Wednesday, May 9, 2012

When pigs drive

I was cooking breakfast when I heard the crash, the unmistakable sound of something heavy and prone to breaking doing just that on the living room floor. Instantly I knew what it was, and my entrance to the living room confirmed my suspicions: Anna's ceramic polka dotted piggy bank had been accidentally knocked from the coffee table and was now lying in several jagged pieces on the floor.

The piggy had originally been Mary's, but when a younger Mary accidentally broke Anna's flower print bank, the polka dotted one was given to Anna, and placed in my room for safekeeping until the girls were a little older. Anna found it last week and begged to have it in her room. Then she adopted it as her best friend, tried to take it to bed with her, and carted it all around the house, against my warnings.

"Leave that in your room, Anna," I'd say a hundred times a day. "It could break."

"I will be so careful," she said. "Me love him." And for the most part, she was, until she banged into it, or the table, or some combination thereof, and sent him to a splintery grave. The look on her face when I walked into the room was abject terror as she started at her friend.

I couldn't console her much at first. Lily, who had just learned to crawl, was making a beeline for Ground Zero. I snatched up the three big pieces and bagged them up, then ran for the broom. Anna was sobbing hysterically.

"Mommy, I so sorry I breaked my piggy," she said when I had finished my clean up. "Me love him. I so sorry. Can I have him back?"

I knew I should let the natural consequences lie. I had warned her. I had warned her time and time again. But sometimes, it's not about the life lesson. I hopped on Amazon and searched for a hard vinyl piggy bank and used my mother in law's Prime account to have it here by Wednesday.

Then we got in the car and discovered the check engine light was on again. So instead of sitting home on this rainy Wednesday and waiting for said piggy, I loaded three kids into the car and drove them to the repair shop. The woman behind the counter's eyes got a little bigger when she saw my entourage.

"Oh, you have all of them with you today," she said. "Are you going to wait while we have a look? It could be up to an hour." I stared out the window at the sheets of rain, trapped.

"Yeah, we're going to wait," I said. "We should be fine." I looked longingly at this week's People Magazine on the table. Then I looked at my children, who were trying to get into the garage, and noticed Lily had decided then would be an absolutely perfect time to require a massive diaper change.

Sorry, People.

I changed Lily. I tried to be subtle. Anna thwarted this by yelling "EWWW!" as I did so. We cleaned up, bagged up, and hand sanitized, and then I got the older girls water from the Poland Spring dispenser in the corner.

The girls were enthralled with it. I showed Mary how to work it, gave them a cup and let them drink as much water as they could hold. Customers came in. I distracted Lily. I thought, 'this is going well.'

The water bubbler belched up an air bubble. Mary let out a screech of surprise and splashed her water on the floor.

Game over.

For the next twenty minutes it was a barrage of "Indoor voices, please" and "Leave Miss Ruth alone, she has to work" and "You really don't need to take apart the Providence Business News (or whatever it's called)" and "Sure, FINE, YES, we can make the cake pops on the front of Family Circle if you JUST SIT DOWN FOR FIVE SECONDS."

There were trips to the bathroom. There were attempts to steal the baby's little snacks. Anna was quite alarmed to see someone drive our car into the garage.


But overall, they did well. And we got out unscathed and uncharged, as the light was the computer freaking out over the new gas tank and filter and nothing wrong at all.

And then the phone rang.

"Hi, Kim, it's Ruth from Auto Shop. 'Starry Night, Sleep Tight' is here."

The book Mary brought.

So at some point we'll have to return.

But I won't worry about that right now. The UPS truck just drove away and this is making my day right now:

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