Monday, December 24, 2007

Extreeme Home Makeover Blowout Party

Two days before Christmas, I impulsively picked up a Gingerbread House at our favorite bakery. It was gorgeous and filled with candy. I knew I'd be UBER Aunt if I showed up at my brother's house with this beauty in tow.

It seemed like the perfect plan. I'd load the Truck with all the kiddos, my husband would shop and finish up Christmas and we'd get in a visit and all would be happy and right with the world. I called my brother and set the plan in motion.

A brief hic-up in the plan, my toddler was sleeping. We elected to put our oldest son in charge as a babysitter at home. He could use the computer as long as she slept. Blitzkrieg or Civilizations IV heaven awaited. He was thrilled.

We get ten miles and I notice, the Suburban needed gas. No problem, we stopped to fill it up.

We get ten more miles. The kids want food.

I decide to splurge and get them the happy meals they clamored for, if only to make the hour drive to Uncle J's a bit more peaceful.

Alas, I considered running in to the bathroom, but denied myself for fear others would immediately decide they needed to go.

Christmas carols on the radio and spirits high, we were off.

Forty five minutes later, we're about a turn and an exit from my brother's when suddenly the car feels like it's dragging its chasse. It felt like we had hit a deer and were dragging the body, even though I have never hit a deer and wouldn't know what dragging a body of a large mammal under the car would feel like. I knew it wasn't good.

Pulling over as quickly as possible and as far off the road as possible, I briefed the kids. I'm going to check the car. "I don't care if I get hit, DON'T GET OUT OF THE CAR!"

"What do we do if you get hit?" My oldest asked. I handed her the cell phone, suddenly, she was fine with the world. "Call 911." I explained. The rear tire was not just flat, it was shredded. These were only one year old. Still, looking at the tire remains, I was grateful it was the rear that had blown and not the front or this could have been a very unhappy story. Calling Triple A, Calling Uncle J, Calling husband, we now could only wait for the cavalry to come. I began to regret not stopping in the McDonalds and wishing I hadn't ordered such a large Diet Coke.

The phone rings. Is it Triple A, my husband, my brother? No. It's my son.
"Rita needs a change."
"Ohhhhhh." I hang up.

Now today was also my daughter's 10th birthday and she had received a Nintendo GS. The entire episode had virtually escaped her notice until the battery started to falter. "Can't I charge it on your car?" She asked."No. I need to keep the phone charged.""Why?""Have you not noticed that we're not moving?""Why aren't we moving?"She was spared the rant that would have followed by the timely rescue of my brother in his van. He took four of the six I had with me, leaving the baby and my oldest as an assistant.

She was outraged. "I wanted to go with Uncle J. He has an X-Box 360. She sulked the rest of the time until Dad showed up. At this point, the rain began falling practically sideways. The tow truck man arrived. I get a text message from my son. "YOU OWE ME BIG."

The tow truck guy and my husband spent the better part of an hour thumbing through the car manual to locate the tool kit necessary to release the spare. Finally, the tire replaced, my husband heads back home to relieve our son of his duties.

Finally, we arrived to present the gorgeous cake. On their table was a home made gingerbread house the kids had decorated themselves. I suddenly feel like the worst Aunt in history for presenting a perfect Martha Stewart cake to usurp the homespun pride that the kids had over their creation. However, kids are great at not noticing when adults have their egos punctured. "Hey Aunt Sherry, can I have some?" My nephew set about picking at the chocolate door. He's my kind of kid.

I should point out that once we arrived at my brother's, we all jammed on the X-Box 360 rock star and got booed off the stage twice. My older girl forgave me but the birthday girl was miffed, as she still couldn't charge her Nintendo GS, she seemed to take it personally that Uncle J didn't have an adapter for her needs. He's in computers after all. Still, I told her, it was a blow out party. She didn't appreciate the humor.

Driving home to serve birthday cake, it felt like everything had happened perfectly anyway to me. I'd seen my brother and his family, the house was a hit, we made it back safely and I found out I can jam with the Pretenders as long as I do vocals and not guitar. Now I just have to let my husband know, I want an Xbox 360 for Christmas.

1 comment:

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!