First, my wife decided to keep our oldest child home from school, out of extreme caution related to the TikTok school shooting challenge, which I immediately dismissed as a hoax. My wife stayed home as well.

At breakfast, my four-year-old son sneezed and coughed once or twice, so I suggested we give him a rapid COVID test before sending him into preschool. He did not seem sick, but I thought we should do the responsible thing. He, being a typical four year old, did not want (loudly!) a cotton swap stuck up his nose at the breakfast table, but we did it anyway, despite his tears. The test confirmed that he was COVID negative, and my wife drove him to preschool shortly after.

I was working by the time my daughter woke up. We let my daughter sleep late, and she woke up crying. She ran into the office and told me she had a nightmare in which she lost her favorite doll. I made her breakfast soon after, during which she complained frequently and loudly that she was missing out on school. With no prompting from me, after she tried to keep to her academic schedule as much as she could, even though she was home.

A couple hours later, in the mid morning, I had to take some time off work to drive to two doctor’s offices and pick up medical records. While I was out driving, my wife called me, saying that my son’s preschool called her saying that our son had thrown up all over and needed to come home. My wife went out to get him, with our daughter in tow.

By lunchtime, we were all back together at home. My son wasn’t coughing or throwing up, but felt very tired and was running a low fever. My wife had already made a doctor’s appointment for him, and planned to take him mid-afternoon while I was working.

At this time, my daughter complained that she was starving, which is very rare. Of course, I had no food to give her, so I had to cook something while she waited, steaming. She complained that she was having a bad day, and explained to me at length what she was supposed to be doing at every hour of the day that had elapsed so far.

By mid-afternoon, I thought things would start to return to normal. Unfortunately, fifteen minutes after my wife left with my son to go to the doctor’s office, she called me saying that her car was making a terrible noise. It was so loud that I could hear it over the phone, over the road noise. I said I thought she had a flat tire (it turns out she did), and I told her to park in the nearest parking lot and wait for me to get her. Of course, I couldn’t just leave by myself—I had to take my daughter…who wasn’t dressed yet and would not get moving as fast as I wanted her to. It took us (her, really, but don’t want to be mean) about twenty minutes to get out of the house. My wife—desperate to make it to my son’s doctor appointment—called me again, livid.

On our drive to my wife’s car, just before reaching the highway, a deer that I had noticed in my peripheral vision leapt out onto the street about five feet in front of my car. I slammed on the breaks and barely missed it. Luckily, the car behind me barely missed me as well. Of course, stopping abruptly caused every loose thing in my car, including my daughter’s favorite doll, to fly forward and crash into the my arm, the center console, and even the dashboard.

When we finally got to my wife and son, I saw a completely deflated rear passenger-side tire on her car. She told me she had called AAA, and they would be there in about an hour. She then took our son in my car (we exchanged keys) and drove him to the doctor’s office, about an hour past her appointment time. My daughter and I waited in my wife’s car for help to arrive. My in-laws came in about half an hour and took my daughter away to bring her home. I stayed in my wife’s car for another half hour, waiting for AAA to come. I had thought that they were going to tow the car to a tire shop, but instead they put the space tire on, which I started to wonder if I could have done myself. (I have not changed a tire since I was a teenager, and that was with my dad.)

After AAA put on the spare, I started the car and found it had almost no gas in it. I drove to the nearest service station and filled the tank. Then I drove home. No one was there. When I got to my front door, I realized that my wife’s keyring had no house-key on it. I was locked out of my house. Out of sheer coincidence, at that exact moment, my in-laws drove up my driveway. They had taken my daughter to her art class, went all the way there, and realized that they had forgotten her face mask. To fetch one, they drove her all the way back home. Fortunately, my father-in-law has a house-key, and was able to let me in before they took my daughter, a second time, to her art class.

Almost an hour later, after my wife brought my son home—he was deemed by the doctor to be doing fine, but he has some non-COVID, non-flu virus—she asked me to pick up our daughter from her art class. When I got into my car, I noticed it had no almost gas left (my wife used it up on her trip to the doctor), so I had to squeeze in a fill-up before getting to my daughter’s art school. Fortunately, I made it in time. On our drive home in my car, the low tire pressure warning light came on, meaning I have a soon-to-be flat tire on my car to contend with as well.

It’s going to be a fun weekend after all this.