My week started off with a (near) bang.
Monday, I took the kids to school, and I turned the oven on to heat up some pizza. (I'm weird in that I don't like to heat up leftover pizza in the microwave.)
I was talking to Audrey, and I saw a white light inside my oven. I was intrigued, because the light burned out years ago, and while I missed it, we never replaced it. (Not that big a deal to me, just one of those things every homeowner has on the "got to get to this sometime" list.)
I moseyed on over and looked inside, to see sparks, white sparks, shooting off my heating element. A bright red glow in the element right in front of the sparks was traveling, ever so slowly, along the length of it, sparks flying, leaving a trail of charred-ness in it's wake. I thought, I know that is clean, but maybe there was some food or something on it, causing the spark-and-char. I watch for a minute or two, and the sparking continued. Occasionally, it would really let one fly, and I turned the oven off, thinking I'd let it cool so I could investigate.
But the sparking continued. And the traveling glow-ring continued to...travel. I went to wake Mr W up, because he is the only one of us to ever run the self cleaning feature, and I wanted to know if that had ever happened before.
He didn't quite grasp what I meant in his sleep fog, so I finally had to resort to "Come. To. The. Kitchen. NOW."
Once he saw it, he understood. As we stood there talking about what was happening, he said, "Anna, it's still on." "No, I turned it off." "Then why is the other side of the element still glowing red like it's preheating?"
Alarmed, we pulled the stove out of the wall and pulled the plug. Literally. Initially, I was calling for repair when I realized, this range nearly 13 years old. Day in, day out, I use the hell out of it. Time to let it go, not risk burning my house down because I think it's fixable. Sears couldn't come until the following Monday anyways, and there was just no way in hell I could make it through the entire week with all these mouths to feed and no way to feed them. (They barely make it in the door afterschool without chewing off a limb, I could hardly expect them to wait a week.)
My day got better, too.
I went to a hair appt at 11:15, only to discover on my arrival my appt was actually at 1:15. (My hair chick rocks and got me in anyway.)
That afternoon, Ben and Nolan had a dr appt. Ben was sick, so it worked out that we were going anyway. It didn't matter that I was a few minutes late, because my van died on the way over, and we never made it. Some lovely teenagers pushed my van into a parking lot, ciggies in hand as they pushed; they helped me try to figure out what was wrong, and waited until they knew Mr W was on his way before they left. Their mothers would be proud.
I tried hard to not lose my cool in front of the kids, but it was a little disheartening, considering we just had it worked on. Mr W showed up, and after careful consideration, we called Remo's Towing Service. Again.
And once again, he was very gracious about it. The van got worked on; the fuel pump replaced as my bank acct gasped for air.
Ben, however, has not fared so well all week. We did make it to the doctor Tues morning, and I was given all manner of things to help him out. The relentless cough, however, was pretty bad, especially at night. So the two of us had not slept much. By Weds, I was marching with the legions of the unslept dead (3-4 hours a night, if I was lucky, since Sunday night), and pretty cranky.
So when I nearly got into a fight at the checkout lane of Target, I wasn't surprised.
It was one of those classic situations, where there are maybe 3 checkouts open, but everyone goes to them at once. I was trying to hasten my departure as I needed to go pick up Audrey. And it was getting to close to comfort, for me, but I only had a couple of items,one of them toilet paper --do I need to explain the urgency, 6 people, down to our last roll-- so I figured I should be able to make it happen, I needed to make it happen....
There were 3 people ahead of me, but the woman paying was getting something that had to be brought up from electronics, which turned into a huge deal, lots of talking, no paying. I'm shifting from side to side, wondering if it's worth it to go to another line. My eyes met the eyes of one of the extra cashiers, and I must've given her quite the hairy eyeball, unintentionally of course, so she called for more cashiers.
A lane next to me opened up. The other two women ahead of me, a mother-and-daughter team that looked to be paying separately, were slow in jumping on it. While in my heart I knew I was somewhat violating the rules of checkout etiquette (I've let tons of people with one or two items ahead of me many times, so I figured I was even with this move), I scooted over to the next lane, mentally calculating the closest route to Audrey, when I looked up and saw the mother, a scrappy spider monkey of a woman, had gone around the paying end of the other register and jumped in line in front of me. I looked at her, kinda surprised, as she said, looking a little embarrassed, that they had to pick up someone at school, so they were in a hurry. Really? I rolled my eyes, whatever, I thought, she only has a couple of things. "I have to pick up someone at school too," I told her.
She looked a little embarrassed. But not so embarrassed that she couldn't gesture to her daughter to come over too. So now, I am moving my cart back over to the side, as her daughter is practically running over her own daughter in her haste to get past me, and bumping my cart with her impatience, as she starts in with how "she has someone to pick up at school."
I grit my teeth, tell her "So do I" as I move the cart. As she passes me, she snidely comments about how I jumped in front of them, and how I "had time to get a cup of fancy coffee in a donut cup", implying that I couldn't be in that much of a hurry. Or didn't use my time wisely. Or had spent a zillion dollars on a cup of coffee, what right do I have to jump in front of her trashy ass, she has things to do. I resist the urge to slap her.
I had to take a breath. First of all, the "fancy donut cup" was from Starbucks, yes. Admittedly, the worst cup of coffee I'd ever had in my life, I was considering throwing it away 3/4 full. Now I wanted to pour it over her head, and was sad that it had cooled some. Briefly, I saw red. I snapped shut my mouth, snappy retorts wasted, as I realized that I didn't want to get into a battle of wits with someone sorely in need of them, and that I had to pick up Audrey, so wasting time and potentially having to wait for the police to let me go was not an option. Besides, Mr W was at work, and I was in a Target in his city. I couldn't bear to have him hear that call, or be called, "Yeah, man, we're down here with your wife..."
I was the bigger person. I took a deep breath. I smiled at the woman's poor child, who was cute (obviously inheriting it from her father) and playing right at my feet in the myriad of "Mommy can I have it?" doodads that interest kids at checkouts.
I didn't even chuckle or snort (out loud anyway) when the woman went to pay and apparently had misplaced her cash. (Dropped out of her pocket, lost in her pit of a purse, stuck in her bra, in her other g-string, who knows?) I stood there and waited my turn, paid for my stuff, and beat it.
By Thursday, I was done with being up all night. I called the doctor, hoping for a magic bullet, and they called something else in for Ben. But when I went to pick it up, the pharmacist told me it was off-formulary, and "that will be $50." "What?" I was flustered, and as a result, I forgot to buy the sterile saline for Ben's nebulizer. That's okay, I thought. He has 3 tubes left from the stash the doctor gave us.
I was falling asleep, in the magic chair before ten. I heard Ben coughing, coughing, so I told him, "Take a breathing treatment," as I struggled to wake up. "Mom," Ben announced, "I only have two of those saline thingies left." Even in my state, I could do the math. One now. One probably around midnight, 1 am. And then, when he's hacking up a lung at 4, a trip to the drugstore. Fuck.
I got up and went to my room, a few tears springing to my eyes. "I have to go out," I told Mr W. He offered to go, but I didn't even know where it would be found, so I said, "I'll get it," tearfully.
I was halfway to my first Walgreen's when I realized I was in my bathrobe, not a jacket. Oh well. I managed to stave off the tears until I was almost home.
It was just suddenly too much. The week was just too damn much for me at this point, and I was gonna cry, and I wanted Mr W to pat me on the head and tell me it would be okay.
Instead, he very gruffly told me to show him where Ben's stuff was, what he needed to do, and he sent me to bed.
I didn't argue, although I pointed out he was being a little pissy with me. "Go. Go to bed right now." he said.
Of course, I don't need to tell you all that Ben only coughed once that entire night, and didn't even wake himself up, he just settled down again? The medicine pans out only for the Daddy, right?
Ordinarily, I am pretty cheerful. I'm the glass-half-full girl. But it's been really hard to keep that up lately.
Especially with an invisible "kick me" sign on my back.
I'm taking solace in my new stove. It's got a glass top (my husband will no longer get to comment on the burned burner liners) and three (three!) racks inside. Ryan commented that means I can make more than one cookie sheet of cookies at a time. It's lovely.
It even smells new.
Which is just what I need right now.