Last night was the kids' Christmas Program. It was the coldest night I've ever experienced. Seriously. Even colder than the time I was drum major in the Christmas parade and had to wear two pairs of pantyhose, a thermal top under my blouse, two pairs of socks AND before we marched I allowed myself to be wrapped up in my creepy band director's coat while he was in it. But only because it was so cold. 'Cuz he was really oogey. I see that now the drum majors wear pants. Weenies. Paul had forgotten that last night was the program and wasn't really happy that he had to get back out in the cold. Ya know he's a mechanic and spends his days in a garage or outside. When he gets home at night he doesn't want to do much more than lie by the fire. I don't blame him. I work inside all day and that's really all I want to do, too.
Abby has been dreading this program for weeks now because her class was singing all Country & Western Christmas songs. (Except the first one they sang sounded a little calypso-ish so I haven't quite figured that one out.) One of the songs was "Christmas in the West is Best". When she told me this I of course nodded because, hey, Christmas in the West may very well be the best. I like the Midwestern variety of Christmas, but maybe full on Western is better. But when she saw me nodding at her announcement she threw her arms up in exasperation and said, "MAWM!! Do you not realize? We don't even LIVE in the WEST!" Well, technicalities.
But the geographically incorrect song was nothing compared to the fact that she had to square dance. Oh yes, the horror. I managed to go K-12 and never once had to square dance in gym or in music or anywhere. Yet my 3rd grader was subjected to public square dancing at Christmas at the tender age of 9. I hope she recovers from the trauma of it all.
Our Abby is not much of a public performer. Now here at home she'll karaoke till she's blue in the face, but she refuses to sing in public. Even in a group. We get cracked up every year at the program because she's always on the back row because of her height and she's always hiding behind someone barely moving her lips. Paul said he didn't think she'd square dance. I said she didn't have a choice. It's not like she could hide behind someone and just mumble through this one.
And not only did she have to square dance, but she also was in a group with THREE BOYS. Again, the horror. And the fact that it was three boys was only second to the fact that *Chance* (insert hearts and flowers here) was one of those boys. *Chance* is the son of Paul's boss, Mr. Wal*Mart himself. The man stands 6'6" at least and is one of the nicest people I know. I'd never seen this *Chance* that Abby can't say his name without giggling, but last night there was no denying which child he was. He stood a full head above everybody in the class. And all you'd have had to have done with slap a goatee on the kid and he'd look just like his daddy. And Abby had to promenade left with him. I think she floated instead of promenaded. And the best part, when the number was over and the 3rd grade went back to their chairs, *Chance* sat by her. I think she slept last night floating a few inches off her bed.
Last year Sam, not unlike Hillbilly Mom’s youngest child at his Christmas program, found other ways to entertain himself during his off-stage time during the program. They gave them jingle bell necklaces and construction paper Santa hats. The little girls were delightful with their accessories. The boys used them as weapons, Sam not excluded. Any time you put little boys in dress clothes and tell them to sit still and be quiet it’s a pretty sure bet that they won’t.
Mom’s friend, Lisa, came to the program with Mom and was sitting next to me. I had told her of Sam’s jingle bell weapon and how he’d even gotten into a mortarboard battle with another little boy at Kindergarten Graduation last spring. She just laughed and said, "He’s a boy. You wouldn’t want him any other way." I sometimes agree.
They had no sooner gotten the children onto the risers that the fun began. Sam is just so doggone entertaining. He’s a bit of a ladies’ man, so it didn’t surprise any of us to find him smack dab in the middle of four girls. And since he had no Santa hat or necklace with which to torment them, he decided that his tie was the next best thing. I just slunk down in my chair as I watched him slap his tie in the face of every child around him. My mother was shaking with laughter. Paul was just beaming with pride that his male child was doing his dead level best to annoy every female within his proximity. TaterSis just zoomed the camera in on him and smiled. So naturally when I saw the teachers passing out jingle bells to PreK through 1st grade my heart jumped into my throat and all I could do was choke out, "They’re giving him a jingle bell!" Lisa laughed. I was checking for the nearest exit just in case I had to make a break with my son under my arm.
Fortunately you will not be reading of a jingle bell massacre in today’s paper. The jingle bells were picked back up by the teachers without incident. Thank God.
Last night was also the grand opening of Santa's Workshop at the school. Last year TaterSis and I ran it together, but this year because of all of my babysitting wards I have had to let her fly solo for the most part. I've helped when I could, but not as much as last year. Well, she had no volunteers to help after the program so Paul and I drove separate vehicles and he took the kids home afterwards. By the time I got my little Divas settled in their daddy's truck and walked over to the school (which seemed like the length of the Sahara in the 3 degree cold last night) there was a group gathered outside of the Workshop in the dark. I hollered for Tater and when I found her she informed me that no one had a key. So we stood out there directing everyone to where Santa and the warmth were while we waited for a key to materialize.
FINALLY the secretary came to the rescue and we got inside, set up and began selling our elfy wares. Of course, there has been drama involved with the Workshop this year because we are still dealing with the mean people that were so mean at the carnival back in October. Mean people stink. Especially those mean people.
But the grand opening went off without much of a hitch and I wish I could be there to help her next week during the days. I loved helping the kids shop last year.
I walked in the door of Diva Central just right at 10. I was cold, tired and mad over the mean people. Paul and I chatted and discussed how much mean people stink while I drank some hot chocolate in an effort to warm up my frozen body. Then he loaded up the fireplace with wood while I started loading up the dishwasher with dirty dishes. He went on to bed while I finished up in the kitchen. I heard sniffling and turned around to find Kady standing in the dining room. I said, "Honey, what’s wrong?"
"I have tears in my eyes!"
So I scooped her up and asked her why. She said she was scared. So I took her back to her daddy and told him to snuggle her while I finished up in the kitchen. By the time I got the dishwasher going, both trees unplugged and doubled checked the doors, she was asleep next to her daddy. I picked her up to put her in her bed and she mumbled into my shoulder, "My tummy doesn’t hurt anymore, Momma." She hadn’t mentioned a tummy ache - only tears in her eyes and being scared. So I just patted her back and laid her in her bed. I got to my side of the bed, put lotion on my hands, took off my glasses and had one foot in the air, ready to jump into my bed and snuggle with my man, when I heard her crying. But this was a different kind of cry. The kind of cry that also involves puking.
I said, "PAUL, SHE’S PUKING!!" and grabbed my glasses, meeting her in the hallway while she retched and screamed. I picked her up under the arms and ran into the bathroom with her and she almost hit the toilet. Almost. Evidently she thought that my bathroom walls should no longer be blue, but instead the color of regurgitated popcorn chicken and ketchup. Yeah. She stood there yakking into the toilet, I stood there with her rubbing her back, soothing her and breathing through my mouth because if I’d have breathed through my nose I’d have been redecorating the walls with something the color of regurgitated hot chocolate.
Paul doesn’t help much when the children are puking. He pukes right along with them because he has obviously not figured out how to breathe through his mouth like I have. The only time I can remember him helping me was last year when all three kids had a stomach virus at the same time. He had Kady in the recliner with him, draped in towels, holding a trashcan while I was squatted in front of the couch with a trashcan in each of my hands while Abby and Sam barfed into both at the same time. That was quite an experience. At one point he looked at me and very seriously asked, "Was this in our contract? Did I miss this part?" I just want to know when he signed a contract.
So anyway, last night he obviously was just going to lie in bed while I tended to Kady and her redecorating efforts. Until he heard her beller out, "I’m ... SO ... SOR-RY, MOMMMMMMMAAAAA!!!!" And burst into tears once more. That was all it took to get him out of bed and come to her rescue. 30 minutes later she and I were on the couch with towels and a trashcan and blankets, watching Kim Possible and waiting for something to happen - either more barfing or blissful sleep. Unfortunately, the barfing happened. But only once more. Then the medicine I gave her kicked in and she slept the rest of the night. I of course did not. I was up at 2:30 to put wood on the fire, up at 4 to check on her because she coughed, up at 5:30 to wake up Paul and up at 6 to decide whether to call my parents and tell them I had a sick kid.
Have you ever had one of those days that you know is going to be bad before it ever even starts?
Kady woke up at 6:05 when her father started cussing the fireplace door latch that he had just broken and after she got over the fact that she had just been awakened by her daddy calling the fireplace everything under the sun, she rolled over to look at me and said, "Man, I’m hungry." I told her I’d feed her after I was fairly positive she wasn’t going to puke anymore. Then I tried to calm down my husband who was still cussing a blue streak at the fireplace. Finally he got it fixed and left for work. Sam was already up and playing his GameBoy so I had him get Abby up while I made Kady some toast.
I didn’t call in sick-kid today. TaterSis is their backup sitter and she’s tied up with Santa’s Workshop today. I just settled Kady on the couch in the living room, turned on some cartoons, sprayed a protective barrier of Lysol at the entrance to the toyroom and called it good. I have not made it out of my pajamas, but I at least put on a bra so as not to scare the parents.
We are hosting our Annual Hoover Christmas Bash tomorrow night and today was going to be the day I mopped the kitchen floor and cleaned the bathroom during morning nap time. Then I was going to bake a cake and dust the living room during afternoon nap time. And since Abby was out of jeans this morning and had to wear sweats (Obviously she thinks *Chance* has an aversion to sweats from the way she was acting this morning) I decided to throw in a load of laundry just as my babies were starting to arrive. I had my groove on and all was going well . . .
. . . until the washer started that first drain cycle and the drain pipe was frozen.
So much for doing the laundry. We may host our party tomorrow night nekkid. But at least my utility room floor got mopped. Ever tried to mop up standing water while holding a 9 month old at bay with your right foot while he screams and hollers at you? Yeah, today was my first time, too.
I called Paul at work and he just said to wait till it thawed unless I wanted to pour warm water down the drain pipe. Nah. I don’t pee by myself during the day too often so I can’t imagine me carting bowls of water back and forth from kitchen to utility room without stepping on a child or giving a child a warm unexpected shower when I trip over my own feet or slipping on a dribble of water and knocking myself out cold, thereby causing Kady and Chandler to call 911 and boy, wouldn’t that make for some good blogging?
So now the children are all playing peacefully. Some are in the toyroom, some are at my feet chewing on my bunny slippers, but they are all being quiet and that, my friends, is golden. I told Paul when I had him on the phone discussing the frozen drainpipe, that when he came home tonight it would be much appreciated if he came bearing chocolate. He said okay. Here’s hoping. TaterSis just called and said she was going into town for lunch and asked if I wanted anything. I said, "Oh yes, a drink would just be lovely!" She asked what I wanted. I told her something as close as possible to 100 Proof. She said she didn’t think Sonic served that.