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Monday, February 17, 2014

Worst Snow Day Ever!

That reminds me of our all-time, flat-out, hands down worst snow day ever! 

Actually, there was no snow--we were living in Oklahoma--it was an ice storm.

At 8 am the morning of the storm, a neighbor called to inform me that my older son was ice skating down the middle of the street. Complete with helmet and hockey stick (and least he put on his helmet!).  For people in Norman, Oklahoma, this was kind of like seeing aliens land in in the parking lot of Sonic. Shocked drivers were gliding past him, their faces transfixed in horror. I ran to the front door and yelled for Palmer to get out of the street right now! He waved "Oh, hi, Mom!" and happily skated right onto the front walkway and up to the door. I told him that under no circumstances could he leave the back yard!

An hour later, while I was getting both kids into the tub, the glass shower door shot back and shattered into a million tiny pieces of safety-glass jigsaw. I hustled the kids out of the bathroom and spent 45 minutes cleaning up every tiny shard of glass--then I hauled the jagged, glass-dribbling doorframe out to the utility area behind the garage, where I stuck it behind the trash cans.

Meanwhile, I had noticed that the cat wasn't looking so hot--he'd been in another fight with the white cat ("Bad Cat") who lived behind us and had a nasty abscess on his leg. I made him a vet appointment for later on that day and made a mental note to keep him inside.

After I finished vacuuming the carpet outside the bathroom for stray glass shards, I came in the living room to check on the boys, and there was Palmer, ice skating again--this time, in the back yard as requested, but with the broken shower door draped around his neck! As he skated around, merrily talking to himself about Sponge Bob, little fragments of glass rained onto the ice.

I threw open the door and yelled at Palmer to stop right there (this was something I said a lot). He kept skating and just looked at me, completely mystified. I carefully slid across the ice in my socks, lifted the door frame off his shoulders, and brushed a dozen shards of glass out of  his hair.

"Can you please stay out of the utility area?" I said with gritted teeth. As far as I knew, Palmer had never even noticed the utility area--why he chosen this day to go in there are liberate the door so he could skate around with it on his head was beyond me (but then again, after seven years with this child, I was not actually that surprised).

I hauled the door back to the utility area and locked it. Then I suddenly remembered--the cat. I yelled back at the house, "Boys! Quick--shut the door!"

Both boys stood in the open door and stared at me. The cat hovered behind them.
"What door?" they yelled back. "Which door do you want us to close?"

Before I could reply, Palmer said importantly: "Mac, go close the garage door."  As Mac dutifully ran off to close the garage door, I yelled, "NO! THAT DOOR! THE ONE YOU'RE STANDING IN! YOU'RE GOING TO LET THE--"

And the cat bolted out from behind Palmer and took off.

"Oh my god," I gritted my teeth again (in a few years, and I am not kidding, I would need a root canal for child-induced teeth grinding.)  Behind me, the garage door creaked open, since Mac had hit the button without noticing whether it was open or closed. It was just as well--I  ran into the garage, grabbed my boots, and stepped back onto the ice to go after the cat. The ice was so lethal all I could do was shuffle a few inches at a time (in retrospect, I should have asked Palmer to go after the cat in his skates!).

The cat staggered awkwardly around the corner of the house. I made my  way after him in the slowest possible, not-picking-my-feet-up-trying-not-to-crack-my-head-open ice walk. It was like an extreme super-slow-mo chase scene.  The cat, who was surprisingly fast despite his infected leg and the ice, gimped toward the front door and darted behind the holly bush. I scootched up to the holly bush, reached for the cat, and then, wham--my feet went out from under me and I landed on the holly bush--now a razor-sharp frozen death shrub.

The boys, intrigued by my agonizing walk around the house, chose that moment to open the from door.

"Mom, what are you doing?"

"Grab the CAT!" I yelled. They grabbed him. I picked myself up--OMG, ow!--I had landed really hard on my hip, and was bleeding from several bloody scratches from the hollycicles. I hobbled back inside.

We got the cat to the vet.

Seven months and a very large amount of money later,  I had spine surgery for the herniated discs which had dislodged in that fall on the ice.

The good news is, the cat was fine.

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