Monday, May 12, 2008

Cinnamon Toast And Video Games

Yesterday dawned too early. At roughly 4:30 in the morning, I woke up thinking, Scratchy. Why is my throat so scratchy?! Ugh! Why does my mouth feel like I’ve been licking an airport floor all night?! EW! EW! EW!!

I have not gotten out of bed so fast in a long time, especially not at that hour. I dove on my toothbrush and stared at myself in the mirror as I scrubbed the thought of airport floors out of my mouth. (EW!!!!!)

Bloodshot eyes. ‘Gonna kill something’ expression. Red throat. Pounding head.

Ayup. The kids gave me the scrounge. @*^&@.

Oddly, going back to bed didn’t occur to me as a possible option. Like a zombie, I groaned my way downstairs to the coffee pot. Uuuuuuuuugngh…coooofffffffeeeeeee…

After my first cup, I forgave them for intentionally and with malice aforethought stirring their germs into my food to give me this cold.

By the second, I had realized that possibly they had not meant to give me their colds. These things happen, especially when somebody (raises hand) can never manage to say, “No, I’m not going to cuddle you and let you breathe on my face! You’re sick!!”

Between the third and fourth, as I was moaning, “@*^&@, my entire FACE hurts! My sinuses! My throat! My head!!” it dawned on me that perhaps I could try taking something for it.

I am, on occasion, something of a slow starter.

Half an hour post Tylenol Sinus Cold, I was feeling pretty darned good…as long as I stayed still. I didn’t feel like knitting…well, to be more precise, I was too muzzy to knit. I’m working on a lace shawl right now, and I’m on the ‘fish’ pattern part? Where the instructions go like: k4, k2tog, yo, k1, yo, ssk, k2, yo, ssk, k3, k2tog, yo…you lost yet? I surely was.

AND THEN, when you get to the middle of the shawl? It reverses. The fish are supposed to point the other way.

Supposed to point the other way.

In. Theory.

After I tore out the same THREE HUNDRED stitches the third time, I lay down on the floor kicking my knitting chair as hard as I could with both feet screaming, “WAAAAAAAAH!!!! NOT FAIR! NOT FAIR! I HATE IT, I HATE IT, I HATE IT!!!” admitted that perhaps this was not going to be a good knitting day.

See ‘slow starter’ comment, above.

The Denizens began filtering downstairs. They were feeling much better, so they were happy, (reasonably) healthy children.

Which as you all know by now, is a euphemism for ‘annoying’.

They were cheerful! They were talkative! They were ready to play and frolic and demand food and so forth!

I thought my head was going to explode. So I put on the electronic babysitter and fled upstairs, where they promptly followed to ask me questions and complain that Kid #2 had changed the channel when Kids #3 and #1 were watching that! and then #4 had a diaper issue and needed changing NOW and could they have iced tea? With sugar? LOTS of sugar?! They could get it themselves {innocent grins}…

I had just realized that the invitations for Danger Mouse’s birthday still hadn’t been filled out and taken to school with her (argh! please, not a repeat of last time when we only got two kids, one of them Eldest’s friend and the other having to leave early!!) when Eldest came upstairs with a strange expression on her face.

“Mommy, is it…Mother’s Day, today?” she asked. Apparently, the electronic babysitter had said something about it.

“Uhhhhhhhhhhh…” psssst…see ‘slow starter’ comment, above… “…I, uh. Oh. Yeah. Uh-huh. Yeah.”

“Oh. OK. Well, uh, happy Mother’s Day! Can I make some toast?”

“Yeah, sure.”

For a brief moment, I indulged in some self-pity. Other mothers were waking up to breakfast in bed. Other mothers got candy, or jewelry, or cards. Brunched at Chez de la Expensive, or had dinner at La Credit Chek Required.

But we don’t really “do” Mother or Father’s Day around here. We have enough ways to waste money on our plates as it is, so putting yet another day that requires the buying and ceremonial presenting of Stuff just seems kind of…wasteful. About the only thing we do for each other is, ironically, make it a ‘responsibility free’ kind of day. A couple years ago, I spent the entirety of Mother’s Day eating pizza and playing a video game. Heh. Yeah. Good times, gooooood times…

But, the husband is out of town this weekend and I’m on my own so! Just another day in paradise and onward we go.

There were noises from the kitchen. I heard the toaster oven binging. It sounded like every dish in the house was being used to make toast.

I kept writing on invitations. Date, time, Danger Mouse, I’m turning EIGHT… Date, time, Danger Mouse, I’m turning EIGHT… Date, time, Danger Mouse, I’m turning EIGHT…

Suddenly, Eldest reappeared at the door. In one hand she had a plate with a piece of toast, lavishly enrobed in cinnamon sugar, surrounded by strawberries. In the other, she had a soda.

“I made this for you,” she announced. “It’s breakfast in…video game!”

And then she laughed at her own cleverness like only a ten year old can, and made sure I understood: “Because you’re not in bed? You’re at the computer? Video game? Get it?”

These are the jokes, folks…

To save her any embarrassment, because I am that good a mother, I immediately slipped my video game disk into the machine and started playing.

Yes, I am that selfless.

The toast was delicious. The strawberries were perfect. The soda was most welcome.

The video game rocked it. You are speaking to the new Master of the Thieves Guild in Cyrodiil, people. Oh yes. I am that good.

The Denizens spent the rest of the day being Independent. They minded their brother (mostly). They summoned me only when he was doing something Really Bad (or smelled Really Bad). They got their own (bizarre) lunch and snacks. They made an enormous (huge!) mess of the kitchen.

In the early evening we assembled together for pizza and Ratatouille (the movie, not the meal) (because that would have been redundant) (ironically, the pizza was awful - the kids love Dominos, but they are the worst pizza in town).

All five of us crowded onto a couch built for two to watch the movie.

Then the cat joined us. She sprawled out shamelessly across my lap so eight eager hands could pet and scratch her. If anyone stopped petting, she would immediately shove her head up under the idle hand – because, gracious, only seven hands petting at once? SLACKERS! (Yeah, Dharma is a serious snuggle-hog.) (Except she believes The Boy ought to be kept in a cage.) (In the zoo.) (Far, far away from the Den.)

It was too warm and fur was flying everywhere and it was extremely crowded and the phrase, “put your feet down, you’re kicking your sister!” had to be said about six hundred times, and also the cat got so happy about all the petting that she began to dig her claws into me as she frantically kneaded to express her delight.

It was a great day.

And I don’t think that’s just the cold medicine talking.


Rena said...

Eldest is so sweet! Tell her Auntie says so. And the rest of them wild denizons get kudos from me too.

Oh yeah, Dharma is a big time snuggler with claws. I warned you.

I hope you're feeling better today.

Celeste said...

I'm a recent stumbler from somewhere over yonder, and just wanted to poke my head up to say "hi."

Your blog has given me the much needed morning creative boost that somehow looking at pictures of knitting hasn't.

Looking forward to giggling with (not at) you for a while to come =)

Moira said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Moira said...

sounds like the did Mommy's day proud!!

Anonymous said...

That is adorable. Kids...every time I think I'm ready to sell mine for a nickel, they turn around and do something cute. Hope you feel better soon!

Siercia said...


That's awesome!

For all the chaos, it sounds like you've got a pretty good crew!

Yarnhog said...

Happy Mother's Day! Sounds like a perfectly appropriate celebration. :)

Anonymous said...

It sounds like the day ended up well, but if H. wants a chance to participate in your day of no responsibility (BTW, best present *ever*), Mothers' Day here in France is not until Sunday, May 25. French Mothers' Day, it seems to me, should be celebrated with good cheese, good wine, good bread, and pastry-o-rama, even over there in "Californie" right? I say, be big, and offer this grand opportunity to your husband -- who might also enjoy partaking of the celebratory tastes. Suggest that the children spend the full day speaking with an outrrrrrageous Frahnsh axsahnt. Under the influence of the wine, it should be hysterical. Oh, and save the empty wine bottle, just in case Mr. Evaluator Doctor ever suggests again that anything in your house might have just "cleared up on its own."