Thursday, October 09, 2008

I laughed, I cried, I cussed

Yesterday started out normal enough. As I flipped on the coffee pot I turned on the oven. Shortly after the kids got on the bus I started the Marathon O' Cupcakes. Nonner and I happily baked all morning. Okay, Nonner just sat in his Bumbo Seat and cooed, drooled and chewed on his hands while I did all the baking, but he promises to be better next time and do his part.

By noon I had six dozen cupcakes baked and ready for frosting. At 12:30 I left to pick the kids up from school for their eye doctor appointments. As we rounded the curve, nearly to the city limits, my van did the little shuck and jive it's been doing lately and the check engine light came on. I called Paul and he said to try shifting manually if it did it again, keep an eye on the temperature gauge and to call if I broke down. The eye appointments went fine - no one needed glasses or a new prescription. We left the clinic and went straight to Sonic where I hit the call button at exactly 2:00 and ushered in Happy Hour properly. Since it was Abby's birthday and all, I ordered a Route 44 instead of my usual large sweet tea because that's how I celebrate giving birth - gigantic sweetened beverages. I popped the straw in and pulled out of the stall. As I got ready to pull out onto the street I put a piece of Texas toast in my mouth, then hit a bump and spilled all 44 ounces of sweet tea into my floorboard. And through a mouth full of toasted bread I said the f-word.

I have done so good keeping my mouth cleaned up lately. I slip occasionally, but it's usually a d*mn or hell, NOT The Ultimate Cuss Word. The kids didn't say a word and I hoped they just didn't hear through the bread sticking out of my face. Their gasps told me that bread is not an adequate cuss word filter. I pulled into the next parking lot and Abby and I cleaned up the mess while I grumbled about being stupid and not making sure I had clicked the cup holder shut and various other self-degrading comments. We quickly ran out of napkins and Abby said excitedly, "OOh! We have an Icky Kit!!" I got it as a freebie and have had that Icky Kit in my glove compartment of every car I've owned over the last 7 years. No, I'm not kidding. I've never used it because, for one thing, it's just so awesome to even own something called an Icky Kit and for another, I guess we've never had a situation icky enough to merit breaking out the Icky Kit. However, now that I've actually USED the kit, I will be ordering another one because the "super-absorbent" towel that's in the kit is actually super-absorbent. I was astounded at how much icky that sucker soaked up. I'd wring it out and go at the absorbing again and it never ripped or quit absorbing. And just how many times did I say "icky" and some form of "absorb" in this paragraph? Bonus points if you count.

There was still tea in the floorboard when I pulled out, but I was running short on time because I had to get back to the school to pick up Abby's friend and Tots One and Two. The kids were quiet because the blue streak was still lingering in the air and apparently it makes it hard to speak. Finally I broke the silence with "Hey, guys, I apologize for saying the f-word earlier. I shouldn't have said that and I really am sorry I said it in front of y'all." Sam said, "It's okay, Mom. You were upset." Abby patted my leg and said, "No big." But Kady......ohhhhhh my precious Kady.....she said, "Well, while you're apologizing you might as well apologize for calling yourself the a-word with a hat on." And the blue streak was miraculously gone because my laughter chased it right out. And yes, when I finished laughing I did apologize for calling myself an as*hat.

And when the transmission started going toward the light of the Great Beyond while we were out on the highway I made sure to call my van the really bad words only in my head. I tried to call Paul, who had earlier told me to just mash the gas pedal to the floor when it acted like it didn't want to shift because heck, if we're going to blow a transmission we might as well blow it good. However, Paul was obviously doing something work-ish because he didn't answer. I called Mom next and asked if Pops knew much about cars. Her reply was, "Where are you?" I guess in true maternal fashion she envisioned us in a ditch. I would've. I told her how the van sounded and she calmly said, "Pull over and I'll come get you," but I could hear the anxiety in her voice. (See, I get my over-reactiveness from her...bless our hearts) I calmly explained (read: borderline hyperventilated) that I was on my way to the school to pick up three more kids and therefore her little Prius hybrid was not a viable mode of transportation that that juncture. She said, "Hon, it's your transmission. You can't make it to the school! Now slow down, pull over to the shoulder, put on your flashers and GET HOME." Funny, but the van really liked it when I slowed down to 20mph. It sounded much happier than the wound-up whine it had been doing at 45.

After leaving the almost-dead van at the house, switching the baby's carseat over to the truck, picking up the extra kids and making it back home without getting pulled over for having WAY too many children in the truck, I got the kids all adequately snacked (Yes, Virginia, there is nutrition in Froot By the Foot), printed out notes that had to be handed out at church last night, got dinner out of the oven, started frosting the gaggle of cupcakes and fought back the overwhelmed feeling lurking in the back of my throat (Yep, all those times you thought it was post-nasal drip it was really overwhelmed-ness).

By the time church was over I was near tears and just wanted to go to bed and wake up skinny, out of debt and the owner of a van with a clean bill of health. However, instead I checked homework folders, herded two tweens to the showers, tucked in the two younger kids, cleaned the kitchen, checked my email and as I entered my bedroom to put on my pajamas I was smacked in the face by the overpowering stench of dead mouse. And that was it. I managed to save the bawling for after the kids were in bed, but as soon as I got everyone settled I sat down on my couch and cried. For a long time.

Paul got a flashlight and valiantly tried to find the decomposing rodent, but I'm sure it's in the wall. However, I did have him check the closet just to make sure the yellow jackets hadn't decided to make a come-back. (When that whole fiasco occured we thought the original smell was dead mouse, so naturally I'm leary.) The closet was free of gigantic, buzzing hives, so I hugged him and thanked him for checking then crawled into bed and turned on the TV, advice my favorite Texan gave me. She said to not obsess, but to turn on the TV and stop thinking. I heart her. I woke up when Paul came to bed, took the remote out of my hand and kissed my face. He curled up next to me and rubbed my back. I heart him, too.


Unknown said...

Oh, I needed a good laugh - sorry it was at your expense!

By the way, does "going to bed and waking up skinny" only happen in fairy tales? I may be wishing on a star!

I had a dead - something - in the wall of our downstairs closet once. it seemed like forever before it smelled normal (whatever that is) again. Ugh.

I'm still chuckling, by the way...

Anonymous said...

You frosted all those by yourself? You do remember that I have a TOOL KIT full of cake decorating thingies and I know how to use them! You could have called. You understand I probably would have made up excuses why I couldn't come until I heard the panic in your voice. You know I'm a sucker for panic in a voice. You know I started every sentence with the word you. You might think my old English teacher was over paid.

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