Friday, January 02, 2009

And then there was today

(Warning, this will be long, but well worth it. Will try to edit down, but forgive my verbosity.)

As far as effed up "you can't make this shit up" days go -- today was it. Though through the eyes of a freshly minted four-year-old it was probably pretty awesome. For his pushing-35 mom, it was a day that tested the limits of Supermomdom.

It started OK. We wished Nate happy birthday and had a family snuggle in bed. We got up and did the breakfast thing and then Jan went off to work. I had the entire day planned out, written out to perfection based on what was supposed to happen at each time slot. That was my first mistake.

Nothing ever goes according to plan when you're home alone with two kids. Add being ME into the mix and you're really asking for it.

Lucy's 9 am nap didn't happen. (Yes, I've been noticing that most days she still needs that morning nap.) OK, I thought, no sweat, I'll roll with the punches. I had measured out all the ingredients to make Rice Krispie treats with Nate, hoping that a Lucy break would provide the window of opportunity. No sweat, we'll just do it at her 1pm nap.

The three of us hung out upstairs while I sorted the laundry, paired down the clothes in their drawers, eliminating the need for a huge dresser (that will have to go when I move them in together again next week). I went into my room for some reason when I heard the smash.

I ran into the hall (an exaggeration if ever there was one -- by hall I am referring to the 3-foot ledge between our teeny rooms) to find Lucy had gotten into the hall cabinet and smashed a bottle of Eddie Bauer cologne. Thankfully she was stunned by her actions and hadn't taken a step yet -- thankfully (the other benefit of having a Smurf-sized house is you can get to an incident in three seconds).

I moved her into her room where Nate was playing and she stood at the closed door crying. (No 9am nap = cranky pain in the butt by 11am.) I sopped up the mess with some washcloths (the nearest absorbent thing), chucked them into the hamper and then grabbed the vacuum to pick up the shards of glass. Picked up sobbing Lucy and convinced Nate to put down Lego Batman so that we could have lunch.

Got a pretty nutritious lunch together, had the kids eating nicely -- even managed to feed myself. Had a few laughs and made my next mistake.

"Aw man, I wish I didn't have to go to work on Monday. I'm having so much fun hanging out with you guys!"

What kind of idiot would tempt Fate with such a statement?

That's when the CO2 alarm went off in my bedroom.

Oh it's probably just because the cologne-soaked towels were in the hamper in front of it, I thought. So I took everything down to the basement and shoved it quickly in the washing machine.

What kind of idiot throws all her laundry in with stinky cologne-soaked towels?

Then I came back up to find Nate hitting his sister on the head -- with a baseball bat. I actually had to utter the words, "Promise you will never ever hit your sister on the head with a bat again!"

Of course in this house, no one can say bat and not be referencing blind nocturnal flying vampire birds. "You're silly mommy. Why would I hit my sister with a bat? Bats fly."

Oh. My. Fuck.

It was very tempting to hit him with the baseball bat right there. Fucking four.

I got Lucy down for her nap, went to deal with the laundry when the CO2 alarm went off again. Oh man. What to do now? My gut says it's nothing, but what if my sleeping baby doesn't wake up because I'm an idiot?

I called the fire department (after calling every friend I have who has anxiety issues) and stammered that I thought it was just some stinky cologne issue and they sent someone out to check anyway. Of course, in the midst of all this, Lucy woke up 20 minutes into her nap. And I didn't get my scheduled shower in, nor did I get the Rice Krispies made.

A fire engine and three fire fighters pull up to our house five minutes later. In spite of my maternal ineptitude, I suddenly was a god in my child's eyes.

There was no CO2 in the house, just a potentially defunct detector that needs replacing, thank goodness. But Nate was in love. He was chatting them up in his shy way, telling them it was his birthday. And when he watched the truck pull away his eyes were gleaming. "I can't wait t'tell my Dad dat you bwought me fire fighters for my birthday!"

Score one for Mom.

We all headed upstairs so that I could grab that shower in my least favourite way: With Lucy peeling back the shower curtain to see me and point at my bush and getting the bathroom floor soaked in the process.

Back to my room so I could get dressed. Nate was busy putting construction decals over his bed (they are movable and will be moving along with his cute butt outta my room next week -- please Fates?) and Lucy was in his bed looking out the window.

That's when I saw my neighbour being mugged for his backpack.

It was a weird situation. It looked like they new each other, but it looked like my neighbour was in trouble. What to do? Do I mess with people and risk my own family? But were my children about to witness a stabbing? I debated for a second and then called 911.

So the cops did their shakedown (an even longer more convoluted story) and then came by to get my statement. At this point, my inlaws had arrived and were taking care of my kids in the other room -- but it's no fun to have to deal with the police in front of your family. We already get enough flack for living in da hood.

Hot young copper was very fun to look at. I gave him my statement, realizing I've watched enough crime dramas to know better and take better notes on how a perpetrator looks. "Your street's not too bad," he let me know. "There are way worse streets."

I asked him to fill me in so I don't move to one of them, but he changed the damn subject. Nate walked in and told the constable it was his birthday. They had some chatter and Nate was beaming again. (Firefighters AND a police officer in his house wishing him happy birthday!)

"Don't worry buddy, we caught the bad guy," the constable assured Nate.
"Tanks. I appweciate dat."

The rest of the afternoon was a mad dash. Crappy Tire to buy Nate skates and a helmet for the skating lessons he's starting tomorrow. Grocery store for candles and some pie crusts. A quick whip up of turkey pot pie and some salad for dinner. Feed Loogoo in the middle. Greet guests, squeeze 7 people in my "dining room" for dinner, then 10 for cake and candles. Somehow bathe Loogoo in the middle of all that and get her to bed after cake (and yelling at my mother for feeding her so much cake before bedtime, then my MIL telling me that sugar hyping up kids is a myth).

But my boy was so grown up, so polite, so happy! He was so busy thanking everyone all day that he stopped at nothing. A car honked it's horn and he said, "Thanks car! Thanks for passing by!" He brandished his musical Batman birthday card around for hours. He kissed and hugged everyone and then giggled himself to sleep next to me, chattering about his favourite parts of the day.

My legs ache and I'm exhausted (is there a new word for exhausted?) but it was all worth it.

(But seriously -- that was one effed up day right? Like, this shit only happens to me, right?)

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