The Worst Day Ever in the History of Ever.

In CategoryNavel Gazing

Okay, so here’s what happened.

As you know from my previous whining, Jim has been out of town all week on some stupid restaurant tour business trip. I have been hesitant to take the kids swimming while he’s gone, because they are fearless in the pool, but their ability does not quite match their confidence.

In other words, they spend the whole time actively trying to drown themselves. It works out okay when we can play man-on-man, but with Jim gone, I had to implement more of a zone defense.

(I don’t even know. Did I get that right?)


The kids were going stir crazy, so about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon I summoned up a little courage and took them swimming.

(Oh – no one drowns in this story, so don’t start crying or you’ll miss the part where I deserve all your pity.)

We swam for about an hour and then everyone got hungry (especially me because for some reason I forgot to eat both breakfast and lunch. That never happens. I expect to wake up a Super Model any day now), and we went back in the house for dinner, baths and bedtime.

Wait. Did I say we went inside?


We tried to go back inside, but this house has sliding doors. The owner has cut big dowels that fit down in the door track to protect us from axe murderers.

Perhaps you can see where this is going.

After we went outside, the dowel fell back down into the door track, and when I went to open the door….

Right. We couldn’t get in.

So there we were. Wearing nothing but bathing suits. Just the three of us. All alone. Locked out of the house. In 100 degree weather. In a strange city. With no water. And no key. And no phone. And no shoes. And in a backyard surrounded by a six-foot high fence.

Just give yourself a minute to absorb the horror. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

Did you get the part where I was wearing nothing but a bathing suit?

After a I spent a minute or two in my head giving myself a pep-talk that panicking would probably not solve this problem, I turned to my wide-eyed kids, stroked their tear-stained faces and said, “Okay, lovies. Let’s figure this out.”

I walked all around the house, which has a lovely gravel edging. Not river rock gravel, either. The really good sharp stuff. It’s pointy.

Did you get the part where I was barefoot? And there are cactus every damn place?

I inspected the windows, and even took off several screens to see if any of them were unlocked. Of course they weren’t unlocked! Nervous Nelly makes sure all the windows are locked! You can’t be too careful! Axe murderers, you know.

Then I circled around again, this time evaluating the windows to see which one looked like a good candidate to be broken. I finally decided that the bathroom window was a possibility. It’s high, it’s small, and I could easily patch it until A Guy came to fix it. The window turned out to be double-glazed, with a UV coating, and probably has some kind of fancy-ass energy efficient gas between the panes. Looked expensive. Not to mention that this plan basically meant I’d have to break the window into the tub, then shove Big in there to land on a giant pile of shards and hope he could limp to the door and let me in before he lost too much blood.

I decided the better thing to do was escape the backyard and find help.

Did you get the part where I was wearing only a bathing suit? And the part where the fence is taller than me? And the part about the bathing suit?

So I dragged a bunch of crap out of the way, pulled over a lawn chair, told Big to look out for his sister, and hauled myself over the fence, landing ever-so-gently on more pointy gravel and yard decorations.

I had to knock on three doors before someone answered. A very kind retired couple, who will be receiving thank-you flowers, called a locksmith for me and gave me some water to take back to the kids. At this point it was 7:30 and we had been locked out for around two hours. The babies were starving. They weren’t too scared or upset anymore, for which I am taking all the credit because I somehow managed to keep a mostly calm exterior in the face of what was pretty much a FREAKING NIGHTMARE. I can only attribute this to having SUPERHUMAN MOM POWERS.

The locksmith had to drive from Wyoming or someplace, because he didn’t show up for nearly an hour. The instant he saw the lock he said, “oh.”

Which meant only one thing – dollar signs.

Two hundred and sixty dollars and 45 minutes later, I finally got the kids in the house, shoveled some dinner down their beaks, and chucked them into bed. Poor babies.

It’s now 12:51 in the morning and I am trying to decide if I should try to go to bed, or if I should stay up in case the locksmith made a copy of the key and has designs on my computer or super tempting not-size-8, old-lady-swimsuit-clad bod. Maybe I’ll check Pinterest to see if I can fashion a weapon out of an empty Pringles can.

On the bright side, I can now confirm that the dowel-in-the-door-track is, in fact, an effective barrier against axe murderers.

Issues Facing the Temporarily Single Mom

In CategoryNavel Gazing

• Like, am I supposed to take this empty pizza box out to the trash all by myself or what?

• How much television can I let the kids watch before I should start feeling ashamed of myself?

• Will the kids notice if I move bedtime to 6:30?

• These Cheddar Cheese Pringles are gross.

• How many baths am I expected to give when Dad’s out of town? One? I can do more, but only if I don’t have to wash little girl hair, condition little girl hair, or brush, blow dry, and braid little girl hair. I mean, come on. There’s a limit to how much even a spectacular mother can accomplish, and I already took the trash out today (the kids showed me where it was).

• Speaking of showers, I can’t remember when I last took one. Huh. Better pencil that in before he gets home. How can I keep an eye out for axe murderers if I take a shower? Vexing.

• No matter how many times I tell him I don’t want to hear it, every evening while he’s away, Jim calls and regales me with tales of the fancy dinners he’s eating. Korean Barbecue, Steak, Chinese… So rude. Do I sit there and wax poetic about my all-you-can eat buffet of string cheese and dry frosted mini wheats that I scrounge after finally wrestling the kids in bed at 8:30? No. No, I do not.

Random Monday

In CategoryRandom Monday

• Well, it’s official. Jim is going to be out of town all week.

At first, it’s exciting. I can watch all the teevee! I can eat all the ice cream!

But then reality sets in, and I realize that I also have to watch all the kids and bathe all the kids and feed all the kids and wrestle all the kids into bed and discipline all the kids and do all the scut work that comprises real life.

And then I get all grouchy and panicky and start making lists of things to do before he goes, because I’ll be darned if I am going to start out the week having to drag two kids grocery shopping when it’s 115 degrees outside.

And then I complained about it on Twitter all weekend, which turned out to be a bad idea because some of my friends are military wives and have dealt with year-long deployments in the past. So I felt like a big ninny.

Because I am one.

Ninnies of the world unite!

Anyway. Whining might happen, is all I’m saying.

• To kick things off, there was a scorpion sighting about 10 hours before Jim was to leave. A scorpion sighting, mind you, not a scorpion killing. There’s a big difference.

• I watched decorating television over the weekend, and I saw some people include an espresso maker into their bathroom renovation.

A lot of things happen in a bathroom. Making espresso should not be one of them.

• Big and I went grocery shopping on Friday night. I thought it was a lovely, cool, evening. Then I looked at the temperature.

• Happy Monday, y’all!

Top Moments of the Week

In CategoryNavel Gazing

• Monday: Both Big and Little have ringworm on their feet. Spent $346 on athlete’s foot cream, blowing my new cash-only budget 3 days after it was implemented.

• Tuesday: Became slightly exasperated that Little kept demanding to do schoolwork all day. Super! Homeschool! Mom!

• Wednesday: Tell kids they may not have the extra pillows in their beds, as they have been on the floor and are probably covered in scorpions. Possibly the worst mom ever.

• Thursday:  “You may not use the word ‘ass.’ That is a grown-up word.” (oh right. I meant to stop swearing.)

• Friday: Jim announces he may have to go on a work trip to California, leaving me alone in a strange city that’s infested with scorpions.