We have all seen the commercials, those incredible military men and women jumping out of planes, running in the sweltering heat and the voice over telling us that these fine folks do more before 9 am than most of us do in a day. God Bless Them! But today, let’s just say that they may do more, but I have had to deal with more and it was barely 11 am when I finally sat down to share this train wreck with you all.
We live in snow country, it is particularly cold these days, if it weren’t for State exams this week, we certainly would have had some snow days. The school district has an automated system that calls you with a recorded message if there is a delay or cancellation. Well, today it was a wonderful -5 F at 5:30 am and the call came in stating that there was an hour delay. Now Bella is in middle school and Mia is in her last year of elementary so they go to school with an hour difference in the morning. Also, I should add that I refuse to let my daughters ride the bus so we have always found a way to organize our work schedules so one of us can drive them. (That will be a blog post of its very own!)
So, the call comes in The Hub is still home so I thought, since he works so much, let him give the girls the good news before he heads out to work. What the HELL was I thinking? There are some men who are great with knowing how to tell kids certain things, they find the perfect words or gesture to make everything better. Not my husband, I have to clean up his messes about as often as I do the kids.
He told both of them, as he kissed them goodbye before leaving, still all warm and toasty in their beds, that they didn’t have to go in to school until 10 am. So, Mia interpreted that as an hour delay for her, but for Bella, it translated as a 2-hour delay. Now, it is worth noting here that the girls are like night and day; Bella is loud, opinionated, stubborn — Ok, ok, she is me! And Mia is quiet, gentle, easy-going and constantly aims to please all of the adults in her life. Yes, I assure you they both have the same father and came from the same womb. This is just part of the God laughing thing I mentioned in the About section of this blog.
So, I am thrilled to have an extra hour in bed, nice and warm. I get up at 8:10 and was not surprised to find Mia already dressed, hair brushed and finishing up her homework and Bella was still in bed with her laptop reading some stupid fan story about the most annoying boy band in the word, One Direction. That right there should tell you volumes about the girls. I tell Bella she needs to get dress, etc. she has to be to school by 9. Sweet Baby Jesus! She started wailing and flaying around on her bed, I thought I was in Jerusalem at the Wailing Wall. Her arms were flopping all over the place and she yelled into her pillow, “Dad said I didn’t have to go in until 10 and that is when I’m going!”
“Good Morning, World.” I said to myself. I reminded her how she gets to school and that she had about a half hour to get ready and that she better get moving. After a few more screams I just ignored her and headed into the bathroom. A few moments later she is at the bathroom door telling me that I need to hurry up because she has to go and she wasn’t going to be late to school because of me. Yeah, let me speed up that pee for ya, Princess so you can hop right on here because, yeah, my being on the toilet is going to be the things that slows you down in the morning.
I throw on some clothes and go out into the dining room to find Mia having her breakfast and finishing her homework. She greets me with a kiss and tells me she loves me as I help her with a few things for her assignment. (Are you starting to see the night and day thing?)
So, Bella, now in the kitchen getting a quick drink announces that the only way she is going to school is if I take her to Tim Horton’s for hot chocolate on the way. I resign to do so and at about 8:40 we are out the door. We get in the car, Bella now a bit calmer, and I put the key in the ignition and it won’t turn. I mess with the steering wheel thinking that it was just locked and I needed to jimmy it around a little bit and then I realize – the freaking ignition lock is frozen – that is why the key won’t turn. Bella is now meticulously watching this all transpire as an evil grin beings to curl across her face. She is thinking that if the car won’t start she doesn’t have to go to school. I quickly told her not to get too excited, that I was sure there was a way to fix it. I was actually fudging that one because I really was not in the mood for them both staying home with me today because I just had way too much to do, I didn’t want to listen to them fighting over the DVR and, in all honesty, I just wanted the peace and quiet. I had no clue how to fix the ignition and after the great job The Hub did with sharing the ONE hour delay with the girls, I wasn’t about to have him sneak out of work and come help his damsel in distress. There was only one answer, Google.
We trekked back into the house, Bella still with visions of hanging out on the couch all day, as I sat at the computer and started Googling “frozen ignition.” After about 5 minutes, I had my answers and told Bella to come out with me, once I had it fixed we were leaving. “Let me enjoy the moment, Mom,” she said. I think what she really meant was, “You go out and freeze your ass off, I’m staying in here where it’s warm.” I told her that if I got it started, I would honk and she needed to get out there because we were going to be late.
I am sure she was heartbroken about three minutes later, after I gave the ignition a nice bath in WD-40, when the key turned over and the car started. HONK HONK!!! She came bounding down the stairs a bit happier than I expected and opened the passenger side door and just stood there. Now remember, it is about -3 F at this point. I tell her to get it, it’s cold. Nope, I had to promise we were still going to Tim Horton’s before she would get in. She gets in and we have a nice chat on the way to Tim’s. You see food is Bella’s best friend.
At the order kiosk I tell the clerk that I just needed two hot chocolates and then Bella leans over and yells, ” AND TWO PLAIN DONUTS!!” I just looked at her as she settled back in her seat with a grin. “I’m hungry – you rushed me out of the house, I didn’t have any breakfast!” My head was ready to explode at that point, and then she leans over all lovey-dovey, “You love me, Momma, you know you do!” with a shit-eating grin on her face! This child better become a lawyer or something because she knows how to push buttons to get what she wants!
Now we are happily on our way to her school, she was chowing down on the donuts and the hot chocolate – her belly full – life is good now. I go in, get her signed in, about 10 minutes late, and she is off to class. You would think that was the end of the lunacy, no, no not at all.
I went back home to get Mia, who was ready and waiting for me and we were ahead of schedule so we went to Tim Horton’s again and got her some hot chocolate and an extra for her teacher. I dropped her off at school, she told me she loved me and that she would miss me while she was at school and then with a smile headed up the entrance to school.
My whirlwind morning seemed to be settling down as I drove back home and went through a mental list of all of the things I needed to get done today. As I entered our subdivision I saw the garbage truck just turning off our street. Mother Mary – I forgot it was trash day! Thankfully the garbage men have an interesting way to maneuver through our subdivision, with our street apparently being the middle, they collect on our side of the street and then about an hour later cover the houses across the street. So, as I have often done on Thursdays when I forget about trash day, I came home, got everything ready and lugged it across the street into the neighbor’s driveway so it could get picked up.
Now, most women would probably think, “Forget it – it can wait until next week.” Noooo, not in this house because, you see, in the afternoon when The Hub comes home he would announce with a grin, before he even made it up the stairs, that I forgot about the trash … again. This is where my stubbornness comes into play – You see, I am not going to give the punk the satisfaction. I have one of those husbands who is lightning quick at pointing out other people’s errors but don’t you dare point your finger in HIS direction. That is where men are still like children, with that tunnel vision of theirs – They can point out every mistake anyone ever born has made but don’t you *dare* mess with the man!
You would think that was an eventful enough morning for me – nah! God had a few more pieces of fun for me. As I am trudging back across the street from leaving the trash, anxious to get in the house and warm up – I walk past the mailbox. Well, actually not the mailbox, but where the mailbox used to be. One of my long-term clients always laughs when I share the little treasures of living in snow country. This one was her favorite. I had some papers that I needed to mail to her and they got delayed a few days because last week when the snowplow came down the street it pushed the snow so hard against the mailbox that it was leaning over at about a 60 degree angle. The ground is way too cold to replant the dang thing so now we have to have our mail held at the post office until further notice because the box is down and until the spring thaw, that is probably how it is going to be.
Knowing that I needed to get the papers to my client and that I hadn’t picked up the mail yet, I forewent the warmth of my home and the cup of something warm I was going to make myself and I drove to the Post Office and got the mail – just a few bills, thank God. Now I am sitting here at my computer, a warm cup of calm next to me … and it isn’t even noon yet.
Mom Strong Indeed!
…and what happens next? As I am proofing this post I get a call from Bella at school, “Mom, I left all of my art stuff on the table, I will love you forever if you bring it over as soon as you can!”
The Mom in Oz