Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Don't leave a license plate renewal to the last minute

It's that time of year - my birthday - that license plate renewals on both of our vehicles are due.  It's an expensive birthday to say the least.  Add a parking fine, that Hubby "doesn't remember getting" to the bill and well, it costs a small fortune to have these vehicles on the road for another year.  It would have been only sensible for me to have gone to renew them what, 2 months ago? when I received the notice in the mail, but no, we like to leave things to the last minute around here.  It must be something to do with the thrill of living on the edge with a license sticker that expires the next day. *SHUTTER*

So I took my sorry butt to the mall to the nearest Service Ontario Kiosk because you know, they are "making it easier".  After going through the motions I successfully renewed our license plate on our newer vehicle that Hubby drives.  The older car that I drive and that has been giving me hell this week (old battery) would not be accepted.  Why? Well it needs an emission test, duh.  You'd think they would make the read asterisk a little larger for my apparently blind eyes to see. *SMACKS FORHEAD*. 

I promptly googled the emission centre on my phone and called and made an appointment for the following day right then and there. And so today, I snuck out of work during my lunch break to get it done.  As I squirmed and sweated in my seat while waiting for the results, they came back to tell me that the car passed without any issues. Phew, dodged a huge bullet there.

Back to the kiosk tonight, but this time with E in tow. It only took a few minutes last time, surely it would be the same.  We happily skipped hand in hand through the parking lot and into the mall, not knowing what we were about the be faced with.

Three people stood ahead of me in line.  Ok, I can handle this.  The man using the kiosk is squirmy and panicky, visibly intimidated by the long line-up behind him and apologizing, saying he is almost done.  Two more people join the line and wait behind me.  I keep my cool, although it royally sucked.  I let E happily play around me pushing the buttons on the vending machine and photo booths, but then it gets too busy around us and so I pick him up and put him on my hip. E is not happy and repeats, "Put my down, mommy! Let my down!" I smile. I got this.  The line will move quickly in no time I reassure myself.  Then the guy in front of me gets royally pissed.  He asks the man using the kiosk if he is almost done in a snide manner.  Patience is a virtue I remind myself.  The man at the kiosk bickers back telling impatient dude that he has every right to be there and they exchange unkind words. Great, just the show I wanted my toddler to see. E continues to squirm and makes me to drop things.  Slowly he is turning into a little devil child and my arm is becoming numb with pain as I try to hold him as he trys to escape my arms. I am losing my cool, but I smile at the man at the kiosk as he gathers his receipt and leaves.  He didn't deserve the unkind words shouted his way from Mr. Impatient.  Finally it's our turn and I've got everything ready to go. Promptly punching the buttons with my license plate number, insurance info and emission test codes. All the while E squirms so much I want to scream, but I ignore him while he climbs all over me.  I  feel the pressure of onlookers and I start to sweat.  E tries to pushes the buttons and I feel like I am doing some kind of martial art trying to jab at the buttons and pin down his hands at the same time. He keeps yelling, "No, Mommy, no!".  Finally, everything is done, payment is punched in and a little time ticker shows up.  Then the screen goes blank and says "OUT OF SERVICE".

You. have. got. to. be. kidding. me. 

Instead of crying I pulled my child to the side and told the man behind me that I was sorry and what had happened.  I gathered my things and starting walking away. He called me back and told me that the machine was back up, but I told him and the others to go ahead and I would come back.  I couldn't hold Satan's spawn like that again. My arms were numb. So I took E for a walk and rode the escalator up and down again and came back to square one.

E was still restless so I did what any desperate mother would do.  I am not proud of my decision, but it was the only thing that would allow me to fulfill my mission.

I bought the kid a lollipop from the magazine store across the hall. I had to do it. It would be my saving grace.

Back at it, I went through the motions again. E happily licked his sucker while standing beside me, holding my hand. I get the to end of the process AGAIN and this time it doesn't accept my bank card.  Dear lord, why, why me! E got restless again and I pick him up. This time he's sticky and makes juggling him even trickier. Papers fall, I just want to scream or cry or yell out profanities.  Please someone save me.

A third time and ding, ding, ding, we've got the sticker. Thank the high heavens. I gathered my stuff, grabbed E's hand and marched out of the mall an HOUR LATER. While we stomped rather than skipped back to the car, we hit up a garbage can and tossed that half-licked sucker out and I texted Hubby to tell him that I was about to snap.  It was a frustrating evening and I stayed as calm, cool and collect as I could, but nearly lost my mind. Let that be a lesson to anyone considering leaving this task to the last minute.


  1. aw, poor you! Don't worry about the sucker...I bribe Aylen with cookies if I ever have to take her out shopping :o)
    You probably know this, but you can do the renewals online now - so next time, don't bother going to the kiosk!!

  2. I've found I have the best luck with the out-of-the-way service Ont centres - the one at Westgate and the one in Stittsville are my two favorites (and I'm always too complicated to do the online one *g*)
    Also - Happy Birthday!

  3. The one at Westgate has a barber's across the hall. I may have left my children there on occassion... :)

  4. Oh my GOD, you poor thing. You were more than justified resorting to refined sugar - some mothers might have gone for Valium. :)

  5. I keep suckers in my purse at all times... its my vice for getting my E under control. We've all been there, and I'd say if you didn't snap on him in public, and he didn't have a kicking and screaming episode, you deserve an award!