It's 5:03pm and you're peeling out of the office driveway. You roll down the windows in your 97 Subaru Legacy, slide your shades on, and crank up the news radios (it's so hip). You've got one hand on the wheel and you slink down, low into your seat. For the 35 minutes it takes you to get from the office to "Grandma's house," you are a free woman. No kids. No job. Just you, the road, and a thousand other drivers sitting in sweltering traffic.
You pass the farm-themed mattress store and nod at a 7-foot cardboard cut-out of a smiling holstein cow. From there you A) turn down a side street and park at the nearest happy hour advertisement or B) stay on the road and keep your appointment to pick up the kids.
If you chose Option A, this is what awaits you: An hour and a half of sitting in a cool, cushiony booth with your heels kicked off, slinging back $3 margaritas, and turning every verticle structure into a dancing pole.
If you chose Option B, your evening looks like this: holding a screaming, poopy baby, in the middle of a kitchen strewn with the contents of 5 empty grocery bags, using one hand to apply pressure to a geyser of blood coming out of your hysterical son's finger, and using the other hand to tend to dinner which has just burned to a freaking crisp.
Guess what I chose?
When I walked into the house tonight, I was greeted by a wonderful smell coming from my crock pot. I had filled it before I left this morning, anxious to try a new recipe and to experience the magic of the crock pot. (i.e. "I'm too lazy to actually cook, so I'll throw a bunch of randon crap into a pot and let it simmer all day.")
I picked a screaming, unhappy Ryan out of his carseat and walked into the kitchen to investigate. With much anticipation, I pried the lid of the crock pot and discovered this:
Can food BURN in a slow cooker? Is that even possible?
At that point, Ryan was ready for a bottle and a nap. When he realized I was not complying with his wishes in a timley fashion, his screaming started up again. Right at that moment, I heard a shrill cry from the living room. I assumed it was Jacob, being horribly frightened by a tiny lady bug. Jacob ran into the kitchen, warm tears streaming down his face, and pushed an index finger towards me. As he did so, droplets of liquid landed against my arm and cheek.
His index finger was covered with the stuff. It oozed and bubbled from a gash on his finger and dripped all over the floor. Jacob was absolutely hysterical. This made Ryan more hysterical. With the baby on my hip, I rushed to grab a paper towel and apply pressure.
The entire time I was doing this, I consoled Jacob, "It's OK. It's just a tiny owie. There's barely any blood." Meanwhile, I'm said to myself. "OMG, look at all the blood. Is his finger going to fall off? Do I need to go to the emergency room? Try not to faint!"
We walked to the bathroom, leaving a trail of blood behind us. I washed up his finger to discover that all that blood was really just coming from one cut on his finger. And, despite the oozing blood, it didn't look deep or all that serious. I convinced Jacob to let me put a bandaid on it. Then I set him down on the couch to calm down.
"WAAAAH," he cried, "It still HURTS mommy! It HURTS REALLY BAD!"
"How did you hurt yourself?"
"WAAAAAH. I [sniffle] DONT [sniffle] KNOOOOOOW! IT HURTS!"
"What did you do?"
"WAAAAAAH. I CAN'T REMEMBER [sob]"
"Where were you when it started to hurt?"
"I [sniffle] WASN'T [sniffle] PLAYING WITH THE FAN" He threw his head back and howled some more.
I looked over at the fan and saw that two of the protective grates had been pried apart just enough to slip a 3 year old finger through.
"Jacob, did you stick your finger in the fan?"
"[sob] YEEEEEE-AAAAAH [sniffle]. WAAAH, IT STILL HURTS."
I tried so hard not to laugh or look amused. "Jacob, you know you're not supposed to play with the fan!"
"Will a popsicle make you feel better?" I asked. The hysterical crying stopoed and was replaced with silence. Jacob was thinking.
"Oh sure." He said happily. "But I want a blue one please. Only the blue kind can make me feel better."
The healing power of the popsicle. Who knew?
After Jacob calmed down, I finally got around to feeding Ryan. Poor guy, it's not like he can compete with blood and hysterics.
Before I knew it, it was 7pm and I was starving. It finally sunk in that my dinner was a big pile of char. I thought about throwing in the towel and making a run for Slurpees at the 7-11 or hitting up the McDonald's drive-thru. Instead, I dug through my groceries and decided to make the dinner that was on the menu for tomorrow night.
And it was fabulous. Well worth the blood and char.
Cedar Planked Salmon
And now, after putting the kids to bed, washing the dishes, and doing a load of laundry, I'm too tired to even care that I just found dried blood all over my Boppy pillow. And on my elbow. And on the bathroom floor.
Tomorrow, I'm choosing Option A.