Monday, January 09, 2023

Interesting mishaps

The weather has been beyond beautiful the last little while and it had been too long since we'd had a good jogging session, so today the kids and I went to the park for a run. The three older children all made biking goals this year, so they all rode to the park together. This gave me plenty of room in the back of the van to load the jogging stroller, Zoë's bike, and two of Alexander's bikes (his pedal bike, which he didn't want to ride but ended up riding, and his balance bike, which he insisted we bring along and which he didn't end up riding). 

I have a baby seat sitting in the garage but it doesn't seem to be able to attach to any of our bikes, otherwise I might have been persuaded to ride to the park with the kids. But instead I drove the younger three and all their gear (and all the water bottles) to the park. We completed our jog, did some plein air painting, played at the park, and then headed home. 

Once there, Zoë and Alexander obediently grabbed "stuff" from the van to carry inside, dropped everything in a pile just inside the door, and went to get themselves a snack, left me outside to deal with everything else (bikes, screaming babies, the whole kit and caboodle). 

I got Phoebe out of her seat and let her toddle around while I started unloading the back of the van. I took out the balance bike and put that away. Then I took out Alexander's pedal bike and just about put it away, but then I thought I would put Zoë's bike away first, since she has an easier time moving his bike to get to hers (compared to how difficult it is for him to move her bike to get to his). So her bike can go against the garage wall and then his bike can lean against hers.

Like most things in our house, bikes have to be doubled up to be put away. There are just too many of them to store them single-file. So I left Alexander's pedal bike behind Andrew's car while I reached inside the back of the van to pull out Zoë's bike. 

Keep in mind that Alexander's pedal bike has training wheels, so it stands upright on its own. This is good, because it meant that when Phoebe decided to push it back over to me it didn't topple over on top of her. 

It was also bad because it meant that as I was backing my way out of the back of the van carrying a bike, I toppled over on top of Alexander's bike that was suddenly parked directly behind my ankles. I didn't even hear Phoebe do it (since I was too busy grunting and clanging in the back of the van as I wrestled with Zoë's bike)!

So, there I was, a Mommy sandwhich—one bike under me, one bike on top of me. 

Not my finest moment. 

Fortunately Phoebe had already toddled out of the way, but my rear end sure was sore!

I climbed out from among the bikes, put them away, pulled out the jogging stroller, closed the back hatch. Then I picked up Phoebe, gathered the rest of the stuff the kids had left in the van—a box of paints, the diaper bag, someone's jacket, and a water bottle—and went to head inside.

Only I couldn't get through the door...because Zoë and Alexander had left a pile of shoes and jackets right in front of the door! And my arms were full and...arrrgh!

It was a pretty intense couple of minutes!

First the baby almost kills me, and then my bigger babies essentially locked me out of the house. Thanks a lot, kiddos!


Just a few minutes ago I heard someone stumble out of bed. They walked so softly that at first I thought it might have been Phoebe—though the lack of screaming accompanying the footsteps muddied that idea. That baby does not wake up happy (pretty much ever). The footsteps certainly couldn't have been Benjamin, who packs an elephantine tread. The older girls were both awake and busy downstairs. That leave Zoë or Alexan...


I jumped out of my chair and raced to the bathroom, to find Alexander peeing on a closed toilet seat lid. 

"What are you doing, buddy?!" I whispered...emotionally. 

"Whaaaaaaa?" he asked, turning to face me...still...peeing.

Clean up was...not minimal. 


I had a phone call scheduled for today at noon, so at noon I left Phoebe with her sisters while I waited for the phone to ring.

It didn't.

So I went back downstairs and proceeded to help the children move along in their studies. Miraculously, Benjamin completed an entire unit of math in 12 minutes, getting everything 100% correct—it was multiplying fractions and he it. He is, at times, an impressive little calculator. The other day we were solving some equation or other at the dinner table and he spouted off an answer. Rachel was like, "No! It's...6/64."

"3/32," said Benjamin.



"Benjamin, if you multiply..."

And Benjamin simply said, "Simplify."

He was correct of course. He is very good at calculations. 

Today he was less good at completing his writing assignment (which is what he was supposed to have been finishing during my phone call, though I can't really be upset with him for doing his math so quickly and so well). 

Anyway...we were approaching 1:00 when I realized that this person who ghosted me—who had previously been so motivated to arrange a phone call with me—might not actually live in my time zone. 

I mean, I know I'm in Georgia. And I know that the university I  attend and work for has Georgia in its name. And the specific conference I'm planning also has Georgia in its name. And most of the conference attendees are, truthfully, from Georgia. But it was possible this person wasn't from Georgia. So I pulled up her contact information and...Houston, we have a problem. 

The problem is...that...she's from Houston. 

"Ooooookay," I said apologetically to my babysitters (who were having a lunch break, anyway). "I think I have a meeting in 10 minutes...again..."

"How come?"

"Because I think the reason she didn't call me before is because...she lives in Texas."

Then Miriam responded, "Oh, that makes sense. She's in Alabama's time zone." 

And at the exact same time Rachel, ever the comedian, said, "Oh, that makes sense...time is bigger in Texas."

So I went upstairs for my phone call that occurred precisely at 1:00 my time. I'm glad I figured that out! I mean, in my email I said that noon would work best for me, without ever checking on her location and thus naturally assuming it would be noon my time. She, meanwhile, simply assumed it would be noon her time. 

Either that or time really is bigger in Texas!

1 comment:

  1. I am very sorry to hear that you were a Mommy sandwich between bikes instead of bread. That sounds painful!