Thursday, April 11, 2013

Shoulda Ordered Chinese...

It's gotta be a pride thing. The "I can bring home the bacon...." (cue stripper music) "Fry it up in a pan...(More dance moves) "And never, ever let you forget you're a MAN!!!" (Now half-crazed mom-by-day shows up wearing stockings, great dress for skinny woman and high heels, hair done, make-up on, ready to make her man's night after being wined and dined in a high class restaurant.



What exactly is Enjoli?

Perfume. So if you buy Enjoli you too can have a life like that.

Good luck.

Dave's mom was coming over for supper Monday night. Now this isn't a big deal. We all like food, it's a no brainer, Dave buys some great-looking pork chops and I'm going to cover them with crushed cracker crumbs, salt and pepper and cook them in olive oil on the big griddle. Beth, Jon and the two grandsons are going to be here too. Jon had been working in the woods with Dave, so nice family dinner, right?


Beth goes home and leaves 'Lijah and Xavier here sleeping... 18 month old Xavier wakes up screaming.... Long before he should have....

CUE MORE DARK MUSIC... He's not happy. He won't let me out of his sight. He won't let me go near the kitchen...

ADD BIRTHDAY PARTY FOR 4 OF MY DAYCARE KIDS....All of my older kids are busy... swim team, dancing, chorus, band, theater, auditions, gymnastics, math club, student council, etc. So some of them don't get to my house until after 4:00 PM... and then get picked up at 4:30 P.M.

Birthday celebrations must be SANDWICHED in.... Ready... Set... Light the Candles... GO!!!!!

Sing. Cut. Serve. Scoop. Eat. Kiss goodbye... Oops, presents, DO NOT FORGET THE PRESENTS!!!  The week before this was spring break here and 4 of my kids had the nerve to have birthdays that week.... FOUR.... I mean, 'Sup wi' dat? And Monday is the BEST of the bad days to celebrate, so I rock a great cake.... the teen gals I've had since they were babies decorate the cake... AWESOME JOB, LADIES.... And we pull the birthday thing off with nary a hitch...

Except this is what the kitchen looked like:

And here's another view:

And here's a fairly simple recipe I should have considered:

But Dave bought pork chops so Dragon Soup is for another night...

Enter:  "Z-Z".... (This is the nickname 'Lijah gave his baby brother Xavier, even though there is no "Z" in Xavier and my literary mind screamed that nipple confusion would be the least of the child's developmental problems if we didn't use the "X-sounding-like-Z" and call him "X-X" which makes no sense whatsoever because it does sound like "Z". The world of phonetics...)

He looks innocent, right?

Looks are deceiving....

But I breathe, snuggle the yowling toddler, and try to assuage him with food.






Grandma comes around 5:30.  We laugh and chat and keep the boys amused (as long as I sit right on the floor with "Z-Z" and let him crawl all over me, walk on me, and poke my ears, eyes, nose and mouth while singing "Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet", we're fine... No meltdowns)

No adults arrive to help me. None. Nada. Zilch.

Beth calls, she's caught at work, she'll be there soon....

Jon brings up a load of wood and says "When's supper?"  He is now DEAD and we're holding his funeral this weekend, after my taxes are submitted.  My husband is still in the woods...

Grandma is getting a kick out of this whole thing, and that's a good thing... So eventually the multitude of adults begin to arrive.

This is where the phone call for Chinese food should have occurred... You can't load the dishwasher until you unload it... And you can't cook on the one countertop cooking space with the dishwasher opened.

And "Z-Z" thinks the dishwasher is his personal bathtub... He's sure he's helping by climbing inside to get that last spoon/fork/cup/saucer/steak knife.

Dave turns on baseball...

Dave is now lying in state beside Jon in a funeral home for CLUELESS MALES.

'Lijah has to go potty. He wants to use upstairs potty. I say sure (DUMB, RUTHY, DUMB...) and open the gate...

Back to kitchen, organize big griddle, dip the pork chops, Grandma (Go, Grandma, Go!!!!) peels potatoes....  And she's adorable, not minding that it's after seven already....

We get things going.

Grandma sits down.

Grandma jumps up. "I'm getting wet!!!"

Water begins sprinkling out of ceiling over Grandma.

Ruthy sprints for stairs.

Men do not sprint.

Men are not quick like that.

Ruthy finds 'Lijah upstairs having the time of his life in sink... water going full blast, antique (meaning older than dirt) plumbing not able to drain sink fast enough, sink overflowing all over bathroom floor...

And Grandma.

Towels. Lots of towels. Calm kid down because adult over-reaction terrorizes him...


Okay, back to kitchen. BIG POT on high chair under leaking ceiling.... And more towels.

Chops are not burnt...

Potatoes are almost done.

"Z-Z" is being held captive by men in living room (Okay, if I'd really killed them, they wouldn't have been able to amuse small child, so I let them live temporarily.)

Eventually we eat. And it's good. And it's late. But Grandma says, "I eat late lots of times. With Dad gone, I don't have to have a schedule anymore"...

And then I realize that Mom doesn't have to have a schedule because Dad is gone. He's buried down the road in the pretty Parma Union Cemetery and she visits his grave every day. And this spring we're making a garden around the Blodgett graves... And it will be pretty and sweet and she can take care of it whenever she wants because she doesn't have a schedule anymore... not with Dad gone.

I'm surrounded by fun, craziness and goofiness 24/7 pretty much. Sometimes I take that for granted.  I could be immersed in silence.

And if Grandma wasn't bothered by the whole dog-and-pony show, then I won't be.


I shoulda just ordered Chinese.


  1. LOL -- Priceless, Ruthy! And those kinds of days are all fodder for books. You are going to fit that into one, aren't you? Wonder what the hero would think if that was the outcome of his first invite for a home-made meal by the heroine? LOL. Love your sense of humour -- and definitely bask in the blessings around you...even on those kinds of days!

    1. I was just so glad it wasn't TOILET Water drippiing on Grandma....

  2. Perspective is a beautiful thing...thank you for the reminder.

    1. Donna.... you're welcome! And now my downstairs bathroom door is a little warped... or the frame is... something is still drying out!

  3. Laughing through tears....

    And what were the puppies doing through all of this? It's a good thing they have their own mother to take care of them!

    And my MIL is a year farther along than yours - she's beyond that paralysis of the early months. Keeping yours in my prayers!

    Off to visit Mom and some fans. My dad has been bragging...

    1. Jan, we'll pray each other's mother's into comfort. I think when we start our graveside garden project this year, it will be lots of fun (is that a BAD word for a graveyard project???) for Mom and me. We both love gardening and this sweet graveyard allows folks to "dress" their gravesites any way they want as long as it's tasteful... I've gotten a few wonderful story ideas in this cemetery, just eyeing up what people have done to pay their respects to lost loved ones.

    2. It sounds wonderful! Work makes grief cower.

  4. ROFL Thankful it wasn't MY house that was going crazy, I grinned throughout this whole ordeal. Agree with Kav, too--all of this should go in a book, with the hero coming in in the midst of it all. Oh, I can picture it now--the images brought to life by Ruth Logan Herne...! :D

    Guess I should just embrace the dog who is barking-howling out in the sleet and the 20-month-old grandson who is howling, too. Not the crying kind of howling either; he likes to howl like a dog.

    Mothers-in-law who can laugh during chaos--gotta love 'em! :)

    1. Exactly! I think she had more fun with the chaos than she ever would have had with the sweet, quiet dinner I'd planned.

      Oh. My. Stars.

  5. Snorting with laughter...followed by sniffling.

    Ruthy, you shouldn't make me cry.

    But thanks for the perspective.

    <3 you.

    1. Welcome, my friend.... :) Perspective is what separates us from ... I was going to say monkeys, but I think my crew is somewhat ape-like and I don't really want to insult an entire species....


  6. Well, I'm just tickled pink to know that I'm not the only one who still sings "Baseball, hotdogs, apple pie, and Chevrolet." (big grin)

    Ruthy, you life sounds as chaotic as mine. Yes, you should have ordered Chinese. But thank you for the reminder to savor the chaos. There will be plenty of quiet later.

    1. Mindy, exactly!!!! And "Z-Z's" version sounds like this: "Baybah, baa baa, aaaa-aaa---aaaa- tevrway..... Baybah, baaa baaaaa, aaaaa-aaaaaa- teverway..."

      It's adorable and very much like going into "It's a Small World" at Disney... You will never, ever get it out of your head! :)

    2. I've never heard of that song! Must be regional... or only for insane folks.

  7. Oh, Ruthy, what an evening!! I'm glad you can laugh about it. And I sure hope there's not permanent damage in the ceiling!

    1. I'm looking at the ceiling... and knowing that someday this kitchen ceiling needs replacing I've decided that the book research aspects of it outweigh the water spots.

      THIS CEILING is doomed. Has been from the beginning. Something about that upstairs bathroom.... but that's a blog for a different day!

  8. Made me cry but in a good way, Ruthy - this was one of your best!!!! and Grandma knows best now, doesn't she!
    XOXO Rosie T

    1. Rosie, you TALKED!!!!! I'm so proud of you! Rosie is a long time friend and fellow St. Lawrence (our church and parochial school where our kids all went to learn not to be brats) gal but I have to MISS my beautiful Rosie now because she moved to the East side of town.... and it's a long drive, and she likes to sleep in on Sundays I hear.... :)

      Rosie, I'm so glad you commented, my friend!!!! And I do miss you, every single choir practice and Sunday Mass. So there. :)

  9. WOW. I can't believe I missed this post. I laughed when you killed the men. I have a special place in the garden reserved for clueless males. But hubby must be a zombie because he keeps coming back.

    Loved this vignette.