Since Scott is swamped trying to finish some last minute proof reading, I decided to take the blogging reigns for today. See, last night he was supposed to spend a lot of time doing said proof reading, but got a little sidetracked.
First, he had to get gas in the van, then buy and refill our windshield wiper fluid.
Digression: When I was growing up in the Deep South, I don’t think I really ever remember my parents buying windshield wiper fluid (I mean, maybe they did, I just don’t remember). What I do remember is filling up the windshield wiper fluid tank with water. Just water. Where we live now (in the subarctic region of the United States), that would be foolhardy! Sometime around November, you’d just have a big block of ice in your windshield wiper fluid container that wouldn’t melt until sometime around the end of April.
Back to the story: So, then he’s driving out to his office (Starbucks), and realizes he has a flat tire while he was on the highway. The shoulder on the highway is next to nothing right now because of our tremendous snow banks, so he had to drive really slowly with his hazard lights on to the nearest exit.
Digression: It’s been the coldest month here ever (maybe not, but it’s been really, really cold), and last night when he was out changing the tire, the temperature was probably hovering around zero.
But, he loves the North and the snow and the cold, so this didn’t phase him at all! (Well, I’m sure it did a little, but he still managed to change the tire with minimal cold weather injuries.) All that to say, he didn’t get as much work done last night as he wanted to, but at least his final destination was a coffee joint.
Meanwhile, back at our house, the girls and I made belated Valentine’s Day cookies. It’s sort of a tradition every year since I got a Valentine’s Day cookie cutter set (which I think Scott gave me one year as a Valentine’s Day present). But we’ve been sick for a couple of weeks, so we’re a little behind.
HOWEVER… I finally completed this Herculean task last night. And by Herculean, I mean, it was always a borderline disaster. I mean, the baby is at the age where she wants to do everything the big girls do, so that meant a lot of fun for her, but also frustration for me. Then, the girls were super excited, but that makes them jumpy and crazy acting and that means they tend to get into trouble. I tried to be chill, laid-back Mom and take it all in stride. Overall, I think I did pretty good… I only had to yell once or twice and I don’t even think I had to punish anyone, just a talking-to. Progress.
At one point, Caroline and Emily were both at the kitchen counter cutting out the cookies to bake, and they got into a shrieking competition because they both wanted to stand in the same place and both use the same little heart cookie cutter. Then, the big girls didn’t really care about cutting out the cookies, they just wanted to decorate them, so they kept coming in asking if it was time to decorate yet (NO). The baby kept grabbing at the dough and squeezing it between her little fingers and Caroline was like a little cookie cutting machine. She just kept at it, even when Emily would be physically attempting to grab the cutter out of her hand. Tenacity, that’s what Caroline has.
Well, eventually we got them all cut out and baked and cooled. I made the frosting, cut the tips off the store-bought frosting bottles, and away we went! The decorating involved a lot of me trying to keep the baby from sticking her hands into the frosting, or climbing up on the table and destroying the decorating handiwork of the other girls. And there was a lot of moderating whose turn it was to have the pink frosting, and reminding the girls not to eat too many or sneak too many licks of the frosting or they’ll have a stomach ache (there was a stomach ache later).
All in all, it was an evening of adventure. I hope tonight is really boring.
Scott Keen is the author of three young adult fantasy novels, Scar of the Downers, Rise of the Branded, and War of the Downer King.