Thursday, February 05, 2009

How To Do It All . . . Wrong

Yesterday afternoon we had to go to the chiropractor to meet the older two kids, who had been visiting Grandma. D2 had come down with a bad cold while he was there. We would arrive home right at dinner time.

No problem. I handle this kind of situation all the time. I put chili in the crockpot and cornbread in the bread machine. Then the babies needed some more vegetables, so I cooked a bag of broccoli and whipped it up in the blender right before DOB came to pick up me and the babies. Also I didn't want to waste money on disposables, so I kept them both in cloth, figuring that they'd already had their stinky diapers for the day.

I should have negotiated a better stinky diaper clause. (No more than one per child per day; only between the hours of 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. or 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., except for during meals or when out.) Anyway, no sooner did I pull D4 out of the carseat at the chiropractor than I realized he was stinky. But since the last time I tried to change a cloth diaper away from home I found the old one left in the diaper bag a week later, I decided to leave him in it. D1 and D2 were happy to see us, but very overtired and D2 had a horrible cough. D3 also had a stinky diaper, but we had not had the chance to notice it yet.

So we arrived home with four kids all suffering some combination of hungry, tired, stinky, and sick. We had an altercation just trying to get in the front door, a place where painful backlogs occur rather often when you have two spacey preschoolers, two very heavy carseats, a spring-loaded storm door, and a whole lot of snow. When we had all made it through the door, I realized I was smelling none of the smells that should have heralded hot, fresh cornbread and chili.

Turns out instead of setting the bread machine to bake quick breads, I had set it to make dough. So I had twice-kneaded and risen cornbread batter. (For you non-bakers, that's the exact opposite of what should be done with cornbread, which should be just barely mixed and baked immediately.) I also had forgotten that using the blender disrupts the crockpot's power supply enough to turn it off.

By the time the "cornbread" was baking and the chili was really heating, we had all four children screaming, something that fortunately doesn't happen very often. When it does, there's nothing to do but grit your teeth, quote the first stanza of "If" to yourself, and apply triage.

We did all survive. I'm even trying to use the crockpot and bread machine again.


Wendy from Zoom said...


Danielle Bean once said that someone asked her (after "Are they all yours?"), "Do they ever all cry at the same time?"

She said, "Sure."

"What do you do?"

"Join in."

Steve said...

My sympathies.

Zippy said...

Wow. You're my hero. I would definitely be in tears.

the Joneses said...

Definitely a Bad Time. Just think, one day this will be just another memory, instead of a daily threat. :)

-- SJ