Continuing the saga from one in a million:
After breaking into my own house and picking up the Gort from school, we headed to the library to return the 33 items we’d managed to accumulate on our last trip. It should have been 34, items. I’d checked out the movie Paris, je t’aime. I’d watched fifteen minutes of it.
And the professor had (unbeknownst to him) carted it off to New York in his black laptop. The one movie that was ‘un-renewable’ due to its ‘New and Notable’ status. Meaning you can only check it out once before the late fees start accruing. I’d given up trying to calculate the odds of all of these things happening to me on the same day.
One in two million?
After wrestling Percy away from the computers in the children’s section (read: much weeping and gnashing of teeth – seriously, how do people take 3 children to the library and check something out without making a scene?) we climbed back in the car-van and headed for the mall.
To see about getting that second cell phone.
I pulled into a parking spot and opened the side door to let the boys out. For some bizarre reason, the Gort decided to unbuckle Percy from his carseat and lift him out. Nervous about a little kid running around in a mall parking lot, I was trying to keep an eye on him while locking the car-van. Suddenly the Hen looked up at me with a stunned expression: his thumb was stuck in the now-closed van door. He had, apparently – for the first time in the history of owning this van – tried to guide the door as it closed. I panicked when I saw his face and jumped to press the button to open the door. Again. Only to find Percy was running around in the parking lot.
I had a split-second decision to make: tend to child with mangled finger or keep youngest child from getting mangled in parking lot – Nicola’s Choice, as it were.
I lifted the Hen into the carseat and ran to catch up with the two year old. Through clenched teeth, I implored the other boys to stick to the side of the van while I looked at their brother’s finger. It was red. And the nail already had a blue tinge on the bottom of the nail bed.
All I could think was that I needed to find ice.
So I plopped Percy into his stroller and pushed it with my right hand while carrying the (40lb) Hen in my left arm. I, person in poor physical condition, would not be able to sustain this Herculean effort. So I asked the Gort to push the stroller, while I carried my sack of potatoes and scanned the horizon for signs of cups and ice. I caught sight of the Saucy Bread Company.
No fountain drinks. No ice.
I stopped at Cinnzeo.
No fountain drinks. No ice.
We hustled all the way to the food court and my eyes fell upon A&W. A burger joint. Sure to sell fountain drinks and ice. ‘I’ll have a Sprite please, with lots of ice.’ Figuring I could have the Hen hold the cold drink with his thumb and drink a little Sprite, for ‘shock’?
‘A&W does not carry ice,’ the high school worker informed me. No ice? Like, a company policy of no ice? ‘But I need ice,’ I despaired and scuttled over to the Chinese food vendor. They had fountain drinks. And ice. ‘Can I just have a cup of ice,’ I pleaded, certain the kid’s finger would fall off by the time I managed to find him some ice.
She handed me a styrofoam cup filled with frozen pellets and I gave her ten cents and we four hobbled over to the nearest table and seated our pathetic selves. The Hen proceeded to wail about the horror that was freezing cold on his very sore thumb. The guy at the table behind us, stared – trying to figure out if I was hurting the boy or helping him.
‘I will buy you ice cream,’ I bribed-pleaded, ‘but you have to let me put ice on your finger. Otherwise we’ll have to go to the hospital.’ I did not have the mental fortitude to take three boys to the Children’s Hospital.
So I held a chunk of ice to his red finger for as long as possible. And then I hadto make good on my ice cream promise. At the Marble Slab Creamery, where a tiny ‘kid’ scoop sets you back $3 and change. Which means I spent almost ten dollars for a small scoop of strawberry, vanilla bean, and coconut yogurt and all I could think was, ‘I could buy (and eat) a whole pint of Haagen Dazs Dulce de Leche for less than this.’
The Hen sat on my lap and I alternated icing his finger with feeding him pink ice cream. Until he insisted his thumb didn’t hurt anymore. And then we went to the Lego store. After which we stopped at three cell phone booths to find the best deal while the boys ran amuck. After which we made two trips up and down the escalator and elevator.
Nearly three hours later we got in the car and drove home.
[Today’s ‘wow-my-life-isn’t-nearly-as-ridiculous-as-hers‘ instalment brought to you by our proud sponsor, J is for Jenerous.]