I'm So Flexible I'm Turning Inside Out

Not my best day.

I made paella last night for the school's multicultural potluck, for which the children were to bring in food representing their cultural heritage. We are not Spanish, so I just explained that in a family this large, we actually constitute a culture of our own, and that in this case, paella represents the Lolitish culture, as in Lola-really-likes-it-so-I-made-it-for-her-class.

Neither of my boys seemed all that interested in the potluck -- one wanted me to make plain spaghetti noodles and the other wanted my "special homemade quesadillas." (How special can tortillas and cheese really get, people?) Now, my children are, in fact, Italian and Mexican, so these choices would have been more in keeping with the point of the potluck. But paella is SO much more interesting and tasty. And since this was not a mandatory assignment, I went with the most enthusiastic kid. Sorry boys: develop taste buds and I'll make you something interesting next year.

Anyway, I spent about an hour and a half dicing, sauteeing, boiling, and lovingly preparing this delicious meal, which featured chick peas, chicken, chorizo, and red bell peppers. It was absolutely delicious, and Lola was very excited about bringing it to school.

I love making paella. I am not that skilled in the kitchen, and am not a person who is super comfortable whipping up new things. But the smells of saffron boiling in chicken broth, chicken and chorizo sizzling in olive oil, and onions, garlic, and red bell peppers sauteeing make me feel like Martha Stewart. The house smells fantastic and all seems right with the world.

I brought the dish down to the school cafeteria at around 10:30 this morning. Unfortunately, it never made it to Lola's classroom with the other 1st grade potluck items, and when I picked her up, the first thing she said to me was "Where was my paella?!?!?!?" I was really bummed. I'm often a day late and a dollar short with school stuff, and here I had planned ahead, taken the time to prepare a really good dish, and STILL came out looking like a slacker. And disappointing my daughter to boot. But even before I found out the the paella went to waste, the day had already held far too much excitement for me.

* * *

In the middle of the day, I stopped at home to pick up a high chair I am giving to a friend. Jumped out and locked my keys in the car, which meant out of my house as well. OK, a slight setback, but AAA can have me going on my way in no time, right? Right!

Before I even had time to call AAA, I hear a great SPLOOSH: a hose that had been left on in my backyard (but closed at the water wand end) burst open, sending a plume of water as tall as my two-story house shooting up into the sky. Being locked out of my house also means being locked out of my backyard, so all I could do was sit there and watch the cascading water, enjoy the refreshing mist that was now falling upon me, and take delight in watching the birdies play in the forming puddles.

I have to admit, taking delight in much of anything was a little difficult.

It got a lot harder when I remembered that my bedroom window, right in the path of the water plume, was very likely open. There was no way of knowing for sure until I could get inside.

The tow truck arrived in about 20 minutes, thankfully, and I had my keys back in no time. I turned the water off, went upstairs to my bedroom, and found quite the lake soaking a basket of laundry as well as a desktop covered with papers, supplies, and various other miscellany.

* * *

All of this would certainly have been enough if:

  • One of my clients had not told me they are cutting back my hours.

  • I didn't have two pee-soaked beds to change.

  • I actually had food in the house.

  • I didn't have to play endless phone tag with a child care center for my littlest one to make an appointment that was supposed to be for today, but then got canceled, but then got re-instated, but then got canceled again, while enduring the staff person insinuating that I was being difficult.

  • My bath tub's drain plug had not stopped working, making bath time a royal pain in the ass.

  • One of my children had not completely decompensated at Rubios, where I had to take everyone to eat at 8pm in the evening, with no homework done, for reasons that aren't interesting.

Being a parent requires way too much flexibility. I had to be so flexible today that I'm pretty sure I am now suffering from vertigo. If I have to bend like this all day everyday for 26 years (from day one of Baby #1, to age 18 for Baby #5), I think I will officially just keep on going 'round the bend and not come back, and hope that wherever I land there is lots and lots of red wine, a never ending supply of ear plugs, and someone to massage my feet.

* * *


Anonymous said…
I feel your pain, my last-minute-store-bought Danish cookies came home with Jen?? Do you think someone found out we are actually German? Next time you are making a list, add to it "extra set of keys for Laura" then all you will have to do is call and I will be there! May even bring Danish butter cookies with me...you won't get that from AAA!

Viv said…
Just...oh crap! That is awful. I'm sorry.
Kelly said…
Oh dear. Now that is a crappy day. And somehow you manage to eek a little bit of humor out of it. You are who I hope to be when I grow up.

Also, the paella thing? I would have killed someone for not bringing it to where it was supposed to be. All those ingredients! And none are really cheap, either.
Sarah said…
Days like that just suck. I hope today proves to much better and that the next time you're locked out of your car it's at BevMo or a good bakery!
nicole said…
I hope your blog leads you to a lucrative book deal! When I finished reading your post the song "She'll be coming round the mountain when she comes" was ringing in my head...I don't know why...maybe because you are so flexible you round mountains!
Anonymous said…
Sounds like a script for a TV sitcom or a very bad Steve Martin movie.

Kerri said…
oh, monica, what a horrible day...i am so sorry! you deserve an icy cold mug of a good qualtiy brew!

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