*~*All Organic - All The Time*~*

Saturday, October 6, 2007

The Scissors or the Chainsaw?

We need a lawn tractor. Not a lawn mower. We have one of those. (We actually have two.) We've got a lot more grass to mow now, and it would take someone with a push mower three days to do it all. The problem is, lawn tractors are expensive. Some of them are priced in the ballpark of buying a small car.

So when I saw a "Huge Estate Sale: Lost Farm to Foreclosure, EVERYTHING Must Go! Great Prices, LOTS of Stuff!" post go up on our cheapcycle list, I suggested to Michael that we take a drive out there. They were also advertising vaccum cleaners, and I needed a new one of those, too. (Yes, the $1400 vaccum died. I don't want to talk about it. And the $15 cheapcycle vaccum Michael bought for me 2 weeks ago just bit the dust, too...)

Mapquest said it was twenty miles. Which, out here, isn't too bad. We all piled in the car and turned on Harry Potter and the Deadly Hallows. It was about a half an hour drive or so. (Mapquest actually said it would be an hour, but you have to take speed limits into account. They do... we don't. No one actually does whatever the "speed limit" is on any of these country dirt roads.)

Unfortunately, the sale was grossly misrepresented. Nothing was labeled with prices, there were things out that weren't even for sale (as Zoe discovered when she wanted one of those huge life-size Barbies, but the woman said she was keeping it because it used to be her granddaughter's. Well why is it OUT then? Would you like to explain that to my crying six year old? ARGH!)

So I found a suitable replacement for Barbie (a Christmas rabbit that played music) while Dmitrios found a pair of sunglasses and a thing of silly putty. An hour out of our day and $2 later, we were headed back home again, because their lawn tractor was way too small and overpriced and their vaccums were those canister kinds my grandmother used to use. *sigh*

I had to pee since we left the garage sale, but I didn't want to ask to use their bathroom. No biggie, I figured I could hold it. We even stopped for ice cream on the way home, because I promised the littles we'd make apple crisp with the apples they picked at the apple orchard on Friday. I did ask to use their bathroom, but it was one of those "employees only" deals.

Apparently, though, we activated Murphy's Law of Ice Cream and we got a flat tire on the way home. Michael called AAA while we waited, panting, in the car. (Eighty six degrees today in the middle of October. Noooo there's no such thing as global warming...)

I still had to pee. And AAA said it would be forty minutes until a truck arrived. Great. We were on a dirt road (of course) with a house on one corner and a corn field on the other. Should I go ask to use the bathroom at a stranger's house? Or just suck it up and trudge out into the field? Or could I actually hold it?

I tried. I really did. I waited and sweated. Sweated and waited. How there was anything accumulated in my bladder at all was beyond me, considering how much moisture I was losing through my skin. Both kids were hot and cranky. But Michael didn't want to leave the car on and the air running because we were a little low on gas.
Finally, I crossed that line. Point of no return. It was either find a place to go or pee my pants. So, I opted for the field--mostly because it looked like no one was home at the house. And there was a big dog in the yard. Of course, the minute I said I was going to pee, both kids said THEY had to pee. Which meant all three of us had to push our way through the cat tails and cornstalks until we couldn't see the road anymore and (hopefully) no one from the road could see us.

I helped Zoe first, which led to ruminations on the difference between boys and girls and the lack of the female's ideal equipment in the "picnic bathrooming" department because Zoe managed to soak her underwear. Thankfully, she was wearing a skirt, so I just had her take them off. Dmitri, though, was wearing the belt-from-hell. I seriously could NOT get the thing off. Finally I just tugged his pants down inch by inch over his hips (while he's going, "Ow! Ow! Ow!") rather than try to get it off. Of course, I then discovered that, while getting them off that way was painful but possible, putting them back ON without undoing the belt was quite impossible. So that meant another ten minutes of struggling with the belt. And all of sudden, I'm getting freaked out, thinking about Children of the Corn and wondering if snakes live in cornfields?

And all this time, I still have to pee. That's when I heard the AAA guy pull up. Then, there was no way I could pee with some stranger standing a few feet away, cornstalks or no, so we quickly emerged. I never did get Dmitri's belt undone. I had Zoe's wet panties in one hand and Dmitri's pants in the other, and I was leading my five year old son wearing a pair of Scooby Doo underwear and my six year old daughter twirling around showing she wasn't wearing any underwear at all...

Michael finally cut off the stupid belt with his knife (I've never seen a worse design--he couldn't get it off either!) and I got Dmitri's pants back on. Which wasn't easy, because he was following the tow truck guy around in his underwear asking him all sorts of questions. Finally, we got the donut tire on, everyone back into the blessed air conditioned car, and drove the ironically short five minutes home. Of course, the ice cream was completely melted and unsaveable by then. And a great big mess under the seat, because I totally forgot about it until we got home. I guess I'd been concentrating on my full bladder.

Our morning was pretty much shot, now, considering it was almost one in the afternoon. I knew Michael wanted to use his new chainsaw to cut down dead trees for firewood this winter. (Why anyone would want to use a chainsaw in eighty-five degree weather is beyond me, but I don't have a Tim Allen gene that gets excited about things like chainsaws and fires...) The kids wanted to go to the neighbor's (they were getting ready for a big bonfire party) and so I was left to clean up the ice cream mess.

When that was done--sweaty, tired, I STILL had to pee--I went into the bathroom. Where I found a pair of scissors on the counter. And suspicious hairs all over the sink. I called for Zoe, but didn't get an answer.

As I was (oh thank the lord finally!!) peeing, Dmitri came into the bathroom (don't you love how kids never knock?) asking me to help him get his silly putty out of his pocket. I'm thinking the little egg got stuck in there, because his pants are too tight... but no. He's put the little wad of silly putty directly into his pocket. And it's now glued together.

Off come the pants again. I asked him if he knew why the scissors were on the bathroom counter.

"Zoe had them."

Okay. This could be true. This could also be the "blame the sibling" tactic.

"Do you know why?"

"She cut her hair."

This was, of course, what I'd suspected, considering the hair in the sink. I sighed, telling him to go put on a new pair of pants.

"Do you want me to tell her to come home?" Dmitri sounded hopeful. I just shook my head. "No." Honestly, I just didn't want to know how bad it was. Not yet. "Where's your dad?"

Michael had just come in from the back carrying his chainsaw, and I put the scissors on the counter and my hands on my hips. "Guess what your daughter did with these?"

"Cut down a tree?"

"No, she cut her own hair."

"Well... at least she didn't use a chainsaw."

Thank God for small favors?

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