Welcome to Day 3 of 30 Minus 2 Days of Writing, the creative writing challenge that 4 out of 5 dentists agree will rot your teeth. Today’s prompt is And the next thing I knew, and yes, it was my bright idea. Don’t forget to link up at the end of this post if you participated in today’s challenge before your teeth fell out.
A True Story
It was winter, 1999. My sons, Jake and Kane, were five and two years old, respectively. It had taken us two hours to make the 15 minute trip home from daycare because of the three feet of snow being dumped on our city. Three feet of snow is normally just a minor inconvenience for us Montrealers, but this was the second snow storm in as many days and the plows had barely begun to clean up the previous day’s mess. For a good part of the journey, I listened to squeaky, off-key renditions of Frère Jacques, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and – my personal favourite – If You’re Happy And You Know It.
The next thing I knew, I was promising the kids that we would build a huge snow fort when we got home if they would please, for the love of God, just stop singing.
We got home, walked in the front door and straight through the apartment to the back door that led out to our deck. The kids were yelling excitedly and pushing and shoving each other the way that little boys – and medium boys, and big boys – do. I was walking forward, but looking back at them and telling them to calm down. In other words, I was completely distracted when I got to the back door and opened it.
The next thing I knew, I was staring at an avalanche of snow pouring freely into my kitchen now that the door no longer served as a barrier .
The kids thought this was hysterical and were jumping around, laughing like banshees. Jake was yelling that he wanted to go outside. Kane just kept yelling “The snow! The snow!” After two hours in my car, screaming kids and a mountain of snow in my kitchen, my poor brain just gave up and decided to go fishing. I looked desperately around the kitchen, hoping for something – a shovel, a snow blower, a Zamboni machine – anything, to appear. Nothing did. Jake started whining that he was hot. Kane kept yelling, “The snow! The snow!” Jake’s whining got louder and whinier. My brain waded deeper into the lake of stupidity.
The next thing I knew, I picked up Jake and said, “Ok, go play in the snow while I clean up this mess,” and then I tossed him into the snow. The freshly fallen, soft snow.
Jake sunk waist-deep into the snow. His giggles quickly turned to grunts as he tried to climb out. His grunts quickly to panicked cries of “I’m stuck! I’m stuck!” Kane kept yelling, “The snow! The snow!” He started grabbing handfuls of snow and throwing them around the kitchen. My brain finally decided to drop the fishing pole. I yelled at Kane to stop throwing snowballs then leaned across the mountain of snow, grabbing Jake’s hands and pulling him back into the house. Kane continued throwing snow balls and yelling “The snow! The snow!” The relief in Jake’s eyes when I grabbed his hands quickly turned to panic again as he yelled, “My boot! My boot!”. His boot was slipping off his foot. If it came off, we weren’t getting it back until the spring thaw – sometime in July. My brain looked longingly at the fishing pole again.
The next thing I knew, Jake popped out of the snow with both boots on his feet and sent me flying backwards with all the grace of an elephant performing Swan Lake in hooker heels.
I got the kids out of their snowsuits and sent them to the living room to watch cartoons. Since no shovel, snow blower or Zamboni machine had magically appeared, I had no choice but to improvise. I spotted our plastic dustpan. Imagine, if you will, emptying out the Sahara desert with a spoon. I spent the next 45 minutes removing a six-foot snowbank from my kitchen with the dustpan. When it was all over, I made hot chocolates for the kids and a Bailey’s-hot-chocolate-minus-the-hot-chocolate for me. Then I called my good friend, CheesyMike, looking for a little sympathy. He nearly wet himself, laughing at me.
And that, my friends, is a true story.
Now go. Check out all the other lovely people gumming their way through this insanity.