Equal-opportunity inadequacy

By Mir
December 20, 2004

So my dad, he’s got some sort of virus, who knows what. Not a huge deal, but he had a fever and looked kinda pasty and whatnot this morning. Plus we had our first big storm and it was all snowy and gross and the news was all “Hey! It’s snowing! And these cars crashed because DID WE MENTION that it is SNOWING here in NEW ENGLAND? Here I am in the SNOW! Drive CAREFULLY!”

But because I am a lousy daughter, I was unable to convince him to stay another day. I offered everything I could think of, including ginger ale with a straw, hand-delivered to his choice of resting locations! But no, he wanted to go home to his own bed. While he was sick. In the snow. We were unable to dissuade him.

And because I am a lousy mother, I kept both kids home from school today. In fairness, Monkey seems to be sick (although not horribly so), but Chickadee’s school had a 2-hour delay, so even after letting her sleep in I still could’ve made her go. But it just seemed too complicated. We would’ve had to rush and I would’ve had to get the driveway cleared and all of that for half a day of what? Advanced gluing? Coloring practice? I just can’t get too worked up about missing half a day of first grade.

I made the appropriate phone calls to make the schools aware. First I called Monkey’s daycare.
Voice: Happy Children’s Center, may I help you?
Me: Hi, this is Monkey’s mom, he’s not going to be coming in today.
Voice: Is he okay?
Me: Yeah, he’s got a little cold is all.
Voice: Alrighty then, thanks for letting us know! I hope he feels better!

All together now: Awwwwwwwwwwwww!!

Then I called Chickadee’s school, where succubi work the front office.
Voice: Small Public Elementary.
Me: Good morning, this is Mir XXXX, I’m calling to let you know that Chickadee won’t be in today.
Voice: What is Chickadee’s last name?
Me: Ummm… XXXX. Same as mine.
*Chickadee has a very unusual name and the school is tiny; this was a stupid question.*
Voice: And what’s wrong with her?
Me: Uhhh… nothing. We’re sort of having a family emergency.
Voice: Oh. Okay.
Me: So… uh… thanks…?
Voice: *click*

All together now: Bitch!

Then, of course, I needed to get out in the snow to at least dig out around my stepmom’s car so that they could get going. I considered trying to get the snowblower going, but decided the snow was light enough to just shovel. So I did that for a while. Then after they left, I decided to do the rest of the driveway, so I parked the kids in front of the television and went out to the garage and gassed up the snowblower and pulled the handle eleventy gazillion times and kicked it a bunch and finally found an extension cord so that I could use the electric start.

I then finished clearing the driveway, managing to always be aiming the snow into the wind. I don’t know if the wind was truly coming from all directions of if I’m just that lucky, but it’s true. No matter which way I swivelled the chute, the snow kept blowing straight into my face. Delightful. The local guy who plows for a bunch of folks in the neighborhood actually stopped by and asked me if I wanted him to plow. “I’ve got this,” I said, pointing at the snowblower. I’m not sure what his reaction was on account of my glasses were all caked with snow and I couldn’t see him. But I’m pretty sure I heard him laughing on his way back to his truck.

The children had many giggles at my expense when I came back in completely encased in ice. I had to chip it off my clothing and then go dry my hair again.

Now we are all warm and dry and fed and I’ve remembered that I was supposed to bake for two class parties (one tomorrow, one the next day) and just thinking about it makes me want to cry. We’ll get it done, I suppose. But the urge to curl up in a little ball is very strong right now.

To review:
Lousy daughter who doesn’t take very good care of her dad.
Lousy mom who can’t keep one kid healthy and allows the other one to play hooky.
Lousy New Englander, incapable of digging out of the snow without evoking the pity of passing plowmen.
Lousy baker, pondering a bakery run rather than getting my ass into the kitchen.

If anyone needs me I’ll be under a blanket on the couch.


  1. Ben

    *jumps to his feet*

    Your Honor, I object! No, I strenuously object!

    Dad’s can be amazingly pig-headed stubborn, especially when they are sick. Wild Horses can’t make them impose on their daughter and her family when they could just as easily go hide in their own bed! (I know, I are one)

    Mir lives in the arctic! How are you supposed to keep kids that (gasp) go out in public healthy?! She’s a mom, not a magician.

    And snow is just rotten, that’s wny so many former New Englanders now live in Texas, where snow is rare enough that they call off practically EVERYTHING if it’s even in the forecast! Snow plus wind should be on the axis of evil, if you know what I’m saying (and I think you do)

    Finally, Mir just spent the last several days dealing with kids that randomly freeze, house guests, rude customers at Christmas sales, and idiot men that don’t realize a good thing when they have lunch with it. So what if she doesn’t want to bake for some first graders that would rather eat paste?

    I say let’s show Mir a little compassion, a little consideration. These charges are groundless and must be dismissed!

  2. Peek

    Oh Mir, I swear you could be married to my dh, as everything in the world is HIS fault too. It could, quite possibly be HIS fault your Dad and son are sick, not yours. May I smack both of you???? Okay, reality check…. Dad is a grown man, you can’t make him do anything, you have no control over keeping your kids healthy unless, perhaps, to encase them in bubble wrap and keep them from civilization, plow guy was probably just trying to be chivalrous, AND that is what they make bakeries for!!!! Enjoy your blanket!

  3. RockStar Mommy

    What good do those 2 hour delays really do anyway? Give you two hours to shovel. No thanks. I woulda let her play hooky too.

    Hope you guys thaw out soon!

  4. Kristie

    Aw, man! Hope things start looking up for you soon!

  5. alektra

    Sheesh. Someday, I’m going to lend you my Criminal Law book, so you can read about REAL bad people…

  6. StacyG

    And on the other hand:

    Wonderful mom who let her kids miss school (they loved this I bet)

    Wonderful blogger who writes interesting and heartfelt honest posts on a regular basis.

    Thrifty and smart mom for actually blowing the snow herself rather than pay someone to do it. Plus lets not forget the workout you got from this so extra points for doing something useful AND working out at the same time!

    Caring and respectful daughter for not bullying your dad into staying and letting him do his own thing.

    So, now come out from under that blanket!

  7. Mamacita

    Snow days make for great memories.

  8. Erin

    Everyone knows, Mir, that not ONLY are you a fantastic mother, you are also a wonderful daughter! Take it easy on yourself–you’re bad-mouthing someone I think very highly of!! :-)

  9. Leila

    Very cute! Now you need to call us and deliver this as a “sing o gram”, because your dad missed your wonderful solo. :)


  10. Bakerina

    Now, now, sweet dear Mir…

    Like a gambler, a truly great baker has to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, know when to walk away, and know when to run to the bread bakery for olive rolls, because someone in the household really, really likes olive rolls for his sandwiches, and even though you have a nice sourdough starter in the fridge and a tub of leftover Kalamata olives, somehow you just know you won’t be baking any olive rolls this week.

    Going to the bakery doesn’t make you a lousy baker. It makes you a smart one.

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