So last night, I got home (the trip back was as uneventful as the trip there, save for the lady next to me on the plane sucking down drinks in a manner that made it necessary for her to exclaim loudly to her companion across the aisle about every fascinating item in her Stampin’ Up! catalog) and ran around my house turning the heat back up and went through my mail and then sat down to tell you every fascinating little iota about my mini-vacation.
And discovered that my internet connection wasn’t working.
It was touch-and-go there for a few minutes, while I tried to remember what one does with no internet. Do I panic? Cry? Read a book? Rub two sticks together? It had been so long, I just wasn’t certain of the protocol. Finally I broke out of my paralysis and called the cable company.
They were, predictably, no help whatsoever. But they would be happy to send a technician right out… on Wednesday. “But,” I said (perhaps a bit more plaintively than I intended), “I work from home. I can’t be without internet for half the week.”
“I can have someone there on Wednesday,” she repeated.
“I have to WORK,” I said, already wondering if the people at Panera would notice if I spent the entire day there in the corner, on my laptop.
“Do you want an appointment on Wednesday or not?”
Not. I extracted a promise that a supervisor would call me, and hung up. Then I called Otto and whined.
In a delightful little comedy made possible by modern technology, Otto stayed on the phone with me while doing a live customer chat on his computer with tech support. After twenty minutes they were able to determine that my modem was offline. Wow! Such sleuthing! I was so impressed.
Anyway. They couldn’t do anything to fix it, and so eventually I went to bed. This morning? Everything’s working fine. Go figure. Thank you, cable fairies!
All of the things I wanted to tell you yesterday that seemed so interesting I now find paling in comparison to the epiphany I had this morning. Remember my new bed? It has ruined me, utterly, for sleeping in other beds. I spent the entire weekend at Otto’s insisting that there was a pea under the mattress. Or just waking up a lot and tossing and turning. Then last night I slept in myyyy bed and woke up bright and shiny and refreshed and realizing that while I have given myself an amazing gift here at home, I’ve also ensured that I will be a gigantic pain in the ass any time I have to sleep somewhere else.
Of course, I don’t need a bed to cement my status as a pain in the ass. On Friday night Otto got cocky during a game of Scrabble. I don’t want to embarrass him by telling you exactly which grave errors he committed (other than to point out that, dude, once you’re challenged you use the DICTIONARY, not the booklet that came with the game so that you can sneak a look at all the valid two-letter words; I am so on to you), but suffice it to say that he was down quite a bit. There was a triumphant moment where he added RE to QUEST for the triple word score and the perfect catch-up, and he wasn’t even finished with his victory dance when I slapped ED on the end for the other triple word score. That was just mean. I’m sorry. Mostly.
Saturday I was fully in favor of doing absolutely nothing until it was time to head to the airport, but Otto lured me out with promises of eggs and bacon and grits. Because I’d hardly had anything to eat since I’d arrived. (Okay, in my defense: Yes, I’d done nothing but eat. But I hadn’t had any grits, yet!) The diner we chose DID NOT HAVE GRITS ON THE MENU. There was some confusion, and some tension, but then our waiter told us that YES, they did have a little bit of grits left if I wanted them. Now, I’ve had grits before, so I knew about the “grits” part. What I misunderstood was the “little bit” part, because my plate came with a heaping soup bowl overflowing with grits. I swear to you that I ate from that bowl for close to twenty minutes and barely brought the level down to the brim.
So that’s what you would’ve heard about yesterday, if I’d had an internet connection. Scrabble! Grits! For an encore, I was planning to read from the phone book. Oh well.
Today I set about doing all of the things I meant to do over break while I was home with nothing to do. Unfortunately, I had five days worth of stuff and only one day in which to do it. So I was forced to prioritize. Which I hate. There’s plenty left to do, but I did manage to clean both the kids’ rooms, which took most of the day. It was scary in there.
Now both rooms are tidy and pristine and dust-free and organized, and you’d think I’d be thrilled, but I fear it has backfired on me. See, the kids are responsible for their own cleaning, though as we already know, they are not always easily cajoled into doing it. I wait as long as I can stand and then do the cleaning myself, and when I do it, things get thrown away. Because both the bedrooms AND the playroom were such horrible messes, and because my last attempt at getting them to clean the playroom had gone over like a lead balloon, I decided to clean the bedrooms as per my regular method—sorting and pitching as I saw fit.
I was sure that the kids would get home tonight and start wailing about missing this or that important scrap of paper, and then I’d be able to point out that they should definitely, in that case, help me clean the playroom next so that they would have some say in what stays and what goes.
Instead, they twirled around their bedrooms in glee, exclaiming over every novelty. “I can sit in my chair again!” squealed Chickadee. “And my dresser is completely clean!” Monkey quickly located his beloved Pokemon cards (previously strewn about the house, now localized in a single bin), heaved a sigh of relief, and took out a box of cars to play with. They were thrilled.
“You know, I threw a bunch of stuff away,” I offered, hoping to evoke at least a little bit of panic. They gazed at me with serene calm, unruffled.
“What did you throw away, Mama?” asked Chickadee. Monkey merely continued arranging his cars on the carpet.
“Well I don’t know, I guess you’ll have to wait and see,” I tried to sound ominous. It didn’t work at all.
I continued on about how they’d better help with the playroom, to save their stuff, and Monkey scampered off, commenting “Well you did a pretty good job here, I’m sure you’ll be fine.”
Hmph. Maybe I’ll threaten no Christmas tree until the playroom is clean. Do you think they’d fall for it? Or maybe I can just challenge them to a game of Scrabble, loser cleans the playroom.
I have a sinking feeling that after I get the PTA newsletter out of the way, I’m going to be cleaning the playroom by myself.