Meanwhile, back at the ranch...an ill wind blew...
BlogHer Bloggers---Attendees at BlogHer begin the exciting socialization, networking and learning the conference uniquely offers bloggers, except for me. Blogosphere friends and fans (and maybe foes, who knows) come together in corporeal life...sometimes with shocking results. There is much gabbing, some yakking, a bit of thinking and discussion, and many intriguing panels. Allegedly there is much eating and even more drinking. All in all, tremendous levels of fun and enrichment.
Me---Awoke at 3:30 a.m. in cold sweat of horror. My tree fell! On my neighbors' lawn! There is a great gaping hole in my tree line and in the ground where the toppling giant yanked out a hunk of earth. Recalled today is my court date for that *&%^ ticket I got, for what, about 5 mph over the speed limit. Console self with realization that today I get my hair cut with Mark and the eye brow wax, both desperately needed. Children are with a sitter!
6:30 a.m. Quiet dozing on couch to now-forgotten TV show interrupted by the sound of a barking seal coming down the stairs. Great, the baby has gone croupy. A cough hacky older sister soon follows her. Dad has conveniently already left for work. In my car. because it is flooding. Again. It's not even 7 a.m. and I am stuck in the house with two sick children who are cranky as all get out.
I tried to pretend that the day was going to go as planned. After a flurry of getting ready activities with sickly reluctant and whining children, I finally sat back down on the sofa in a paroxysm of defeat at 8:00.
I steeled myself to call and cancel the sitter and all appointments.
Patience inquires: Why are you sitting down, Mom?
Persistence: barks like seal
Me: Because you two are sick and it is clear we are going nowhere today. Oh well, I have to call 800 arborists about removing the tree. (try to choke back sobs)
I determined to make the most of being at home and tried to clean the downstairs. While I was vacuuming the kitchen, Persistence sneaked into the downstairs bath and locked the door.
Patience: MOM! MOM! Persy is in the potty and won't open the door and I need to go!
Me: Did you knock.
Patience, hopping from foot to foot: YES!
Me: There are two other bathrooms in this house, why not use one of those.
Patience: Mooooooommm, I want to use that potty!
Patience, back at bathroom door with me behind her: Persy! Persy! You open this door right this minute or...or...NO MORE TISSY HUGS!
Me, suspiciously, hearing odd noise: Shhhhhhh!
Me: SHUSH IT NOW!
(listens closely to sound of running water...no...not just hitting the sink...yes, sound of water cascading some distance and hitting tile)
Me, panicked: Persy! Persy listen sweetie baby honey it's Mommy, it's Mommy out here, I've got food, won't you please open this door?
(singing from inside ceases, moment of quiet reflection) Persistence: Nope! I's habing-a fun!
Me: Persy, sweetie baby honey really, not a choice, open the door, just open the door right now baby no consequences, I promise.
Persistence, cheerfully: Nope!
I endeavor to use the key. No luck. It's jammed.
(Here's where you all need to bow down and praise the miracle that is Tae Bo, and decide to never, ever mess with me...)
I lift my leg, calculate and with one swift yet powerful kick...break down the door.
Children freeze in stunned amazement.
Patience, quietly awed tone: Mom just kicked down the door!
Persistence, laugh turns into seal barking.
I race, Valkyrie-like, into the bathroom. The sink (not the potty for once) is stuffed full of toilet paper, blocking both drains. Thanks to a swift kick, the flood is not yet too bad. I switch off the water, clean up the soggy paper, and mop the water.
It is 8:30 a.m.
I handle the children (you know, with cat-o-nine in one hand and chair in the other) and decide to search the Internet for any tree trimming company with the words "quality" and "cheap" in their name.
Except...I have no Internet. The storm has once again knocked out all means of communication.
I resume mommy duties. More fun and excitement, best left to your imagination (which I promise you, pales in comparison to reality).
6:00 p.m. While the BlogHer bloggers meet for dinner and merriment, I prepare for my own dinner and merriment. My fun friend Cindy is hosting Bunco tonight at her place. With my husband finally home, I can get ready in peace.
Famous last words!
My husband kept forgetting the "parent the children away from Mom so she can get ready" part of the bargain. First, he decided to climb along the tree trunk into our neighbors yard to survey the damage. Next, he considered himself "disgusting" after aforementioned adventure so he needed a shower. Him! Staying home him! Needed a shower right then.
In revenge, I added in the children to the shower. In resignation, he converted his shower into a bath for the children and pulled a Houdini.
I was at the bathroom vanity applying blusher to my cheekbones (visible once again thanks to Weight Watchers) when the screaming in my bath began.
I whipped around to find Persistence bleeding profusely.
Dad left them in the tub with the razors in reach. I would have said something but...you know glass houses and broken downstairs doors and flooded floors and all that...
Although both children claim total ignorance as to what happened, the evidence tells the tale for them: the razor in question has a chunk of skin matching the missing portion of Persistence's ear stuck in the blade. The razor blade cover was appropriately back on and the razor was back in its rightful position, all taken care of while Persistence clutched her bleeding ear to her head. Methinks there was a different culprit, one who lied to our faces, extremely convincingly. Luckily her dad and I both have younger siblings and are naturally suspicious of Perfectly Innocent older siblings who saw nothing, but manage to Perfectly Innocently suggest, "Maybe somehow she got next to a razor and it sliced her ear..."
30 minutes later we have the situation handled and I am fifteen minutes late to my party, already. I finished getting ready and took careful leave of upset family, arriving at party half an hour late.
Friend Cindy takes one look and sets me up with a lovely Pimm's.
Other friends offer me suggestions for cheap tree removal, cheap tree replacement (including, I kid you not, an environmental fundraiser I am totally going to do!), several ideas for Out of the House and Away from the Kids outings in the coming month, and even an offer of a new school for Patience that is ecstatic to take Creative and Imaginative Special children like her.
Nobody even groaned or sniffed when I won a prize in a roll off.
Home and in bed by 10:00 p.m. Nobody is interested enough to pull any stunts, decorate, or photograph me. This is probably fortunate because I likely slept with a scowl and gritted teeth. And may have reflex Tae Bo kicked anybody who approached.
3:30 a.m. I awake in cold sweat of terror and horror. Holy mother of God. In all the excitement of storms, falling trees, and pestilence of Biblical proportion, I forgot my court date. There is so totally a warrant out for my arrest now. I am doomed. Doomed! I can't believe I did this. Nobody else forgets something like this. I must have a death wish.
8:00 a.m. During all of the usual morning melee, I hid in bed with the covers over my face, in the hopes that this means the Police Will Not Find Me, hardened criminal case that I am. My head still echoes with the Judge calling my name over and over with no response, a la Ferris Bueller. Nausea twists in my stomach.
8:00 a.m. Meanwhile, back in Chicago...Keynote breakfast with experts! BlogHer attendees continue the excitement and merriment. A few even deign to email me with encouragement and news. Bloggers post session recaps that I scour with great interest.
I choke back all the comments I didn't get to make because I wasn't there.
Especially the, "How lucky are you that you are getting to miss your kids right about now!"
Instead of expanding my universe with topics about politics and blogging, silenced communities, and the politics of inclusion and exclusion, I tidy up the house for the 4,568th time in less than 48 hours; clean up; run a load of laundry; zip through accumulated mail with husband; redirect, yell, or threaten misbehaving children; read stories with children; admire incredibly clever camp set up older child created; and shuffle family out the door to run errands.
After usual highly humiliating experience out with Curious and Creative Children, return home.
Mysteriously, Dad's computer is no longer working. This happened between arrival at home and unpacking of groceries.
I just cannot wait for Sunday!
copyright 2007 Julie Pippert