At night, after the kids are all snug in bed -- at least after I've gone 'round the second time to shush the older boys, still talking at 9:45, and to put the three-year-old back in her bed after she padded across the hall to our room -- I like to go online and catch up on the day's news.
So last night, after I'm flipping around stories about the latest hurricane and stuff about Obama-Palin (not quite bored of that whole thing yet...fascinating election season. WAKE UP. I AM FINISHED TALKING ABOUT POLITICS.), a headline catches my eye. "Doomsday Scenario Worries Some." I'm always up for a good doomsday piece, so I read further and, while my brain turns to fuzz whenever I see the words "atom" and "collider," the gist of the story is that some scientists in Europe are experimenting with a process that could...end up....destroying the Earth.
Like on Wednesday.
Apparently, there is a chance that we can all get sucked into some kind of black hole this week. (I am not heartened by the fact that "several" scientists say not to worry about it. Okay, so what do the other ones think? Even one scientist who is like "Hey, maybe not the BEST idea," is reason to be concerned in my book.)
At any rate, thinking about Doomsday, um, tomorrow, got me wondering what I'd be doing if I, and the rest of the world, was suddenly sucked into a vortex thing-y.
So, as I went about my business today, I took stock once and a while, to gauge what my last day on Earth would be like.
In typical Mom's Bad Day fashion, it wasn't exactly an uneventful one.
More like this:
* Despite all my efforts to get an early start to avoid screaming fits and a countertop littered with early morning shrapnel, like bread crusts ripped from school lunch sandwiches, I am still running late. GETYOURSHOESON! WHEREISYOURBELT? CANYOUMOVEALITTLEFASTER? I am shrieking already and it's not even 8. I end up literally shoving the fifth and sixth grader out the door and try to get some exercise in by riding my daughter on the back of my bike to preschool. I catch a glimpse of my roly poly stomach hunched over the bike in someone's picture window and I vow to not go home and eat those leftover peanut butter crusts.
* I get to school and, in front of my good friend at the bike rack, my second son comes up and tells me that his older brother ran his bike into him on purpose. I give him the Eye, like DO NOT break rank in front of people we know, but he keeps going. "He told me that's what I deserved, after I told on him to you." By now, I can't remember who told on who and what about, but I shut him down with another dirty look and send him on his way. Then I ask the accused older bike-rammer if the story is true when he ambles away from the bike rack and he denies it. Until I remind him that we are steps away from a church and from his Catholic school. It's not even 8:15 and I am using up the Catholic Guilt Card.
* After I blow off my work deadlines to go to Target (hey, who doesn't?). I pick up my daughter from school. I go to the school office to pay our ungodly monthly tuition bill, and she busies herself by begging the person at the desk for some candy. When I tell her that the office doesn't have the candy dish anymore because it's not a healthy snack (damn the food police! Bet they don't eat leftover crust!), she flips her head at me and snaps, "I don't care what you say. I don't care what you say. I don't care what you say." All of this within earshot of The Principal.
* Because she is such a sweetie (HA), I take my girl to lunch. Actually, I just need to go to the post office and bank and I don't have time to get back home before her second preschool starts, so I bribe her with a promised hot dog. The restaurant is a popular one among moms in town, most of whom are in full makeup, beautiful ly coiffed anchorwoman-worthy hair and matchy matchy belts and shirts with skinny jeans and skinny shoes that just seem to accentuate how round both my shoes and my body are. In front of a load of these perfect belt-matching mommies, as we are eating our lunch, my daughter admonishes me in her loudest possible voice to "STOP LOOKING AT MY PENIS." Seeing my horrifed reaction, she repeats it for good measure. "I SAID, STOP LOOKING AT MY PENIS." No, the chilli doesn't have beans, I tell her sweetly through gnashed teeth as I drag her out the door and into our toy-and-food littered minivan that is parked in between the mommies' Range Rovers and Land Cruisers.
* I run home after dropping off the Penis-less Princess at preschool (now there's something to practice phonix!), because the dishwasher guy is supposed to be there at 1 to fix our dang dishwasher that has broken four times in the past 2 years. He's not there, but I find a note from our village that all the trucks on the block that I just passed are there working on an emergency water main break. Our water is turned off from 11 to 4 today and we have to boil it for 48 hours once it comes back on.
* The dishwasher guy calls and says he's on his way. I tell him that we have no water. He informs me that he will have to reschedule. Seems he can't fix the dishwasher without running it. But he can come back in, oh, six days from now. So, I have no water, no dishwasher, and the timing for both just happened to fall within the same five-hour span. Lucky me.
* My preschooler and first grader have friends over after school. I tell them several times not to touch the faucets and not, absolutely not, to drink the water. When I check on Princess and her two little three-year-old girlfriends, they are in the bathroom, with the water running. Of course, the village turned on the water -- the putrid water that we are not supposed to drink or bathe in -- right when they decided to use a washcloth on their face and hair. I see a wet Dixie Cup and ask if anyone has had a sip of water. They all look at me with those wide little girl eyes. So I say it in a rather shrill manner -- DID ANYONE DRINK THIS WATER? TELL ME NOW. IT"S POISON." Then, of course, all three start to cry. But at least they all agree that no one drank it.
* Once all of the friends are gone, I pick up the house and vacuum, so it doesn't like the disaster it really is all day when my husband comes home. By the time he does come home, there is a small trail of popcorn leading from the kitchen to the TV room, which is sprinkled with smashed kernels on the carpet that I vacuumed not 20 minutes before. To top it off, they ate MY low-fat bagged popcorn from Trader Joe's, the one I shoved in the back of the pantry to keep it all to myself.
* By now, I have decided I have no interest in cooking dinner, because I don't want to wash the dishes using my dirty water and I'm crabby about the popcorn thieves who were all Hansel and Gretal-ish with their crumbs. I ask my husband if we can go out, and SHOCKINGLY, he agrees.
* We end up at the Chinese restaurant a few towns over. We have our moments, like when Annie keeps yelling "I am Chinese girl! I am Chinese girl" while putting chopsticks in her hair and when I accidentally knock my tea over three times, but all in all, it's a scene that reminds me of one of the last moments in the movie classic, "A Christmas Story." The high point of that film, to me, is when the family heads to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner after the neighbor dogs ate their turkey. We read our fortunes, and they're pretty spot-on. Mine says that I like to believe in the goodness in people, which I do, while my husband's says that he's going on a business trip soon, which he is. My oldest's fortune says that he has great ideas, my second son's fortune says that he has a great imagine, my third son's fortune says that he'll always be blessed by true friends and my daugher's says something about being popular with Cow Workers. Or at least that's how my fifth grader read it to her. She was happy that she will have Cow Workers, whatever that means.
For Doomsday Eve, I guess today was a pretty good reflection of our life. At least our fortune didn't tell us to enjoy it because it will all be over tomorrow.