Friday, February 14, 2014

Home Alone

It was a tad chilly in our house today (courtesy of our furnace going out I would discover later) so I turned on a cozy fire and sat in front of it for a good part of the morning.

Since the Valentine's Day breakfast I made for the kids was kind of a bust (picture crumbled sausage patties that were supposed to be in the shape of little hearts), I decided to run out and grab them lunch from one of their favorite places, Chik-fil-A. 

We have started leaving the kids at home while we run a quick errand. Note: We decided not to classify our jaunt to Colorado as a "quick errand" and had my Mom come and stay with them those few days. 

Leaving them at home, even for a short time, feels strange, as do most stages of independence when you first enter them, I suppose. I imagine absolutely everything that could go wrong and all the worst case scenarios. 

They're not allowed to answer the door or the phone (they know our numbers and can answer those). They're also not allowed to shower (what if they slip and fall?), play in the backyard (a meteor could hit them), or microwave popcorn (pass the gasoline and matches please). Most of the time since our trips are so quick, I come home to find them all sitting in the exact spot where we left them. 

As I was getting my coat on to head out, I noticed Tate had taken up residency by the fire, soaking up its warmth. He hasn't mastered the art of sitting by the fire. Instead, he perches precariously on the bricks. 

"Tate, will you be ok if I leave the fire going while I'm gone?" 

Just as he answered back "Yes!" Drue answered back "No!" 

He immediately sat on his bottom with his feet flat in front of him. "See, Mom? I will."

Drue is fiercely protective of Tate even though you wouldn't know it from the way she harasses him much of the time. During our first trip to the beach a few years ago, she was in tears saying there was no way he was getting in the water. She was scared to death he was going to get eaten by a shark. 

And if we're out running errands and he gets out of my sight for a millisecond, she's on it. Frantically trying to locate him and scolding him for wandering off. 

I said, "For Drue's peace of mind, I'm going to go ahead and turn the fire off."

But Tate kept trying to convince me it'd be fine and nothing would happen. To which Drue kept trying to argue the exact opposite. 

Out of curiosity I said, "Drue, what would you do if he were to fall backward and catch on fire?", thinking for sure her fire safety skills would kick in and she'd say smother the flames with a blanket or have him stop, drop, & roll. 

However, she had a different approach in mind. She looked at him, then looked at me and said, "I'll say 'I told you so'".

Needless to say, I promptly turned off the fire, as had been my plan all along. And I contemplated taking the starter key and all lighters with me. I'm happy to report I made it to and from Chik-Fil-A in record time and only called to check on them once. And I don't have any other quick errands on the horizon. 

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

Slippery Slope

I have a shortcoming.

Ok, ok,  many shortcomings. 

But one in particular that I'm writing about today. 

Do not...I not...trip, fall, or stumble in any way while I'm around to witness it.

I will laugh. 

And laugh.

And continue laughing until my face hurts and tears roll down my cheeks. I can't help it. It's a terrible trait. I always assumed it was something I would grow out of. But that doesn't appear to be the case. 

I used to think everybody did that. But they don't. Normal people see someone stumble or fall flat on their face and say in a concerned tone with a straight face, "Oh dear, are you alright? Here let me help you," as they reach down to lend a helping hand. 

I will never be that person. I will be the person who quickly turns away and tries to play off the fact that my shoulders are beginning to shake uncontrollably with laughter. 

My friends and prior co-workers, Susan and Christine, used to be appalled I would react this way toward someone else's misfortune.  But through the years, they accepted it as one of my flaws they would just have to look past.  In fact, Susan would sometimes come in our office and say, "Well, here's something to brighten your day, I just tripped going down the hallway."

Or if I was feeling particularly stressed about something, Christine's solution would be, "Here, let's call Susan and maybe she can fall out of her chair."  

Yesterday David worked from home before flying off to sunny Orlando in the evening.  He had to leave at 4pm for the airport but said he'd be able to come with me to pick the kids up from school.

"Great.  We're walking," I informed him as I zipped up my coat.

"Walking?!" he asked as he looked outside at our ice covered driveway.

"Yes, it's like 30 degrees out which basically feels like a heat wave compared to the 9 degrees it was this morning.  So we're walking."

Begrudgingly, he followed me out the door in his dress shoes and managed to scoot/slide along down the driveway.  Parts of the sidewalk were cleared, but other parts were pure ice so we dodged those areas as best we could.  Watching this grown man beside me slip-slide his way up the street throwing his arms out every few feet to steady himself was sheer entertainment.

"Why in the world did you wear those shoes?" I teased.  "You have boots for crying out loud."

The school playground has a lovely map of the United States painted on the asphalt.  There we were, bee bopping our way across the playground when BAM! The great state of Nevada took me down.  And took me down hard!  Some of the states were still covered with a sheet of ice, but since the states are painted different colors, you can't tell where the ice ends and where it starts up again. 

To make matters worse, the map is painted on a slope so once I smacked the ground, I just sort of continued to roll a bit.

And for the record, no helpful hand was reached down to me.  I had to carefully push up on my slightly injured hand to bring myself back to a standing position.  Which was rather challenging due to the fact I was laughing so hard!  Yes, even when the poor victim is me, I can't help it.

David was beside himself with laughter as well and said, "Where'd you go?  One minute you were there talking to me and the were gone. And you were so quiet about it.  I didn't even know what was happening."

I was quiet about it because it happened so stinkin' fast.  I didn't have time to holler out.  And obviously it happened too quickly for him to react, otherwise, I would hope he would have reached out to steady his bride and to try and soften my blow to the concrete.

I quickly scanned the playground and was relieved not to see another soul.  "I don't think anyone saw me at least.  How embarrassing!"

Instead of reassuring me, when he finally caught his breath he said, "What do you mean?  All those folks parked in their cars waiting to pick up their kids saw you!  That whole front row of the parking lot!"

When we finally made it over to the pick-up door, I told my friend, Carrie, of my unfortunate experience on the map.  "What?!" she asked in disbelief.  I was sure her follow up phrase would be, "Are you alright?"  But no.  It was, "I can't believe I missed it!"

I really need to find some new friends, and quite possibly, a more tenderhearted husband. Taste of my own medicine I suppose.  Speaking of which, I really thought I'd be popping advil this morning to ease the soreness.  Maybe laughter really is the best medicine. 

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