Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Life's a Gas!

It never fails. Jesús goes on one of his trips and strange things start to happen around here.
This time he's off in Angiers, France and I'm here battling against the evil forces of... well I'm not really sure what kind of forces they are, but they are definitely evil. Vio started complaining on Sunday that her mouth was sore, and sure enough we looked inside and well I can't begin to describe the horrible inflammation we found. Let's just say it looked like a giant bee had rammed it's butt into her palate. I promptly called the dentist on Monday and was told to try moving the expander down a bit, since our regular appointment was today. Ha! As soon as I touched it, Vio let off a blood-curdling scream and wouldn't let me anywhere near her anymore. I'm expecting a call from social services any minute now asking me to explain what kind of child torture is going on here.
Next, our boiler broke down, actually it just kind of pooped out. Vio was in the shower and suddenly started shouting (not that that's odd in itself, Vio shouts all the time, but these were especially dire shouts). I skidded into the bathroom at breakneck speed, thinking some horrible accident had happened, only to find that the water just wouldn't heat. Kids are really good at scaring the shit out of you like that. Well, I went down to confront the enemy, and after having a good look, realized that I had not the slightest idea how the boiler actually works. The pilot light was on, but there was obviously no one home. So, I called my husband (You can just imagine how idiotic I felt calling long distance to France just to say "I can't figure out how the stupid boiler works, and now we have no hot water and no heating"). He said, "Turn it off, and then turn it back on again, that usually works". So, downstairs I went once again, and turned the darn thing off, waited a minute, and turned it back on. At least I tried to turn it back on. Now I couldn't even get the pilot light back on. I was about ready to start kicking the damn thing, only I couldn't reach.
Needless to say, the first thing I did this morning was to call the gas company, sound as hysterical as possible (that usually helps getting them over here), and wait. Within the hour they arrived. The first thing the guy did was to check if any electricity was getting to the boiler. Nope, none whatsoever, one of the circuit breakers was down. Now I was about to start banging my head against the wall...stupid, stupid. Why didn't I think of checking that? Then the guy said that there was water near cables, bad sign. "Whew", I thought to myself, "At least there's a real problem, and I'm not going to come off as a dumb woman who doesn't know the first thing about boilers" My pride was saved. Then I thought, "Oh my God, how much is this going to cost?" Well, they fixed it and to my surprise said the replaced part would cost around 24 euros and the cost of labor is covered by our maintenance policy. Worth every euro cent, that insurance.
The evil forces were looking a little less evil.
But, this afternoon I still had to face the evil forces of the dentist's visit. Carmen's braces were easy to adjust, she even got to change color, this time she picked yellow. Vio's was another story, but she was very brave and the problem was fixed. I won't describe what happened in there, but suffice to say I very nearly fainted. Kids are amazing, one minute they're whimpering in pain, the next they're skipping down the street, Popsicle in one hand and a box of Oreo cookies under their arms (Hey, I've got a soft spot, and have to ease the guilt of putting her through all this). So, all's well that ends well. The evil forces have gone away to wreak havoc elsewhere, for the time being that is.


  1. I'd say my luck rubbed off on you some how. And speaking of the dentist, it's more than your mouth that hurts when you come out of there. Yesterday I laid down a nice chunk of my wallet when I left the dental clinic for kids' fillings. I have a post in the making on that one.

  2. Maybe luck, or lack thereof, travels by internet. I don't know where the evil forces have gone off to now, but for the time being they seem to have dissipated (knock wood). Maybe they're hanging around some other blog I've visited these days. We're actually lucky to have found an orthodontist that is quite reasonably priced. I've heard of people who pay three times what we're paying for the same treatment. And the one we have comes with good references too.