Friday, September 05, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well If All Ends Well

Being home all day alone with my kids, really isn't that big of a deal. I mean, c'mon: it's my JOB. But, I usually tend to draw a line when it comes to being alone in the evening with the kids. Which is what happened recently.

Slated on schedule for the local jail ministry, Toby came home from work in time to grab a bite to eat, shower, say about 147 words to the kids and I (that is not very many words... trust me) and then he was off like a dirty sock to the county jail.

What was I supposed to do for 3 hours alone with his our kids? Yeah, I asked myself that a few times too.

First we went for a walk. But, on the walk, I felt guilty for leaving a foot of grass evenly standing in the front yard. Especially considering we just spent forty-some-bucks getting the lawn mower fixed not to mention that the grass had been mowed pre-wedding trip. (ie., 17 days ago.)

I debated mowing though; we have gone longer than 17 days between mowing's so was it a worthy investment to use a precious fuel propelled blade evenly across the yard? What about the budget? (what budget??? Toby is wondering as he reads this). What should I do with the kids while mowing? These questions and many other life altering questions stared me in the face as I trudged home with a kid loaded stroller and 3 wheeled bike strapped to my arm.

Entering the garage was my first insurmountable feat. Don't ask why but there's a stack of lumber in the garage designated for a certain house in our neighborhood. I guess the people are getting rooms built in their basement AND getting a remodeled kitchen. Lucky people! Why the lumber is in our garage is beyond me because we certainly have no need for new bedrooms and a kitchen.

Did I just say that?

Anyway, sitting in a nice neat stack of wood in our mouse laden garage is the future of my new kitchen and expanding finished basement. My dreamy eyes made it difficult to calculate the fact that I would in no way be able to cram the lawn mower between the wood and other garage paraphernalia so I did what most wise people crazy women do, I attempted to pick up the lawn mower. You know, just bend down, pick it up and carry it. Let's just say it was pretty heavy.

Plan B meant I had to go out the side door. But that didn't just mean open a door and push the mower out, end of story. It was a lot more complicated.

As I contemplated the brevity of mowing twelve inches of grass in our front yard, I was impressed to realize that my mind had the whole situation all calculated in my brain in the "Plan B Mow Yard" file. As complicated as that plan clearly was, it made me desperately want to scratch Plan B. So I tried a little harder with Plan A and literally tried to pick the mower up like I would pick up a laundry basket. That was just not an option.

Before I could open the door and push the mower out, Plan B style, I had to run into the house through the front door, charge through the house and out the back door, lock the dog in her kennel, open the twelve feet of side fence (which meant moving a basket ball hoop first), unlock the garage side door from the back-yard-side of the door, painstakingly shove the lawn mower precariously out the side door, perform a hair pin curve maneuver between the garage side door and through the narrow opening allowed by the 12 foot of now leaning green treated fencing and plow the mower down the driveway through the eight inches of fine gravel that some brainless person dumped in times past while my feet sank up to my knees past my shoe soles in the weighty, quick-sand-like gravel that was never intended for driveway use. Especially when you are alone with kids and attempting to mow with a push mower by yourself alone with the kids. (did I already say that?)

Anyway, primitive.

I mowed like a crazy person. Designing roads and alleys for the kids to run their dump trucks through was a blast. The grass was so high you could barely see their little heads bobbing up and down out in the middle of the yard, it embarrassed me. I knew their freshly mowed "roads" were well defined and they loved the exploration found in our little suburbia yard.

And I knew where they were the whole time; their squeals and screams of delight made it easy to keep an eye ear on them and did nothing to drown out the mower. My mower didn't hit any snakes (for once) and I patted myself on the back congratulating my decision to mow in the evening instead of the day time, thus avoiding the sunning snakes. The only thing to worry about were the huge crickets stampeding the yard. The blade got all wadded up with juicy cricket bodies and cricket guts were flying everywhere. Good fertilizer, I guess. That could explain why half way through, the self propelled mowing feature locked up. And we just payed part of that $40 to fix that. Must've been those crickets jamming things up inside the mower.

While Landon asked me deep, profound questions on who gets shot at jail when they're naughty, I worked hard on trimming the edge of the grass where the sod meets the sidewalk. That was a huge mess. A certain person I know (who's name I will not mention) has a deep infatuation with Roundup. He tends to use it pretty much where most people would use a Weed eater. We have an embarrassing yard uniquely designed edge all along our yard and it has turned a dead ugly brown an interesting color in about a fourteen inch strip all around the circumference of our yard. This was a one-of-a-kind display that I hope was a one-time-only application. You know, I'm all for personal individuality in landscaping and design but this was just a little too original.

Most people try NOT to have dead grass in their yard; this person attempts getting MORE dead grass in his yard. Most people spray FERTILIZER in their yard; this guy refuses to let his wife even WATER the yard let alone make it grow healthier with some hormone induced grass growing formula. Why? Because he hates mowing. He'll be the first to say it too -- just ask his wife or mother. Or you could ask the neighbors too; they know it pretty well... the poor souls they are having to put up with such an eye sore of a yard on their civilized street.

He hates mowing, like I said, and it's evident in the fact that his poor wife has no choice but to drag the kids out to the yard, strap the baby down in a safe place and then proceed to spray twelve inches of grass clippings and cricket guts all over their little plot in the universe while he the grass killing man reads the Bible to a law breaker.

But, after we got it all done, we celebrated with story time and popcorn. An innocent celebration, keen for peoples of all ages, but deceivingly dangerous I found.

While innocently retrieving an innocent mug from the innocent cupboard in which to innocently melt butter for the innocent popcorn (this was nothing illegal, folks), I did the most stupid thing inevitable: I smashed my face with the opening door. Like an innocent bystander with a clean record, I was punished for something I never did. I mean, yeah it was my hand swinging the door but what had my face done wrong to get a smack like that?

I learned the hard way that when you put your head close to the door, swing the door at your face at a very high speed and then lift your chin in order to peer up at the top shelf where the mugs are, you can result in hitting the left side of your right cheek bone. It leaves an immediate mark too, which is worth it so that the witnesses that didn't SEE what happened can know that you honestly did just crack your face open and you have proof of it for them to see now after the accident has taken place. Just try it and then look in the mirror quickly.

Landon saw the whole thing take place and calmly sat in his chair at the table watching me wishing he could have as much fun in the kitchen as I do impressed with my smart kitchen moves. The smart kid he is, he wisely asked me what I was doing. As if he couldn't tell that I was running around the house, banging my head on hard, wooden objects??! Such a fitting question, I mused in my fuming head that was pained by the sharp shooting pain caused by the violent door.

After popcorn evenly coated the dining room floor I had just vacuumed earlier that day, Toby came home. After he got the kids in bed and I was comfortably rubbing his feet, he wondered what I had occupied my time with while he was gone. Not wanting to think he didn't see the battle scarred face of his normally fair complected, loving wife and not wanting to believe that he could not decipher the smell of fresh cut grass I had arranged to greet him when he stepped out of the vehicle he had gone to jail in, I rubbed his feet pleasantly harder by taking all my aggravation out on his feet I navigated my eyeballs back to their sockets from where they had jumped from and vowed right then to invest in a whole barrel of Roundup.

Not wanting to discourage me when he heard me mumble something about mowing grass, he assured me he appreciated my effort but I should understand that in the dark he couldn't tell that I had mowed in the back behind the garage (!!!) because he came in the FRONT door.

"Honey, whoever said anything about behind the garage?" I asked him. Not waiting for his answer, I assured him... "Next time you mow, you won't have to worry about the front yard because I took care of that tonight."

He tried to look satisfied but I don't think he believed me until he went to work in the morning and saw for himself that yes, the crickets were dead the yard was mowed.


Kate said...

Giggles! Sounds like one of my days! Minus the kids... ;)

Great story -I mean, you poor thing you! wink wink!

Kate said...

I would get a goat, although our dogs would most likely chase it to death.