Thursday Afternoon
Maybe I Should Have Used A Spoon

Ooh La La

Sorry for the eerie silence over here, but Steve took me to Paris for the weekend.

Ahahhahhahahhahahhahahahah! Whew, I kill me.

Seriously, if only you could have seen how I actually spent Sunday - scrubbing every inch of the screened porch on my hands and knees, trapped by a blackout for 24 hours, Patrick's high fever...

Let me back up here.

At some point on Thursday, Steve and I launched a massive battle royale. A multi-day, drag-out Fight of Fights. I think the best line was Steve's incredulous: "What are you? Evil?" We don't actually argue that often, which is a testament to Steve's unflappability because I tend to be scrappy. However, in this case, he was the one looking to row (for reasons that are still shrouded in obscurity) and what was I going to do? Let him be a dick? I think not. Oh no.

So we yelled at each other and stomped around and glowered. Steve seemed to be obsessed by the fact that I don't keep the kitchen clean enough. I can only assume that this is a metaphor for something because otherwise, jeez, eat me. The fucking kitchen? Please! I agreed that I do not keep the kitchen clean enough and went on to add that I do not care. So what was he going to do about it? He suggested that we get a maid. I suggested that I move to Kuala Lampur.

Ultimately it was a good fight, like a marital spring cleaning. I felt great afterwards and, as a show of good faith, have kept the kitchen so clean you could eat in it. Yeah. Steve, for his part, cheerfully took me to THE MALL OF AMERICA (where Steve is convinced murderers go when they die) on A SATURDAY (he doesn't go shopping on weekends - too crowded) to buy me a new dress for the black-tie charity wine thing we are going to next weekend. We got a babysitter afterwards and went to a very nice dinner and then ended up at the 40th birthday party of a friend we don't see nearly often enough. A really lovely evening.

Sunday we did actual spring cleaning and put the front and back porches in order for the season. Steve moved his oversized grill off my porch, so now we can put a few chairs in the spaces not otherwise occupied by his accursed hot tub. We felt tired and grubby but had a pleasant sense of accomplishment. Just as we were sitting down for dinner a storm blew through and knocked our power out. Let me add an exclamation mark here: knocked our power out!! It is hard to overemphasize just how much I hate it when the power goes out in this house. For starters it gets VERY DARK here. Totally dark. Complete darkness. I don't like the dark and we are in a valley surrounded by woods... I feel like Hansel and Gretel. Second, we have a well and the well has an electric pump, so not only do we not have any light, we have no water. No water means no bath after a grubby porch cleaning and more importantly... you know... the commode? Eesh. Somehow all of our phones require electricity except for the one in the garage, so communication is haphazard. Taking care of a toddler with no electricity sucks ass, as I believe Dr. Sears said before me. Patrick has led a good life so far, and assumes that when he races forward into the darkness nothing will leap out and knock him down. Like the stone fireplace, for example. Not a good assumption.

I started to hyperventilate after an hour of this, so we took a late night run to Target until Pack's bedtime. Note: NEVER go to Target just to kill time. You WILL come home with stuff you do not need. I bought a handheld Freecell solitaire game. Why? It is the mystery of the bullseye.

Back at home Steve put Patrick to bed and I stayed on the porch for as long as possible, enjoying the lightning. Steve eventually drug me into to our dark dark house and I finally fell asleep despite the feeling that I was in a coffin. An inky black airless coffin.

It probably would have been an ok night, but Patrick woke up screaming. Frantic, pitiful cries, and I raced as fast as I could through complete darkness to get to him. When I reached his room I could not see at all, but groped my way to the crib and discovered that he was burning up. His hair was soaking wet and he had a hoarse little cough all of the sudden. He obviously caught my cold, but made it uniquely his own by adding a touch of flambé. There might be a way to safely take a rectal temperature in complete darkness but I certainly don't know what it is. I opted not to take one. There may also be a way to measure Baby Tylenol to an exactitude under the same circumstances. Beats me. Suffice to say I did the best I could, waited until he fell asleep in my arms and gently placed him somewhere in his crib. I crawled back downstairs and ran into that damned stone fireplace myself. Limping, I threw myself into bed and eventually fell asleep again.

Only to be awoken by more hysterical cries, still in total darkness.

I took him to bed with us and was reassured for his sake when he instantly fell asleep on my chest. He didn't stir until morning, a fact of which I am absolutely certain because I never slept again.

It is not that I am afraid of the dark, it is just that it makes me feel like I am suffocating. Even with my eyes shut I can feel it weighing upon me, squeezing the air out of my chest. With a sick Patrick sleeping on top of me I was afraid it would be worse. In truth, it was better. He would breathe and then I would breathe - all night long.

I recounted this harrowing tale to Steve in the morning and he nodded in sympathy.

"You couldn't find the flashlight on your bedside table?" he asked.

Flashlight? Oh for the love of...