Our Mondays are not usually terrible for Anna June, but yesterday was. I had to wake her up and from the first minute of her day, she was in a bad mood. She asked if she had to go to school, and even though she likes school, she groaned. I gave her a choice of what to have for breakfast, and when I served it to her, she cried. I gave her an alternative dish and she ate a few bites, then fell in the floor to pitch a fit. I literally wrestled with her to get her clothes on. There were many tears. We made it to school and I reported to her teacher that the morning had been "difficult."
Later I learned that several of the other kids in AJ's class were also having difficult days. This was a bad combination. Anna June was bitten on the playground. (Since she was in such a bad mood, I have no idea what she did to provoke this, but I'm sure it was at least somewhat her fault. You don't get your finger bitten unless it is close to someone's mouth.) The bite resulted in a call to me at work - my heart always stops for a second when I see the school's number on the Caller ID!
The day progressed, and I went to pick AJ up from school. Although she had been fine to that point, she immediately began whining again. As soon as she got in the car, she asked if we could go home. I told her I planned to go home and stay there for the rest of the night. She said, "I want to stay home all day!" So I told her that is what we would do.
If I were writing a script for a movie, I would have kept that bit of dialogue as ominous foreshadowing. When we got to the house, I tried turning my key in the lock. It has been sticking, and my key was bent. I turned a little too hard and my key broke off in the door. We were locked out. And wouldn't you know it, Ben was already in class. Until 8 pm!
So I called my parents' house, hoping to find my mother, who has a spare key. But we got Dad instead, who invited us to come there and wait until either Mom or Ben could come. I had an alternate idea - to go meet Mom at work and eat dinner (at Rusty's) and then come home. But Anna June decided that she'd rather see Granddaddy than Rusty (who wasn't there anyway) and we set off to his house. At least, I thought, if we went to Dad's house, there would be wine, and I felt like I could use a "grown up drink". If this had happened an hour earlier, by the way, Dad could have brought Mom's key back home from Leeds for me, but, of course, if it had happened an hour earlier, Ben would have also been available.
Anyway, dinner was almost finished. When we got there, Dad was cutting up a pineapple, which is, of course, the symbol for hospitality. That popped into my head as we chowed down on the fruit, cheese, crackers, and delicious pasta including homemade sauce with fresh tomatoes, and then two kinds of ice cream for dessert. So we ate. We relaxed. I sent Ben a text message with the bad news, and he called to check on us at his break. At that point, we were fine.
I used to think Everybody Loves Raymond wasn't that funny until I got married. Now, it is one of my favorite shows. A lot of the comedy comes from the fact that Ray's parents live across the street. Again, when I was single, I thought this was absurd. Now, I would have to say I recommend it. Living 1.6 miles from one's parents, especially when one is accident-prone, is a true blessing.
Somehow, during our stay, Anna June was throwing one of her exhausted fits, and I was trying to convince her to go to sleep at Mom and Dad's. I didn't intend for her to spend the night, really, just for her to get a little nap in before we left, since Ben wouldn't be available until after bedtime to rescue us. But she invited herself to spend the night. Mom and Dad agreed, so she did. We had her school backpack along, which had some complete changes of clothes, and Mom's car has a car seat, so she agreed to take her back to daycare for me this morning.
Ben called while we were about to get AJ down to sleep to say that he had made it safely into the house through the front door. Unfortunately, there's no delay on the alarm from the front door, so as soon as he opened it, the alarm went off. The neighbors were annoyed, but the alarm company got in touch with him before calling the police! And of course, Radar did not react well to having been inside for 14 or so hours.
I kissed AJ goodnight and headed home to try to accomplish a few things before turning in. As soon as I got in my car and realized I didn't have anyone to talk to, I turned on the CD I had been listening to, the Grosse Pointe Blank Soundtrack. I am not kidding, the song that played was Pete Townshend's "Let My Love Open the Door". I did not know whether to laugh or cry.
Do we want to be another Atlanta? (vote)
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