Thursday, May 12, 2005

Difficult Day, Part 1 of 2

Yesterday was a really difficult day. It started off with Favorite Husband's car battery going up in smoke right as he was trying to leave for work. I got the kids herded into the van and we got him to work on time, then dropped Princess at the bus stop. Then I went home and got dressed. Thankfully I'd fallen asleep in my clothes the other night, so I was wearing non-pajamas.

FH required lunch to be brought to him at 11, which from my point of view was the worst possible time-- right in the middle of the baby's morning nap, too early to do Storytime at the library back-to-back with lunch. Noon would have been better, but he had an appointment at noon (which, naturally, was cancelled, but he didn't tell me that until I actually got there with the picnic basket, huffing and puffing, at 11:05). Of course, I had to bring the children with me. I don't think FH had thought much about the logistics of feeding a 10-month-old in an office lunchroom, or he wouldn't have asked us to eat lunch with him at the office. Sonshine ate his sandwich and then ran in circles around all the tables in the room.

We went back home for maybe half an hour after the lunch with Daddy, and then on to Storytime at the library. After that we did some shopping. We went to Sam's Club to get a second 4'x2' table for my booth. When we got there, my jaw just dropped, because they now had a folding 4'x2' table. For months I had been shopping for tables. I'd been to every store in town, pricing their folding tables, watching to see if they ever went on sale. I found plenty of 4'x2' tables, but the cheaper ones didn't have adjustable height. I found plenty of folding tables, but they were all 6' tables and most were too heavy for me to carry. But I could find no table that had each and every one of the features I wanted (small size, adjustable height, light weight, and folding capacity)... until today, after I'd already bought the first table and used it, and the folding table was a few bucks cheaper to boot! The cashier at Sam's Club said she thought I could still bring the first table back and exchange it. I think I'll do that. I really want two folding tables.

While in the line at Sam's Club, Sonshine was just a little ball of energy. Squealing with excitement, he ran in circles around the checkstand. Every time around, he'd stop to tell me how exciting it was that we were standing next to a display of patriotic paper plates. Once he stopped long enough to ask me what the word "choke" meant. I don't have any idea where that came from (but at that particular moment I would have loved to give him an object lesson in it a la Bart Simpson). I answered him that it meant to squeeze somebody's neck until they couldn't breathe, and choking was why we didn't allow him to play "doggy" or "horsey" with a rope around the neck. Then the lady behind me pipes up "Yeah, except in Abu Ghraib!!" I just gave her one of those "eh-heh" smiles and ignored her, but when I continued talking to Sonshine about safe play techniques she interjected with yet another mention of Abu Ghraib. I don't know why this lady was trying to start up a conversation with me about Abu Ghraib, except that maybe the patriotic paper plates set her off or something. I was so glad when it was our turn to check out. At least we didn't leave with her following us shrieking "Abu Ghraib! Abu Ghraib!"

After Sam's Club we had a little time to kill-- not enough to justify going back home, since we were already halfway to our next destination. So I decided I'd do what I'd been dreaming about for a while, and walk into Pier 1 Imports to get some ideas. I soon discovered, though, that with Sonshine this was more like a nightmare. The very first thing he did upon entering the store was to pick up something made of glass with only two fingers, and wave it around frantically. We didn't spend long in there. I took him to Ross instead, figuring that he wouldn't be able to break clothing. He wanted to go into Best Buy, but I just shuddered as I pictured him knocking over a 52" TV into a display of DVD players.

After that it was up to the school to take care of some business while Princess did her homework. Business taken care of, homework finished early. Sonshine was to meet his Aunt L---- to get a ride to his rehearsal, which started at the same time as Princess' Girl Scout Meeting. All that went well and ahead of schedule. Princess got to her meeting. I would have just skipped the meeting this week, but we were scheduled to bring treats. There have been way too many sugary treats given out at those meetings, and I figured I'd set a good example by bringing cherry tomatoes for the treat instead. The oranges I brought last time were a big hit.

From the Girl Scout Meeting in North Logan it was over to the rehearsal on the USU campus. After the rehearsal it was down to the southernmost part of Logan to pick up FH from work, then back up to North Logan to get Princess. Thankfully, FH had just that very day received a gift card to a restaurant for a bonus, saving me from having to cook dinner after all this craziness. Unfortunately, the gift card was to Panda Express.

Longtime followers of the Wacky Hermit Saga know that I absolutely hate Panda Express. It's not the food; it's the service. They have a very different system for selecting your food than any other restaurant I've ever seen; you have to get in line and you pretty much have to know how it's done before you actually do it, or you'll miss something and the employee serving you will roll her eyes. When the Panda Express opened in Logan, I went there with my little coupon from the paper to get my family some dinner. Fortunately FH had been to Panda Express before and showed me how to navigate it. The cashier didn't enter in the coupon I'd given her. When I pointed this out to her, she told me that the coupon was only good on the family meal deal. When I pointed out to her the fine print that said "or $20 purchase", she pretended to enter it in and then gave me the total. When I pointed out to her that I could tell she had just pretended to enter it in, she rolled her eyes at me. After that, I vowed I'd never again eat at Panda Express, especially since a couple of blocks down the street is a locally-owned place where not only can you get cheap Chinese food but you can get it delivered too. But I broke that vow last night, because I was so desperate to not have to cook.

And, in typical Panda Express fashion, the dinner was crappy, but at least I didn't have to cook it. I had the Gristly Chicken Bits In Nondescript Sauce. We wanted to buy four egg rolls, but they only had one left, so they gave us that one and brought us out three more when they were done. I was skeptical that they would actually bring us the three egg rolls without a fight, but I was pleasantly surprised when, just as FH was getting up to see if we would ever get them, they were brought to our table.

Then it was home again for baths for the kids. I skipped Bagel's bath because he was so exhausted. He hadn't napped more than half an hour all day long, poor thing, and so I just changed him and put him to bed. I figured I can bathe him any time of day.

Today should be a bit less hectic, but since Sonshine's got his concert in the evening, Princess has her violin lesson in the morning, and FH's car battery hasn't fixed itself overnight, today may prove to be just as challenging as yesterday. But there's a bright spot in all this: FH actually cleaned the kitchen floor-- washed it with a bucket and mop and everything-- after I'd collapsed exhausted on the bed. In all our nearly 12 years of marriage, I can't recall my husband ever doing any such thing. He will occasionally do a load of laundry if I sort if first and put it away afterwards, but scrubbing? FH has never been known to scrub anything that wasn't a part of his own body in the last 12 years; but in just the past two weeks, since he got that new smoker grill and had to scrub the grease off it, I've caught him scrubbing the tub and now the kitchen floor. I hope he enjoys scrubbing and continues to do it, because heaven knows there's a ton of stuff around this house that could use a bit of scrubbing.