There are many things that every Mother wants to experience with her kids. Their first steps, first words, first day of school. We want to see them smile, hear them laugh and cherish their play. We look forward to their first friends, their favorite teacher and even their first broken heart.
We do not, however, look forward to being stuck in a house for three days with no air conditioning during a Texas June with said kids. We don’t. Not even a little bit.
Especially when it falls on the tail end of a long, tiring trip.
Imagine my joy and giddiness when I entered our home after driving 4 hours to find air so thick and hot that I literally could feel my body cutting an outline through it. A 30 year old house, no a/c and stagnant air for 2 days does not make a pleasant entry point.
And that was it. After watching my husband, who has a vast knowledge of air conditioning units, and his friend the electrician come to the depressing realization that the compressor was out and it could not be fixed that night, I looked at my red cheek, sweaty, tired, cranky children and sent a little prayer to Heaven for a cold snap. God was busy- he didn’t answer. But I know the request is in his In-box so that’s good. I guess.
We did discuss packing up the kids and heading to a hotel room. Yea. That was a short discussion. After a total of 1 hour sleep the night before and a stellar 8 hours of driving in the last 48 hours, I was seriously doubting I would ever get my kids back in a car seat again. And I’d peed in mine so that would have just been weird. Not really but that would have been my excuse. That is how badly I did not want to drive again.
So, my husband and I take a deep breath and meet in the coldest place in the house – in front of the beer fridge – and drink… I mean, discuss a game plan for the evening.
The first brilliant parenting decision we made – and I know others will be jealous but we came up with it first so stand back people… stand back! – was to throw bedtime out the window. No no – no need to compliment us. We gave this a lot of thought. Our reasoning – as if it is not obvious- was that our very small, intelligent children would be able to determine themselves where in the house was the coolest and thus find that spot and put themselves to bed. Except for the baby – I mean, I am not that stupid! She needed help finding that spot.
Imagine our surprise when our wonderful spawn were still bouncing off the walls at 1am! I KNOW! What’s with THAT? Oh jiminy. I mean – it only took about an hour to figure out that we were complete idiots for our decision, but the kids dragged the lesson on and on and on and on. We get it kids – bedtime is sacred. We get it.
And imagine our even more shockingly surprised selves when they all chose to sleep in their rooms, in their beds despite the lack of air conditioning? We were floored – absolutely floored. And maybe a little buzzed. But definitely floored!
So as we curl up for a long night of sleep – at least 10 hours, right? – we tell ourselves that we’ll have air in the morning and all will be well.
At 7am – when all 3 kids are up since none of could actually read the memo we posted – we are on the phone with warranty company. We were so excited to hear that, even though we are a “priority” call, they can not get our compressor that is sitting in a warehouse less than 15 minutes from us into our actual unit until Wednesday morning. We accept the news calmly and proceed to figure out what to do.
My husband goes to work.
I look at my poor, red cheeked, tired children and wonder what I am going to do with them. Go to a friend’s house? We could but then I would have to pack them into the minivan and the energy to do that was sucked out with “not til Wednesday.” Besides, it is so humid in our house that despite cold baths, we all stink again and I just can not do that to my friends! I just can’t.
I love them.
I could take them on a walk?
In this heat? Are you mad?
I could call my Mommy’s Helper and have her watch the kids while I go to the nice, cool, three 3 aisle slice of Heaven that is known as the frozen food section of the grocery store!
I text her – she is free – SCORE!!
My arrogant happiness is short lived.
I have to take the oldest with me to the store with me. I don’t want to talk about it.
My middle one, who I left happily sliding down the water slide in the backyard, fell victim to the rain and the late afternoon nap. Waking when I arrived home, she had peed on the couch and was none too happy that I had left her. Not even my bribery toy was a hit. She threw it at me. It was fun.
And the baby. The poor baby who woke from her nap with her little hairs plastered to her head with sweat and her cheeks rosy, cried and cried until my helper called me to tell me she was inconsolable. She could only be calmed by walking outside. Because it was cooler out there than in our house you see. Cool-er!
So there I stand with three hot, crying, sweaty, tired children – attempting to restore some order, watching my conflicted helper decide if she should bolt out just so that she could put her a/c in her car on max and inhale the fresh air or stay and help in the sauna that is now my house. I tell her to leave – save herself – carry on my message to those who will listen.
Ice, hugs, food and colors tame my brood as I happily await the newest member of our family… a window unit. Which cools our couch – but still – if your ON the couch – that baby earns its keep.
And I sit here relishing in the thought, that my “priority” status earns us a compressor in 36 more hours wondering if my keeping children here can be considered child abuse and wondering where else I can possibly go without the effort and energy it takes to get there.
Because this heat is draining.
And my beer is here…