She agreed, was willing to wait.
We ended up at a fancy food court in a high end mall that has covered parking which was so helpful.
In the food court she selected Asian at a Thai place and then devoured two trays of sushi in ten minutes. Here’s proof.
So that was my Sunday. How was yours?