So here we are, back in school, and the temperature has decided to just go on ahead and reach its peak now. If temperatures were paint colors, Small Town’s would be called Hellfire Hot. Or even HFH, as my friend Peggy would say, because Peggy speaks like a lady.
Except not always, because I have seen her with eyes ablaze, whispering to a jammed photocopier. There’s no judgement there, because I don’t think anything brings out the sinful nature in us more than an error message on the copier’s screen that flashes little arrows to let you know exactly where the paper is stuck.
And then you open the little hatches that line up with the arrows, and there’s nothing there that even remotely LOOKS LIKE PAPER. All you end up with is some toner powder that has now stained your favorite shirt black.
That’s kind of how I feel in my gym right now. Even though our wonderful maintenance man has brought me back into the world of YES, YOUR GYM’S FANS ARE WORKING NOW, because HEY! THIS WIRE ISN’T CONNECTED, SO LET’S JUST WELD IT BACK IN PLACE!, our school is old. And old schools are hot schools, because I DON’T KNOW WHY. It probably all dates back to when Mrs. Beadle used to walk in snowdrifts as tall as her knees, uphill in the dead of Walnut Grove’s worst winters, to start a fire in the little potbellied stove at the schoolhouse, before the children arrived. Eventually, as things like cars and indoor toilets came along, someone just said, “And let’s invent schools that are constantly hot, so that if a blizzard ever strikes again and the kids are stuck for two full days in the schoolhouse, they’ll be all toasty warm until Doc Baker and Pa Ingalls can get to them.”
I just shook my head this afternoon when my darling friend (who is also our first grade teacher) told me, “It’s SO HOT in my classroom!” This isn’t the thing to say to the PE teacher, because HOT?!! You’re sitting motionless, taking four dried pinto beans away from the pile of eight dried pinto beans AT THE CLASSROOM TABLE, and I’m all LET’S DO SOME JUMPING JACKS NOW, SECOND GRADERS!
I felt sorry for every single teacher who brought their children over to the gym today, because that smell they encountered was me.
My Secret gave out early.
After school, my routine always involves me getting into my Suburban and using my IN THE VEHICLE bottle of squirty Germ-X. There’s just something about being surrounded by children all afternoon that brings out the need to disinfect myself. I think it’s because they all carry horrible diseases, like cooties.
When I jumped into my Suburban today, the thermometer on my rear view mirror announced, “111 degrees Fahrenheit.” A couple of those degrees can probably be credited to the fact that the Suburban was parked on hot asphalt for four hours, but listen: HELLFIRE HOT, regardless.
And then, like always, I did three rapid-fire pumps of Germ-X into my hand. I now have third-degree burns on my palm. Something about chemistry or physics that says liquids will boil in a hot Suburban, so you might want to think things through before you do the Post-Children Cleanse.
That’s what’s going on around here.
Well… that and the fact that Thing 2 used one of the boy’s real live golf clubs today to depress the button in the ice maker on our refrigerator door. After cars and flushing toilets and hot schools were invented, someone said, “Let’s put an ice maker and water dispenser in the doors of refrigerators, but let’s use the common sense the good Lord gave us and put them up higher than a toddler can reach.”
And the angels sang out, “Hallelujah!”
Thing 2 is rather street smart, which may be a cause for alarm at our house. This morning, while I was sorting dirty laundry into piles that can wait to be done and piles that really need done TODAY, if my family is to have clean socks ever again, I heard water running. Like a dork, I stood still, cocked my head to the side, and listened again.
Which added at least seven seconds to the time clock, which meant seven seconds spent WITH MORE WATER POURING.
By the eighth second, the lightbulb above my head flashed on like a goal light at a hockey game, and I was all, “That’s the refrigerator!!”
By then, it was pretty much too late. There was Thing 2, standing with his arms outstretched, holding a golf club up to press the button that was too high for his little arms to reach. Water was pouring everywhere. It was all over the baby… all over the floor. It was enough to make Noah sit up and say, “Wow! That’s a lot of water!”
While I was cleaning the mess up and wondering if we had flood insurance that could cover the cost of a cleaning team, Thing 2 un-potted a giant plant. Since he was still wet at that time (as I believe in saving the hardwood floors before getting the baby out of his sopping wet clothes), there was some mud.
It’s all physics and hard science, people. Wet babies create mud when they dig in potting soil.
And that’s about the time this morning that I decided I probably don’t drink enough.
By the end of today, I was covered in sweat and smell and sticky-stick, with a side of potting soil smeared on the back of my shirt that I finally noticed in 3rd grade PE. And there were blisters on my hands, from LET THE GERM-X COOL DOWN FIRST!
And so that was Wednesday, y’all.
That. Was. Wednesday.