2011 can only be better than 2010. Especially considering the way 2010 went down.
December 31. New Year's Eve. I woke up to icy roads and a dusting of snow. And I had plans. And a four-wheel drive pick-up and years of practice driving on icy, snowy road conditions.
Home-improvement hubby had the day off and was planning to install my new oven. The stress of such projects combined with three small kids and a wife who loves to read instruction manuals didn't bode well for a quick install.
So, I planned to load up the kids, head to the big city, get a bit of shopping done and meet up with some mommy friends and their kids at the mall for lunch and a play date. I figured the quicker we hit the road, the quicker I'm baking cookies in a shiny, new oven.
We drove 45 mph in four-wheel-drive the entire 35 miles and arrived safely. The kids sang songs and enjoyed the drive. We made it successfully through our first store, and were working our way through the check-out when things started going south.
I was paying for our items and the kids were drooling over the candy selection. They seemed to be all eyes, no fingers, so I turned to finish paying. And then I heard Nell say, "Uh-oh, boken."
Tucker had a broken, $3.00, battery operated, spinning sucker in hand; the sucker cracked and smashed on the floor; and a piece of sucker in his mouth.
You've got to be kiddin' me.
I made him pick up the pieces. He immediately broke into sobbing and wailing - he knew he was guilty. And I marched him, the broken sucker and all its pieces, two girls and a cart full of goods to the service desk. He placed it on the counter and I instructed him to say, or gently squeezed the back of his neck until he said, "I broke it." I then dug $3.24 out of my purse, paid for the sucker, and marched my brood to the truck. I even went so far as to say, "I'm taking $3.24 out of your piggy bank, young man."
I was steaming mad, folks. Steaming.
Now en route to the mall for a play date and adult conversation, I got a call saying my mommy friends weren't in favor of braving the icy, snowy roads.
Smile. Stay positive. We can still have fun at the mall. We can still have fun at the mall.
We found the play area, and the kids enjoyed running and climbing all over the germ-filled contraptions. I ordered some pizza and root beer. I promised a ride on the mall's Christmas train if everyone ate a good lunch. They did and we trekked down to the train.
Where things got worse.
A sign posted by the train engine read: Train rides begin at 5:00 pm. The current time? 11:45 am.
Reluctantly, I relayed the information to the kids, bundled them up and headed out the door for the grocery store. Noah took it hard. Very hard. Tears turned to sobs. Sobs turned to wailing. And the wailing turned into throwing up all that pizza in the pick-up.
"No, no. Don't throw up. Don't you dare." (This has happened before. She has a tendency for turning the mildy sad into the majorly devastating.) Before I could get out, run around to her side and catch everything in her "blankie," Nell, sitting next to her, was sympathy pucking. Tucker was gagging.
"Look out the window, Tucker. Hold your nose. Look away."
I can't believe this is happening. I really can't believe this is happening.
I stripped the girls of their now yucky coats. Tossed everything "yucky" in the back of the pick-up and drove home. Without groceries. Which terribly annoyed my husband. Nevermind what I'd been through at this point, I was coming home without groceries. Without big-grocery-store-lower-priced-groceries. Not a good thing for my (thrify, economical, down-right cheap) husband.
We arrived home safely. By now, the sun had warmed the roads and the ice was beginning to melt. We cruised home in two-wheel-drive at a steady 55 mph.
I put the kids down for a nap, and went to the kitchen to admire my newly installed oven. Because I couldn't bake anything. Because I had no groceries. So I just admired it.
January 1; only eleven hours away. The first day of a new year. It could only get better...