Monday, February 17 2020

morning drama, hangriness, paint, and errands



Dear Journal,

Good morning, and happy Monday to you! This morning, we’re still on weekend journaling hours as I have the day of for President’s day. I hope you do as well, and that you’re getting the most out of the extra weekend day.

I woke up with the dogs and Rodney around 9, and they day was already filled with drama - lemme tell you. Rodney was complaining about a cut on his finger. Yesterday while shopping at Hy-Vee, he face-planted in the parking lot beside our car. Baby giraffe went rolling out of his arms, and he landed square on his chocolate egg, crumpling the plastic beneath his braced hands. If I spend too much time thinking about the face he made seeing that his chocolate egg was crushed, I might start crying myself, but he earned himself a few nasty battle scars on his fingers that were sore this morning.

I ushered him out of his room and sat him in the bathroom while I grabbed a bandaid and a tube of Neosporin. I dabbed a drop on his cut, pushed it in a circle, then wrapped it in a bandage. Rodney was so fascinated with the procedure that he forgot what was upsetting him. With the dogs following closely behind, we changed into some sweats and made our way into the kitchen. Rodney and I used the last two eggs in our fridge to make an omelet, dividing it in half and plating it up with some Cheerios so he could ease into the morning with some Bob the Builder.

But the drama wasn’t yet finished. A few minutes into washing dishes and preparing morning coffee, I heard a shriek from the living room, finding his plate flipped over on the floor and Ziggy hungrily gobbling eggs off the floor. I scolded her and put her in the bedroom crate. “Did Ziggy get all your eggs, dude?” I asked. Rodney nodded with tears in his eyes. “Here, lemme get you a bowl of peanut butter cereal,” I said, heading back into the kitchen. So now with both punishment and replacement cereal dispensed, we’re back to an easy morning.

Sip. Yesterday was a pretty good day. We left the house for church later than usual. Something about our family timing got goofed, and we didn’t leave the driveway until 11:03. “What are you talking about,” said Marissa. “We’re not usually late for church.”

“Yes we are,” I contested. “We’re not usually this late, but we rarely get their on time.”

“We weren’t late last week,” said Marissa. “When we got there, we had to drop Rodney off and use the bathroom, but we were still in the building before the service started.”

“Oh I see,” I jeered. “I think we just have differing terms. I’d consider us late if we don’t have our butts in a pew by the time the first song starts.”

After church let out, we picked up Rodney from Sunday School. He was busily coloring and cleaning the giant chalkboard wall around the corner from the toys. Lately, Rodney has become fascinated with chalkboards - and only half of it actually has to do with the drawing. At home, he’s come up with an elaborate system for wiping the board clean, stuffing the baby wipe into a plastic cup, then emptying the plastic cup into the garbage can when it’s full. At church, they had a wet sponge set aside to clean the board, and Rodney had fully commandeered it for his amusement. “Oh that’s a smart system, dude,” said Marissa. “We should switch to a sponge at home, Miss Maddie knows her stuff huh?”

Before leaving, we started chatting with the parents of Owen, one of Rodney’s Sunday school cohorts. We recognized them from stage. Natalie played the piano and sang in worship, and her husband played the guitar. Though this particular Sunday, he opened the offertory with a cello solo, which was undeniably cool.

We left church, beginning our Sunday afternoon errands, first stopping at Home Depot. Even though I agreed to knock out Home Depot before lunch, my fickle stomach starting to grumble in the parking lot on the way in. “I think I underestimated how hungry I was,” I said. “We’re officially in the danger zone.” I was, of course, talking about my own susceptibility to hangriness. When you are so hungry that you teeter on the edge of a childish outburst in public. Hangry. “We’ll go fast,” said Marissa, nodding dutifully.

Soon enough, we were out of Home Depot, and seated at Portillo’s polishing off fries, hot dogs, and splitting a chocolate shake that, in the lunch rush pandemonium, had accidentally been supersized for us, free of charge.

“Now we get to go to Bed Bath & Beyond,” I smiled. “It’s the fun errand.” I love Bed Bath & Beyond. The official plan was to pick up a new nonstick pan, but secretly Marissa and I had a mutual understanding that we were about to make it rain. It’s almost impossible for us to go into that store without seeing other things we like. Along with the new 14 inch nonstick skillet, our haul included a stainless steel stock pot, a fish spatula, a step stool for Rodney, a cushy kitchen dish washing mat, and a spontaneous ‘get well soon’ dog toy for Ziggy, at home still in the throws of puppy pinkeye.

Back at home, Marissa donned a white jumpsuit and descended into the basement to paint the ceiling, leaving me to set up my new kitchen toys. After putting everything away, I brewed a pot of coffee and washed some dishes, enjoying the new supportive dish washing mat.

Later, I got Rodney up from his nap and went to Hy-Vee, leaving Marissa to continue wrestling with white paint in the basement. To kick the tires on our new nonstick pan, I chose to revisit potato and kale hash. “If this works out, this will suddenly become a very easy one pot meal,” I bragged while putting the groceries away. And it was easy. The new pan made browning the crispy potatoes so easy, it was embarrassing. With one hand, I tossed the potatoes in sizzling bacon fat, and with the other hand, I played catch with Rodney in the kitchen until dinner was ready.

After putting Rodney to bed, I joined Marissa in the basement to check on her work. She had painted almost the entire exposed ceiling and walls a pure white. The basement felt brighter, and paradoxically, bigger. “I have the sudden urge to sit down here and play video games,” I laughed. Marissa waggled her eye brows. “We should get a playstation,” she added.

Thanks for reading. Hope you have a great day today. Happy President’s day - make sure you take it easy today, it’s what George Washington would have wanted.