Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Ice Queen, Melted

I kept Conor home from school today.  He stopped throwing up yesterday, and had begun eating and drinking small amounts, and his fever had passed, but I just wanted him to have one more day of rest.

I'd made a doctor's appointment for Aiden this morning to have his foot looked at.  I don't know what it is with my kids and their feet, but we've been through it, and thankfully have a wonderful podiatrist.  Aiden started complaining of foot pain after his first football practice, and I thought, "Oh, dear.  He will come unglued if he can't play."  We'd been getting him through the best we could with tape, ice, Advil, and prayers, but it needed to get looked at.  His doctor's appointment was for 8:45am, so I got up at 6:30am with the following plan:

6:30   Pack Sean's lunch--he was at Seminary (Sean lives with us now, have you heard?)
6:45   Make breakfast for Sean
7:00   Have scripture study with my kids
7:15   Feed Aiden and Conor (oh, and me)
7:30   Go shower and get dressed
8:15   Leave for the doctor's office

But, you know what they say about the "best laid plans."  Adam had stayed up all night working, so he was really tired, and when he heard that I was going in the general direction (sort of) of the town where Sean's school is, he asked if I could just take him "on my way."

So, that's why I didn't get to shower today.  And sort of why Sean was 5 minutes late for school (Adam told me it started at 8am, but at 7:49, stuck in traffic, Sean clarified that it starts at 7:50.  Precision isn't Adam's forte.)  And why we got to the doctor's office 38 minutes early.

Good thing we'd both packed books.  And I, mascara.

Aiden was relieved to hear that his growth plate had NOT broken again.  This time, just as his sister had earlier this year, he "just" has tendinitis.  And he is not forbidden from playing football, provided he follows some basic rules.  He is excused from all running in P.E. for a month, however.  But he is over-the-moon happy about it not being the worst case scenario he'd been dreading.

From the doctor's office in Glendale, we drove to Burbank to pick up an ankle brace, and then clear out to Northridge, where his school is.

On the way home, Lyndsay called me in hysterics about her Calculus 2 test.  She'd taken her first college exam and it did not go as she'd hoped.  I could barely understand her on the other end of the phone.  I pulled into a parking lot and talked her down for thirty minutes.

Things like, "It's okay.  You are allowed to do poorly sometimes.  It was your very first college exam."

And, "Who cares?  You're still awesome, and smart, and capable, and every wonderful thing you were before you took that test."

And, "This test, even if you do fail (which I know she won't) is not your semester grade, and all your preparation and hard work is not wasted.  You're finding your groove.  Hang in there."

And, "YOU are not your grades or your test scores, and you've got to separate your identity from your performance."

And a whole bunch of other things, some combination of which seemed to work, since by the end I think she laughed a little.

I didn't get home until just after noon.  Noon!  Tuesday mornings are my study hours.  (And this is prep for another exam week!) And after all that driving and the emotional highs and lows I was so tired.  I just wanted a 15 minute nap.  Maybe 30, if I got lucky.  Because Tuesday afternoons are piano hours.  But when I walked in the door, Adam was ready to hand off Conor to me, with an added, "The freezer repairman will be here within 30 minutes."

Crap.  There went the nap.

And my study time for the day, because at 1:30 back to back lessons begin.  Seven students on Tuesdays, which finish up right at dinnertime, and just before Scouts and bath time and bedtime.

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled the repairman was coming.  Our ice maker, for the last YEAR has not stopped making ice.  It's a daily chore to keep up with it.  It just keeps on making ice!  And if you don't keep on top of things, regularly emptying out that bin, it overflows and ice comes crashing down on you when you next open the freezer.  And, about 4 months ago, it got worse.  Not only does it perpetually make ice, but now it also drips water into the ice bin, so that the ice slowly melts and refreezes into one gigantic block of ice.  Every single day, the bin has to be taken out and has to be manually sprayed with hot water to melt the entire thing out.  Because if you forget (and I did sometimes), the water rises up over the top of the bin and freezes to the bottom of the ice maker, making it near impossible to remove from the freezer, and spills down the sides and freezes and creates stalactites and stalagmites of ice throughout your entire freezer and everything inside of it.  I can't even tell you how annoying it's been to have this as a daily chore in my life for MONTHS.  Or of the nights when I've awoken in the darkness with terror seizing my heart: "I FORGOT TO DO THE ICE!"  When I've gone out of town I've had to leave specific instructions with the babysitters.  And I've called home, "Don't forget to do the ice!"  It's been a nightmare.

I called the landlord months ago about it, but his resident repairman gave me a "Uh, you have to lift that little metal bar up," at which point I wanted to climb through the phone and grab him by the throat till his eyes bulged.  "This is way past lifting the little metal bar up," I said, sarcastically.  Jerkwad Stupidface Male Chauvinist Pig, I wanted to add.  (This was the same guy who when I called him over here to fix our leaking-for-the-7th-time bathtub faucet, told me that maybe I didn't know how to properly turn off the water and I was wrenching it too tightly.  I replied, "Um, I've been turning water off and on now for going on 40 years and I think I've got it."  Retard Butthead Womanhater Pig.)  Well, if it wasn't that little metal bar, then he had no idea how to fix it, and I'd have to call an appliance repairman.


So, that being the situation, I had to wait until I had money to do that.  Which was today.  At a little after noon, when I was supposed to be studying, and wanted to be napping, and was about to get hit with a barrage of piano students.

"I hate today," I said to Adam when he told me.  He giggled.

But then, when I went downstairs to wait, I decided to change my attitude.  I could feel Grouchy setting up a tent, and he wanted to stay. Yes, it's true that I'm a creature of habit, predictability, and constancy.  I don't like errands and driving around, and changes to my schedule.  However, I melted, I was able to help Adam out by taking Sean to school so he could sleep.  I have a really good podiatrist who knows me and my children, and even better, their feet, and then he rarely charges me for his services.  I got to spend the morning with Aiden, whom I adore, and we didn't get the bad news that he'd have to quit football.  I had the gas to drive all over creation.  I was available for Lyndsay when she needed me.  Conor had recovered.  The freezer was about to be fixed!  I am really, really blessed.  This has been a good day.

The repairman did not show up in the next 30 minutes.  (Do they ever?)  I could have taken a nap after all, but instead of feeling grumpy about that, I was grateful that in my waiting, I'd vacuumed the downstairs, thrown some chicken in the crockpot, and swept up the laundry room.  The repairman showed up at the same time as my first students.

Well, come on in!  Because I just got 20 minutes a day back on every day from here on out, now that I'm off of ice duty for good.


Leslie said...

You're so funny!! I'm glad you have gained 20 minutes a day back. I would have turned off the water to the fridge altogether before doing that ice chore for a year. And since when do renters have to pay for repairs to appliances that aren't theirs?

Luisa Perkins said...

You are so amazing. I would not have kicked Grouchy out with such alacrity. Way to go!

Kortni said...

You are awesome! Way to go turning that frown upside down!

Saint Holiday said...

I send strength to you, my little Jenna. I hope it arrives on time, maybe five minutes early. I love you.

Sandy said...

I have read and reread this entry a dozen times since you posted it. I can't tell you how much I needed to hear this lesson about gratitude for the huge blessings in our lives--because it's too easy to get caught up in frustration about the little irritants. Thank you!!!