The kids are in bed, the wine is poured, the husband is hanging out at the Genius Bar praying for his laptop. You guys are going to find this So Amusing: that stupid computer game overheated his beloved MacBook and now it might be dead. One of you totally called this and you win a lifeless laptop and all the candy corn.
(I hate candy corn.)
(I am, however, giving the candy corn credit for the fact that we had no potty accidents today. Does candy corn work where stickers don't? Who knows?!)
But today was notable for other things than computer crashes and improvements in potty training. First of all, I thought of an actual ACTIVITY I could do with my kids. Which is good, you know, since all our friends have preschool on the days when we don't have preschool OR they have moved way far away and will probably, slowly, and with profound relief, drop us from their playdate circle (WOE) and I have to find things for us to DO. We can't go to the zoo EVERY day. I hate the zoo almost as much as I hate candy corn.
I bought this little hanging ghost kit at Target the other day. Now, I know that you can make your OWN ghosts, with a box of Kleenex and a Sharpie and maybe some dental floss to string them from the ceiling, but the Target ghosts already had their faces printed on little white plastic bags and I thought: HOW CUTE. The package said to stuff them with newspaper or leaves, and since there are plenty of leaves on the ground in our neighborhood, I thought it'd be fun to give the kids a plastic shopping bag and let them pick up as many leaves as their little hearts desired.
Of course, most of the leaves were wet, which was gross, or the kids really wanted to pick up GINORMOUS leaves, which aren't so conducive to making tiny ghosties, or they wanted to pick up pinecones and sticks... whatever. I didn't care. We just had to get out of the house and appreciate the gorgeous fall sunshine and KILL TIME. It's terrible that some days I'm only out to kill time, but that's how I think of it. Kids pick up leaves, I kill time.
So the kids picked up leaves while I admired all the houses I'll never be able to buy and we came home and made our ghosts. I should say that the kids ate lunch while I made ghosts because the whole leaf thing wasn't really working. Also it was kind of dirty and gross. So after a few attempts I just pulled off a bunch of paper towels, let Jack crumple them up, and we stuffed the ghosts. Then I wrapped twist ties around their necks and from their heads and we all went out the front door to watch Mommy hang the ghosts from the tree and the porch and the lamp and maybe the half dead rose bush.
It was actually pretty fun, since the kids were rather particular about where I hung the ghosts, and they looked pretty neat and I started to wonder if we'd get any trick or treaters on our busy street, maybe I should prop open the gate with a jack o'lantern, what about lights? I should totally string some lights and before you knew it I was one of those people who turn their entire front yards into graveyards/haunted houses SOMEONE STOP ME. (Okay, this was only in my brain, but still.)
And then I looked up and the front door was shut. And my brain went: Oh @#!$.
I ran up the steps, tried the door: it was locked.
I ran around back and tried the basement door: locked.
I ran up to the kitchen door, saying Oh %&*$ Oh (*@$ Oh #$%& and yep: locked.
Then I went and sat on the front steps of the house and thought about what to do.
Our neighbors don't have a spare key. (We've met all of one neighbor, which depresses me so, that's another post.) We haven't hidden a spare key, mostly because we only recently found all the spares we made a few months ago and hadn't got around to it. My sister in Seattle doesn't have a spare key, for the previous reason. The only extra key I could think of was at work with Phillip.
A little bit earlier I'd noticed that some dude was over at the house next door painting the trim. I was pretty sure all my other neighbors were at work (I watch them leave from my kitchen window every morning) so I shut the kids inside the fence, ran over to the guy next door and asked if I could borrow his phone. He quite cheerfully and sympathetically let me borrow his phone and I had to dial Phillip a few times before he answered, and then he grumpily agreed to take a taxi to the house and let us back in.
(It was just past lunchtime and you know who was going to need a nap. Someone else really needed to check her email.)
So. THAT was embarrassing. Phillip ended up borrowing a coworker's car so he was here within minutes, but still. Getting locked out is one of my Prime Fears. It happened several times at the old house, but our neighbors had keys and my sister lived down the block. I'm SUPER conscientious about keeping the doors unlocked when the kids are outside, or if I'm going back and forth between the garage or the garbage cans. USUALLY! And the car is a whole other matter - my biggest most-likely parent fear is locking the kids in the car with my keys. I am completely OCD about checking the Key Location when I'm getting them in and out of the car.
But, uh, all defenses were down today. I guess. I did hide a spare key. I am not telling where.
The ghosts are cute!
And Phillip is home and he wants everyone to know that 1) his laptop's injuries are critical, but not life threatening and 2) treatment will be free! Something about a fried video card that's still under warranty? Here I was prepared to say all manner of obnoxious things about the GENIUS bar, but a free fix for a three-year-old REFURBISHED laptop's not bad.
It's been a good day, and there WILL be preschool in the morning.
In the meantime: I'm asking for advice about babysitters at Parenting tomorrow morning/today. I would REALLY appreciate any thoughts or insight or suggestions or ideas or WHATEVER to make our first date night with a real not-family babysitter go smoothly this Saturday!