Tuesday, March 15, 2016
I have one who when she makes a plan she makes a plan. Like, there is no stopping this child. Lately her plans consist of cooking and baking, which is not something I'm thrilled to participate in, in my cramped and crappy kitchen. However, there is seriously no stopping her so today after she perused her cookbook for awhile she chose the always delicious caramel apple slices. We trucked off to the grocery store, handy as there was nothing in the house for supper as apparently I've gone off grocery shopping too, and picked up the bag of caramel candies, 5 granny smiths, and some pecans.
Peeling the caramels kept two of them busy for all of five minutes (I thought I would get more out of the tiny individually wrapped candies but when those girls set their minds to it they are fast, man) so there we were, nuts in the oven, toasting, while child stirred melting caramels. I was washing dishes and supervising stirring.
I'm like, I can smell something burning. You really have to stir. Her, mad. I am, I am stirring. Me, taking pot and removing from heat, stirring stupid sticky candies; Like this, really hard. Her, I AM, I SAID. This scene repeated itself a few times till I shrieked in fury. The oven! The oven! The nuts are on fire. And they were on fire, totally, a completely raging fire in my oven.
Now I've got all three of them in meltdown mode. Oldest grabs phone, hysterically. I'm calling the fire department, she says, dialling madly. Oh no you aren't, I yell, trying to decide if I could get away with leaving the fire to burn itself out. Instead, my thoughts slide to the fire extinguisher I have ready in my kitchen for times like this. I should've just thrown some water at it, now that I think of it, but no I have to be a hero and I USE THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER. Fire doused, immediately. In thick white chemical that burns our eyes, ears, nose and throats worse than the carcinogenic nuts wafting through the house.
I send them out to ride bikes. I realize they are all a little hysterical and perhaps riding bikes isn't the safest choice. I make them put out Sammy, our friendly little neighbourhood safety guy, hoping that he will force any madly racing drivers to slow down and not hit my wobbly girls.
I spend next hour vacuuming up chemical and burnt nuts. Then I wipe everything down ten times with wet paper towels. And I think, I'm not meant to do this. Domesticity is not my thing. I can play at it, that's for sure. I can cook and clean and care for people, but it isn't my natural resting place.
Case in point. A year and a half ago I tried to get the jump on my day, being one of those days you have to take your luxury mini van in to have it cared for. I put food in the crock pot and also baked banana bread. It was February, which is heavy winter here, and I called a taxi at 4:05 pm to take me and at that point toddler to pick up van. Watch for a car, I commanded her, while I decided AGAIN to get the jump on it and put the banana bread pans in water to soak while we got van. We had an hour to get to Honda, get van and get back as older children were at piano lesson from which they would walk home at 5:00 pm and if I wasn't there they would likely just stand there on the front step and freeze to death so I had to HURRY.
Toddler: car! I panic a little, how long has he been there? omigod, what if he leaves I'll never get another cab...we race out the door...
...and come home through the garage where I find the floor mat floating. Hmmm????? I think. Did the travelling washer pull away from the wall and spill water? Hmmmm????? And I sloush through water into the kitchen where the TAP IS STILL RUNNING and it is pouring not into the empty sink next to the full and overflowing sink, no it is pouring down over the front of the sink onto the floor. There is a veritable lake on the floor but I'm like, this is okay, I can fix this, it's just nice clean water, no big deal. Would help if I had a mop, I think to myself, instead of a stupid swiffer that won't pick up anything, but that's okay I will just use towels to soak it up and what is that weird beeping noise coming from the basement I wonder? And so toddler and I go downstairs and toddler says, the ceiling is melting, and indeed, it is melting, and it is at this point that I realize that somehow basement has been flooded from upstairs* and has come through walls and ceiling.
I grab phone and phone, who else, but my dad. Dad, dad, I left the tap on for like and hour and now there's water everywhere in the basement. The ceiling is melting. Dad thinks for all of ten seconds. Isn't your sink directly over your electrical panel in your basement? Um, yes. Is that wet? Uh, yes, it is. Water dripping on top of it. I'm not sure that's safe, exactly, he says. Maybe you need to call an electrician.
And that was not the first, no not the first, but perhaps the best indicator that I'm better off not being responsible for the lives of three little people. I mean, I'm the one who makes sure they eat and sleep and wash their fricking hands (I do my best on that one but it might be the biggest challenge yet). But the care and keeping of the home stuff, the mandatory maintenance like dishes and wiping and laundry and floors and the nice-if-it-gets-done stuff like changing the sheets and transferring winter/summer clothes and not burning it down/flooding it. That stuff is apparently beyond me.
That's okay though, I think. It takes all kinds.
*water went through heat vents and so marvellously travelled all over basement, emitting itself absolutely everywhere