This is a story about the infelicitous convergence of three inconveniences:
1) Difficulty “porting” my old cell phone number to my new phone
2) My sleep deprivation from a sick baby not sleeping well
3) Communication failures
1) At the beginning of December, I bought a new pay-as-you-go cell phone to replace my clunky old dinosaur of a phone (a phone my brothers told me was so old it was “retro”). I probably would have kept using the phone, even though I couldn’t even send text messages with it, but its battery was to where it would only last for a half-hour-or-so at a time, and Dean persuaded me that it really wasn’t worth replacing the battery.
So we bought a new phone that’s also on a pay-as-you-go plan, and then Dean spent at least three hours on the websites of our old and new carrier and on the phone with representatives for the new carrier, trying to get my old number ported. They tried to tell him that it couldn’t be done, but he was sure it could be (and he turned out to be right) and then they wanted our old account number, but with our old plan the phone number is the account number, a fact the new carrier found hard to believe or accept. We were finally told everything was good to go, but the new phone number never came through, and then we received a letter saying I had to sign and fax it within 30 days or the porting request would be canceled. The letter had my name as “Vina.” I corrected the spelling, signed the form, and had Dean fax it for me from work. And we never heard another thing, and the holidays happened, and I was starting to think maybe I should just keep the new temporary number they’d assigned me. But I liked my old number, we’d already invested time trying to get it ported, and, as I told Dean, my kids’ schools had the number and my carpool partner had it and my family did and I just didn’t want to have to track down all the people who might have my old number and change it. So, last night I finally tried again. The person I talked to couldn’t figure out why the porting hadn’t gone through, and I ended up on the phone for about an hour and a half. There was a scare where it looked like since I’d let the payments on my old phone lapse (only in the last couple of weeks; prior to that I’d kept it paid up JUST so I could port the number) so I actually added $10 to the old account just to keep my number, and then it turned out the number was still assigned to me anyway (this was after the rep. had told me repeatedly that if the old number had been put back into the pool, the FCC would NOT let us have it back) so I’d wasted my $10. But finally the representative told me everything’s supposed to go ahead now, and I should have my old number on my new phone by the end of today.
2) Last night in the early AM hours–I don’t actually have any idea what time it was–Hazel woke up screaming. Dean brought her to me and I nursed her and then he tried to put her back to bed but she got on another screaming jag and refused to be comforted. I tried to nurse her again but that wasn’t working–I think that, in addition to having a painful cough, she might also be teething, so the two things that usually comfort her, nursing and her pacifier, are instead increasing her pain. So she feels frustrated and cheated. Dean gave her some pain medicine and then I bounced and rocked her until she was quiet, relaxed, and nearly asleep. Then I gently laid her in her bed. As I did so I felt her body go rigid and she immediately started back up with the screaming. So I got her back up, bounced and rocked some more, and finally, moving very quietly and gently, propped her on a pillow between me and Dean, where I sang to her for probably half an hour before her eyelids finally closed all the way and she drifted off. Then I tried to fall back asleep in the margin of the bed that remained to me, and had dreams about not getting things done and people being mad at me.
3) If you miss just one hour of sleep during the right portion of the night, it’s enough to ruin you for the next day. This morning my arms were aching and I was exhausted, but it was my turn to drive Rose’s kindergarten carpool because I’d swapped with my friend who’s out of town this weekend. I begged Dean to take my 9 AM carpool shift, and he was reluctant since he had a lot to do at work today and wanted to get in to work as early as possible, but when I pointed out that it would also be hard on Hazel to put her in the car for both carpool shifts, he relented. But right before he was going to leave, one of my kids took a call from the family we carpool with, that there was a change of plans and their grandma (who lives with them) would drive the kids to school. We weren’t sure why, but Dean was happy to leave for work and I was happy to go back to sleep.
I got a pretty decent nap while Henry played games on the computer and Hazel played in her playpen. Then I dragged myself out of bed, got some breakfast, got a shower, and then, before I’d dried my hair or put on makeup, it was time to go get Rose from school. I wasn’t going to be picking up her friend because my friend had arranged for her daughter to go home with a different friend after school. I was so groggy that this one little trip to pick up Rose from school felt like a Herculean task, but I comforted myself that, as much as I always have many many many things I ought to get done on any given day, at least this was my only definite commitment today. Before I left, I checked to see whether my new phone were working yet, and it wasn’t, but it looked like the old one was so I grabbed that and brought it with me. I got Hazel and Henry into the car in time to get to the school by about 12:08, which is when Rose’s class gets out.
There were only a few kids waiting in front of the school, and Rose wasn’t among them. I figured Rose’s class must be late getting out (although they never have been late before.) I briefly wondered if this were an early-out day no one had told me about, but there really wasn’t any reason I could think of that it would be, and anyway the other kindergartners’ parents were picking them up. Finally, when it was 12:17 and all the kids were gone and the lady who waits with the kids had gone back inside, I got Hazel and Henry out of the car and went in the school to look for Rose. (Hazel was still in her pajamas, but I’ll confess that I did get a wet wipe out of my purse and wash the crust off from under her nose before I went in. I couldn’t do anything about my wet hair or lack of makeup.)
No one knew where Rose was or had seen her leave. The lady who waits with the kids had gone home for lunch and wasn’t answering her cell phone. I started wondering whether the change of plan with the grandma driving had been meant to be for the afternoon pick-up, too. I asked to use the office phone and called Rose’s friend’s home phone, but there was no answer so I left a message. The secretary told me Rose’s teacher was in the break room so I went to find her. I hadn’t thought to put Hazel in her stroller and was carrying her on my hip, and being reminded of my sore arms from the night before. Rose’s teacher tracked down the friend’s dad’s work phone, where she learned that he was in a meeting, and she tried his cell phone and he didn’t answer, then she tried the mom’s cell phone but she also wasn’t answering. I wondered aloud whether Rose had gone home with S. and her other friend. I didn’t know who the other friend was but thought it was probably another girl in the class. Then someone asked whether the mysterious volunteer carpooler might be at my house with Rose, waiting for me to get there. I said that was possible and that I’d better check, and asked for the office’s phone number so I could call them from my cell if that turned out to be the case. Then we drove home, where there was no sign of Rose, but there was a note on our door that said, “I’m at the Bishop’s house, love, Rose.”
We have friends on the next street over whose last name is Bishop, and also our ward’s bishop lives next door, so I tried next door first. I was so happy when, after I rang the doorbell, I saw a child’s hand try to move away the curtain by their front door. My neighbor had seen Rose waiting on our porch alone and invited her in to wait for me. They had managed to reach Dean at work and let him know about his displaced waif, but they didn’t have my cell phone number (which wouldn’t have worked even if they had.)
After I’d thanked my neighbor for rescuing my child, I tried to call the school with my old cell phone–and discovered that it wasn’t actually working. (So until the porting process is complete, I have no working cell phone.) I parked in my garage and Rose ran inside and answered my home phone. It was Rose’s teacher, who, after going down the list and calling the families of every girl in Rose’s class, had learned that the friend’s friend’s family was sick, so the grandma had indeed picked up the girls. (Simultaneously, I had been asking Rose, “Who DID bring you home, anyway?”) Rose’s teacher had also tried to call my cell phone and found it not to be working, so I had to explain about the porting. (The ONE day I didn’t have a reachable cell phone, and this happens.) About twenty minutes later the grandma called my house, very apologetic–she hadn’t realized it wasn’t normally their carpool turn and so hadn’t thought anything about it when Rose hopped in the car, and she normally always would wait to make sure a kid got inside the house when dropping them off, but she was distracted thinking of some errands she needed to run, and those errands were also the reason she hadn’t been answering their home phone (which is what I had suspected).
So, all’s well in the end; my little girl is safe, my old number SHOULD soon be ported to my new cell phone, and if I’m lucky maybe I’ll even get another nap while the kids nap. But, what an unexpectedly exciting day.
Here’s one more irony: A couple of months ago, my carpool friend emailed me to ask that I always make sure her daughter got into her house before I drove away when I dropped her off. I was mortified because if you’d asked me if I already do that, I’d have said yes, but obviously I must have forgotten at least once, or she wouldn’t have felt the need to ask. (I was also grateful that she’d gone to me directly–this friend is always very reliable and kind and it’s been great to carpool with her.) So it’s ironic that her own mother-in-law made the same goof and cost me quite a bit of worry. (But knowing I’ve goofed the same way makes me a little quicker to forgive.)
I’m not really in love with its replacement and really I’d love an iPhone, but pay-as-you-go is definitely cheapest if you don’t use your phone much.
OH MY WORD. I was just about to post this and my computer spontaneously, inexplicably, shut itself down. Dean just updated us to Windows 7 and this does. not. bode. well.