Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the scenery never changes.
-- Lewis Grizzard

Friday, April 8, 2011

I Couldn't Win Today......I Have Accepted That

There are days in my life when even I am perplexed by the string of accidents and “can only happen to me” occurrences…….

This particular day began like any other…..Alarm clock blaring the day’s start, waaaaay too early.  I shuffle down the hall in my smiling pig slippers to retrieve my first dose of much-needed caffeine.  I shower, put my face on and put my contacts in.  I am standing in front of the closet, picking out the day’s outfit when out of the corner of my eye, I notice an unruly chunk of hair on the back of my head….the kind that is not going to cooperate without some serious convincing.  I plug in the flat iron, set it to the highest temperature, and go back to choosing my clothes.  After much delay and internal debate, I decide on a cream colored jacket, a teal knit shirt and dark jeans.   Pressed and dressed, I begin the task to attack that lump in my hair.  Being the oh-so-coordinated gal I am, as I was attempting to select a portion of my hair’s troubled spot, I managed to flat iron over my fingers as well.   Okay….so a flash of pain, a few moments of “OOOWWWs!!”,  and small blisters forming…. Not a huge deal…  Being the accident-prone, clumsy, oh-so-coordinated gal I am, I have assembled a collection of first aid supplies that rivals any rescue ambulance, so I had just the thing….. Prescription Silvadene (leftover from a previous accidental burnt flesh incident)….perfect for these kinds of minor second-degree burns.   As instructed, I wash the area with mild soap and apply the ointment generously.  First aid rendered, I proceed to get back to the battle with my hair.  A couple of passes with the flat iron, an odd crackling sound and a few whiffs of burning hair, I realize I have transferred half the Silvadene from my burnt fingers to my hair.  Now I not only had lumpy, uncooperative hair, but I had lumpy, uncooperative, greasy, burnt-smelling hair…..And not enough time to start over!  I pull my hair back into a half-pony, sigh, and accept yet another defeat in the on-going, long-running fight with my stubborn hair.

My kids are in the kitchen arguing over which breakfast cereal is whose and who should have the privilege of pouring the milk this morning.  The cat and dog are chasing each other back and forth through the hallway, barking and meowing as they pass us all in the kitchen in a brief flash of fur and wagging tails.  I am trying to referee the kids, refill the pet’s water dishes, pack lunches and switch purses when I hear some odd sounds coming from the microwave.  I look up to see little flashes and sparks of light bouncing around inside…..Like a mini Fourth of July show…..  What in the world???  Suddenly the image of me stirring my oatmeal a few seconds before resurfaces in my head and it occurs to me that I must have left the spoon in the bowl when I put it in for another 30 seconds.  The digital screen is now flashing “error error error” in quick succession, which I find kinda funny and I have laugh to myself…..Maybe I should have just had cereal with the kids.  It’s at that moment I notice that I don’t hear the kids arguing anymore, there is a brief moment of peace, and then the mother’s instinctive “the-kids-are-too-quiet” anxiety kicks in.  I stop the microwave’s insulting message and can hear spurts of hushed laughter and “shhhh’s” coming from the bathroom.  I walk into the bathroom to find my children in the midst of a full-fledged water fight using their brightly colored rubber fish bath toys.  The bathroom has been transforms into a water park!---There is water running down the mirror, streaked across the ceiling, and dripping onto the floor.  My son’s hair is soaking wet and my daughter’s shirt and pants have giant wet spots all down the front.  I quickly end their ‘festival of water’ with threats to take away television for the day, and smile to myself as I walk out at how well that still works.

By now in the other room the cat and dog have ended their game of “parade”, the dog is hopping around whining to be let out, and the cat has disappeared to an undisclosed location somewhere in the house.  I walk out onto the deck with the dog, hook her up onto her lead and stop to watch three spastic squirrels chase each other across the neighbor’s fence.  Apparently the dog was as intrigued as I was and began to run in circles around me expressing her excitement.  Without warning, she darted off in their direction, with eager determination to grab one of those bushy tails… she would have had a good chance too, had it not have been for my legs and feet being tangled up in her lead.  Now, I am the kind of person that trips over nothing and falls while standing still, so when both of my feet are wrapped together with a cord and there is an 80 pound dog at the other end straining to give chase, its not going to end well.  Needless to say I end up on my rear, being pulled jerkily across the deck in spurts of strength as the dog struggles to give chase.  She finally relaxes and gives up the fight as the squirrels scamper off, scared off by all of the commotion, but the damage is done. …..My butt and hip are thudding in bright bursts of pain.
I pick myself up, rub my sore hip and head back into the house, content to leave the dog outside for a few minutes to do her thing.  I sit for a second to regroup……so far I’ve burnt two fingers, and bruised my hind quarters, not to mention destroyed my microwave and witnessed the flooding of my bathroom…..So far, the day seems to be winning.  

I hear my son shriek,  “the bus, the bus, Mom!”  With the speed and precision of an all-star quarterback,  I launch his backpack and lunchbag in his direction, yell “love you, have a good day” and hear a “you too” as the front door slams shut....Okay, one child off to school, one to go.

My daughter emerges from her room dry and wearing an outfit suitable only for a mental patient singing Justin Bieber’s ‘Baby’ at the top of her lungs.  A short battle of wills over clothing choices ensues, and after five minutes of deal making, I miraculously convince her to change her clothes.

Returning to the microwave to rescue my breakfast, I find it is cold on one side and burnt and crispy on the other and there is now an oatmeal/cement-like substance covering every corner and cranny of the microwave. It is at this point I decide to forgo breakfast all together.  I finish changing purses, pack up my lunch, let the dog in and load the dishwasher.  Thirty minutes later the bus comes to retrieve my youngest and a golden swath of silence engulfs the house.  I am tempted to just sit down and soak it up, but hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to work I go.

Forty-five minutes later I am strolling along the sidewalk toward the office, listing in my head the things on my desk I need to get to first.  For some strange reason my workplace seems to be a popular vacation destination for Canadian geese this morning.  There are geese wandering around the grass, waddling through the parking lot, squawking and honking at each other as they fly overhead.  I am halfway to the door when I feel something drop onto my left arm and look down to find a mushy splotches of unknown origin on what was my clean, cream-colored jacket.  Gross!!!  I shudder in disgust and head back to my car.  Being the accident-prone gal I am, I have learned to be prepared for such occurrences in my life, so I keep a collection of cleaning, grooming, and various personal hygiene items in a duffel bag in my trunk.  Between what’s left of my Tide Stain-Stick and a package of Wet Wipes, I manage to remove most of the offensive spot from my jacket.  Having done all I could do to remedy the situation, I head back for the office.  At this point, I have all but decided to concede to the day altogether.

Six hours have passed and I am back on that sidewalk, ducking and watching closely for any other ‘loaded’ geese that might be flying over, heading for my car.  I am driving home, country music blaring, singing along to “She Thinks My Tractor’s Sexy” and notice a mysterious red warning light has come on.  My mind conjures up images of me standing on the side of the road, trying to call for help and now I can’t quit watching that little light, like it is suddenly going to provide some kind of important information.  I speed along nervously, windows open, trying to ignore the warning light and breathe in what’s left of my ‘me’ time.  I glance up from that dashboard warning light just as something small and furry runs out into the road, swerve into the other lane in a desperate avoidance maneuver, and BAM, a crunchy ‘Thud!’ follows.  I look into my rear-view mirror to see a reddish brown pile of dead squirrel laying in a heap where my tires had just been.  I have just murdered a squirrel.  And to think, earlier in the day I saved one………

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