Today is a particularly good Friday. The children have nearly made it through their first week of school, and to celebrate that we decided they could ride the bus home this afternoon. This has less to do with any reward logic (because, let’s face it, they’d much rather be picked up and we’re all a bit worried about what happens on the bus) and more to do with things like since it’s the end of the week, if the experience scars them horribly I have all weekend to help them get over it; plus yesterday the crossing guard lady yelled at me in the pick-up line and I realized that if I continue picking them up every day I am going to die young. Because for days now I have watched people cut in front of me in line and I have seethed in silence, and yesterday I went around a PARKED AND EMPTY car and this lady came up to my car and told me to GO TO THE BACK OF THE LINE FOR CUTTING. At which point I reverted back to my most primitive New Yorker roots and said to her, “You have GOT to be kidding me, lady.” So.
Also, tonight we are having what I have been promised is the best cake in the world on account of I have managed to stay in (more or less) one piece for thirty six whole years.
(I know! I’m impressed with myself, too. Especially seeing as how it was less than two years ago that the whole staying-in-one-piece thing didn’t seem quite so certain.)
To my credit, my utter gracelessness hasn’t extended to any further vehicular mishaps (hey, I wasn’t even NEAR the car when it got hit the other day), but my feats of klutziness still abound.
For example, yesterday I was preparing to pick up the kids, and we had a bunch of places to go and things to do, and I figured I would bring a snack in the car for the kids to head off any whining. And then I thought, how awesome would it be to bring them POPSICLES? They would love that. It was 102 degrees yesterday and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, that that is REALLY FREAKING HOT. So I set about packing up a little cooler with an assortment of ice packs and freezer pops, and then I decided to take the kids’ water bottles, too.
We are all quite enamored with Otto’s fridge (I mean, OUR fridge) because you can get ice and water right there in the door. This is high-tech for me and the kids. We all quite enjoy the “crushed ice” feature, because we are fancy, and that’s the default for everyone here at home. But, see, I once took physics in high school or something, and I happen to know that it takes longer for larger pieces of ice to melt (see? so smart!), and I wanted to keep everything cold in a hot car, so I decided to use whole ice cubes for the water bottles.
I held Chickadee’s bottle up to the dispenser and pushed. Ice plinked into the bottle for about five seconds, and then the plinking stopped. The KACHUNK KACHUNK KACHUNK of the ice dispenser continued, though, so I figured there was a piece stuck and I should just wait a minute for it to work itself loose. And then… well, I’m not sure what happened then. I saw something shiny? It’s unclear. But apparently I held down the level for quite a while before I realized that no ice was coming out.
Hrm. I removed the bottle and looked in the dispenser collar thingie (technical term) and saw a piece of ice stuck crosswise, so I reached up and pulled it out.
When I did that, a dozen cubes flung themselves towards freedom. Freedom, of course, being the kitchen floor. And ice, it turns out, is kind of slippery. So the ice all skidded away while I chased after it, and I laughed and laughed because I’m a moron and OF COURSE I should’ve known, and I picked it all up and threw it in the sink, and then I thought “Perhaps I will just fill up Monkey’s bottle by OPENING the freezer and removing the cubes by hand so that this doesn’t happen again.”
That was really bright of me, don’t you think?
Unfortunately, my smug feeling of brilliance lasted approximately .3 seconds, because when I opened the freezer door, all the REST of the ice which had been dispensed and then couldn’t go down the chute because of the blockage was sitting there on the door, and opening the door caused all of it to flying. This time it was about two dozen ice cubes. Most of which hit me in the chest before sliding off to the far corners of the kitchen.
And you would think that would be the end of my sad, spazzy story, but YOU WOULD BE WRONG. Because apparently after cleaning up twelve pounds of ice there was still a blockage in the chute I didn’t realize was there. So I was putting dinner on the table and had just finished telling Otto about my ice adventure when Chickadee went to get some water and said, “Hey Mom? The ice isn’t coming out.”
Only she’d put it on the crushed ice setting, so when we opened the door, IT SNOWED. That was sort of fun, actually.
And despite my flagrant wasting of ice, my family loves me, and I got many hugs and kisses this morning and Otto got me a NEW MOUSE for my computer because he loves me and is a romantic and also is probably tired of sitting at his desk here in the office and listening to me mutter profanities at my mouse. Tonight there will be more presents (so I am told) and we will have cake and celebrate the end of the first week of school and the end of my “early 30s.” And I will silently celebrate the natural, whispered collaborations my children have had with their stepdad, and how the three of them tormented me throughout dinner last night about the ice debacle, ever so naturally forming a united front—even Chickadee, who may talk a good game about how she will “never love Otto” but is a big liarpants (in the very best way).
I love that there will be chocolate cake but I love the excuse they had to work on a plan together, without my help, even more. I hope they got me something totally ridiculous so that I can keep it forever and they’ll be totally embarrassed about it; and later, when they’re grown-ups, I’ll point to it and say “That’s what you guys and Otto decided to get me for my first birthday in Georgia and I love it.”
It’s going to be a very good birthday, indeed.