My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

A Tooth For A Tooth

2006-02-21
You know, some days, if it wasn't for my kids, I would be very tempted to just drive my car off a cliff in a fit of Thelma-and-Louise pique and cut my damn losses.

Yesterday sucked. Until Dusty made it better just by being her. Just by being five. Just by existing and giving meaning to my existence.

Roll scene!

Our heroine wakes up to the alarm clock in a darkened room. She trudges to the bathroom to pee and then out to the kitchen to make coffee (she did wash her hands first.). She opens the front door to discover...snow.

Again.

Fuck.

Not much snow, mind you. About half an inch. No big deal, right?

Let me remind you: this is Virginia. Year after year, we get snow in the season called winter. Sometimes more than once. And yet, it always throws the VDOT trucks into a swoon. There is a hit-or-miss (mostly miss) attempt to sand, salt and/or plow certain roads.

The road I live on is always clear because it's the emergency evacuation route for the North Anna Nuclear Power Plant. Sweet, huh?

Back to scene:

The children awake or are awakened in due course and the older one drags her heels and it takes eons for things like bathroom duties, tooth brushing, desperate matching of necklace to clothes, nap animal decisions, etc. to be accomplished. Why these seemingly simple tasks take twelve years, the heroine does not know. The older one is not a teenager who needs to thoroughly examine every pore in a fit of self-hatred. No, more, she is humming and thinking all kinds of thoughts rather than moving the toothbrush up to her mouth, swishing it over her teeth, spitting, rinsing, spitting, etc. ETC!! Get a move on!

Ten minutes behind schedule at this point, the heroine shoves her adored children into the car that will soon have its windshield replaced. 'Soon,' she thinks as she struggles to buckle in younger imp into her car seat (with a Five! Point! Locking! System!), 'soon I shall have a pristine window with which to look out upon my surroundings.'

Which happened to be covered in snow.

"Am I going to miss breakfast at school?" the laggard asks.

"Not if we hurry."

The roads are clear, it's easy going until our heroine turns down the final winding, country road which leads directly to the Day Care Facility and………finds herself instantly behind some idiot going 20 mph. Twenty. Really, the road is not...well, yeah, there's an icy patch...but, really not so...oh, and that turn is a bit...oh, well, guess slowing down is not such a horrible idea after…shit! She swears – first under her breath (little pitchers) and then out loud because THEY NEED TO FUCKING GET SOMEWHERE.

"Are the other kids eating breakfast right now?" asks a voice from the back seat.

"Yes. Right now, they are eating breakfast."

"I'm going to miss it," whines annoying child.

Well, all the curses to the universe go unanswered. Soon, the heroine finds herself stopped behind the slow driver. Behind a long, long, ever so long line of cars.

And now, she begins to regret having drunk those two cups of coffee before she left. She only got to finish cup number two because SOMEONE was agonizing over Sheegwa vs Sagwa as nap animal.

Because now, as the line of cars makes ABSOLUTELY NO MOVEMENT WHATSOEVER, our heroine has to pee.

Quite badly.

"You know," she says to older daughter, "I really wish there was an extra diaper in the car right now."

"Why?" she asks.

"Because I could put it on and pee in it."

Older daughter laughs at the thought of her big, grownup mother sliding a size 4 generic diaper between her underwear and nether regions and taking a big ole happy pee.

"Really?" she giggles.

"Seriously."

"I'm going to miss breakfast, aren't I?"

OH! How the universe absorbs the heroine's unuttered curses send out like sharp, black rays of undying hatred for the predicament into the frosty atmosphere where they further erode the ozone layer! OH! How her bladder cries out for help as the urine builds up to levels of pain hitherto unknown by our heroine since she experienced a year of kidney stones followed by a botched bladder biopsy and suffered from an obstruction! OH! How the power within our heroine keeps her from flinging off her seatbelt and barreling out of the car – still sandwiched in an unmoving train of cars – and peeing in the ditch before a McMansion of hideous proportions surrounded by a white vinyl fence. OH! How she wishes she'd really done it! And, only the thought of how the policemen up ahead, doing nothing to clear the obstruction (car accident, natch), would, in an instant, clamp her in irons and haul her away leaving her children unattended (and thus adding child neglect and endangerment to the charges), keeps her from committing such a heinous act!

Forty painful – very painful – minutes later, the cars begin to move. The emergency vehicles lumber off and all is well. For the moment.

The children, they are about to miss fucking breakfast! But! They were not the only ones stuck in the logjam and BEHOLD! Bowls of cereal are found for the innocents! And spoons! Praise be to Mother Universe!

The day is saved!

Our heroine uses the teacher bathroom. It was the sigh heard round the world.

Onward! We meet back up with our heroine at the Chevron station. She hands over the car keys and is told,

"Yeah, can you bring the car back in tomorrow? The sealant won't set up right in this weather."

No. Problem. At. All.

Our heroine stews in her own juices for the next six hours and finds that every single thing she attempts to accomplish at work has been a wasted effort. Brilliant.

At 3:30pm, our heroine cuts her losses and heads to Target for some retail therapy. She buys new towels, a set of sheets for breakfast girl's bed, a monkey switch plate for esteemed younger daughter's room because she was strangely silent during the morning festivities, a Care Bears notebook for b.g.'s artistic endeavors during the long-longer-longest commutes, and other necessary items which make our heroine feel slightly better. Even the staggering cost of said therapy does not erode her better – but not all there yet – mood.

She heads back to pick up her children and discovers that....

Dusty has finally lost her first tooth! And it's dentist week at preschool! The teeny, tiny central incisor is in a plastic ziplock bag, safe and sound in her Hello Kitty backpack.

But lo! Poor Dusty is sad and scared and the heroine comforts her as best she can. Apparently, the much-anticipated event was more than dear Dusty could handle. Tears are shed and then! Like clouds parting to emit the sun – laughter is heard again and off they trot to get esteemed monkey girl (The Youngest) who is SO! HAPPY! TO! SEE! THE! HEROINE! PICKMEUP! PICKMEUP! UHUHUHUH!

And so, the happy family drives off – still with the old, cracked and battered windshield – into the sunset and discusses, over various snacks the heroine has so thoughtfully secured, the Tooth Fairy's appearance and how, yes, the same must-be-asleep rules apply and yes, she probably IS in cahoots with Santa. All the magical beings hang out at the same coffee bar (though I suspect TS and Santa add a little oomph to their's – The Red Man carries quite a substantial flask, have you noticed? No? See, he thinks I'm asleep and...ah, maybe that's why there's never anything under the tree for me anymore...hmmm.).

And, thus, a sucky day was all healed up and made better. The heroine forgot the morning's annoyances and the work world's frustrations and got a grip on herself. She once again found her life alive and worth living surrounded by her wonderful, loud and funny children.

Not to mention the fact that there was a beer waiting for her at the end of the road.

The End. (Thank God!)

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3:58 p.m. ::
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