Saturday, October 17, 2009

My Friday Before Dinner

It's Friday. I've invited my college buddies over for dinner and what started out as just us and my friend Bob for dinner, turned into us three, Bob, Vern, Cara, Alex, Kim, Ted, Alison and Will. Sweet. We tend to have trouble finding time when we can all get together and this impromptu thing ended up working out really well.

Knowing that I can't cook, I arranged to order pizza and have it arrive about 6:45. Everyone planned to arrive around 6:30 or 7 and that seemed like as good a plan as any. We've learned from past dinners that if we don't pre-order, we starve while waiting for the food and then don't have time to play a game afterward, which is really what this is all about. Having fun with old friends, and playing games.

I had a few errands to run before picking Ada up so I left work at 4:30. I went to the ATM, then went to a different bank to make a deposit for the condo association. I have two letters in my hand that I need to mail. Previously, when making the condo association bank deposit, I though I had inadvertently put the envelope I keep the ATM card in, into the mail drop box with a bill I was mailing then. That resulted in me being distracted and telling the story about just how I'd lost the card when Ada fell down the back porch stairs. Yikes. Don't want a repeat of that. (It turns out that the ATM card was in an envelope on the kitchen counter the whole time.)

This time, I again have letters to mail so I crossed the street to deposit two bills into a postal drop box and re-crossed the street to be on the south side for the entry to the El train home. As I'm waiting for the light, it dawns on me that I can't remember where I put the ATM card. The light turns in my favor and I cross the street while quickly, not frantically but concernedly, digging in my purse for the ATM card envelope. I know it's there. I just can't find it under all of the crap I have. Why do I have a sippy cup, a diaper, wipes, and goldfish snacks in here? How the heck am I supposed to find...SMACK!

Oh no I didn't. Oh yes you did.

While intensely focusing on the contents of my purse, I continued to walk toward the El station and completely lost all awareness of my surroundings and walked straight into...wait for it...A BUS SHELTER. Thunk. My calf, knee and head all connected with the advertising side of the small structure.

"Oh My God. I did not just do that", I think.

"Oh yes I did." I start laughing uncontrollably. Then I realize, "What if there is someone waiting for a bus? They must think I'm an idiot."

I peer around the corner of the shelter. Yep. Hi there. In my head I'm saying, "That was me who just walked into the side of this place. Sorry about that. Hope I didn't startle you but damn, that's funny." In reality, I shot her a quick glance with the biggest smile on my face and quickly continued on my way down the street. Laughing to myself and at myself the whole way to the El train. Then I laughed even more as I sent my friend Colette a text retelling the event.

But that's not all.

I got Ada, got home and all but forgot about the previous "incident", putting it in my back pocket for a funny story later on. It was time I focus on cleaning up the last bits of things that are out of place and feeding Ada before everyone starts to arrive.

All is going well. I've done the dishes and she helped me put them away - which I encouraged as I quickly grabbed each glass plate and dish she handed to me from the bottom rack of the dishwasher. Boy was that nerve-wracking but she insisted on helping.

Ada is eating. I'm settled in to watch some Grey's Anatomy on (since we don't have cable). I've supplied Ada with a gourmet dinner of bagel, goldfish crackers, graham crackers, turkey, and apple sauce. And I've just dumped out our old milk and given her a full cup of milk that tasted okay to me but is on it's last day as well. Why does our milk seem to go bad so quickly these days? I text Rick to have him pick up new milk since our friend Bob is coming over and that man drinks more milk than anyone I've ever seen in my entire life. Multiple gallons in a week. He could have been a dairy cow in another life.

All is well in the world. Rick comes home and greets us. He removes his winter coat (yes, I know it's early October!) and settles in next to us to see what is going on. I have two minutes left on Grey's Anatomy and friends will be arriving anytime now. Ada's finishing up dinner and... then... it starts. As we are sitting around all content with the world, Ada starts throwing up her entire dinner. At first, we think she's just choking on something and is going to spit it out. Then it keeps coming up, and up, and up. She has expelled everything in her stomach. All over herself, the highchair, the floor. Everywhere.

"It must have been the milk. I didn't think it was 'bad' but it clearly wasn't 'good'. Let's clean her up." I mutter as I take her to the bathroom while holding her at arms length, hoping to stay clean.

She is, by this time, hysterical. Screaming. Not quite sure what the heck is going on or why she has her dinner all over her body. I've got her in the tub and she won't let me take her vomit covered shirt off. I'm tugging, she's resisting. Finally I win and get her naked. I turn on the shower and start to spray her down. She's still hysterical.

"Screw it." I think to myself as she reaches out to me, wet, naked, and covered in her regurgitated dinner. She crawls out of the tub and into my fully-clothed, dry clothes and clean arms and cries. I get her to calm down a bit and then decide to join her in the shower to comfort her and get her cleaned up. So what if I have 8 people coming over for dinner in just a matter of minutes. They are such good friends, I practically consider them family.

I'm in the shower with her when I hear the first door buzzer. At least Rick's home to let people in. I'm shampooing her hair for the second buzz. We are rinsing off for the third tone. And we are standing naked, dripping wet and trying to towel off when the pizza arrives. Thankfully I set out money for the pizza guy ahead of time and Bob took care of it all. My kind of house guests.

I passed Ada out to Rick so he could get her dressed again. Then I quickly shuffle around the hall corner to my bedroom to get decent. A quick glance in the mirror reveals that my mascara has run, but overall my makeup is salvageable and my hair isn't too wet. Five minutes and a whole new outfit later, I'm dishing up pizza and enjoying friends.

About an hour later, I remember that good old bus shelter incident and decide it's a great time to share one of my most "blonde" moments ever as tears of laughter gush from my eyes.

Good times had by all.

Moral of the story: The best friends are those that can help themselves and love you just the way you are. And those that laugh with you instead of at you. Just keep laughing at yourself.

Parenting rule to live by: When in doubt, throw it out.

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