It is suppose to be a storm day today. The alarm sounds at 5:45ish with a twangy country tune blaring, reverberating sound off the walls and into my half-awake brain. I already have a child glued against my left side, and another knocks on the door when she hears the party going on in the bedroom. I decide that the computer downstairs is a better prospect for hearing the local weather forecast and cancellations than hanging out in the country saloon-wannabe that is our bedroom. I plan to get the news, and hopeful cancellation report, then surreptitiously go back to my nice cozy, albeit crowded bed.
Storm days do not always bring out the best in me. I have such high hopes, such high expectations. In my mind, I envision a gloriously, quiet day spent in my silk jammies, under the bed covers with a good read. And a steaming cup of coffee. And the laptop. And maybe my cell phone and landline within reach. I could elaborate.
Curiously, in this little fantasy of mine, the kids are always spending the day at their grandmother’s house.
What actually happens on a typical storm day, is this: I spend part of the morning drifting in and out of consciousness while trying to keep the little one from constantly kicking me, after which I crawl out of bed, wearing my flannel penguin jammies and fuzzy striped socks, destined for the kitchen; at such time of my arrival, I will start and then continue to spend a large part of the morning cleaning up the big breakfast that my darling husband has cooked especially for celebrating storm days.
Ah, the big breakfast. Crusher of storm day dreams.
We are sitting around the table. My husband puts a plate of round pucks in front of us that faintly resemble hard-cooked eggs.
“That’s not scrambled eggs,” says one.
“No, it is not,” he patiently answers. “I had to cook breakfast while I was outside putting wood in the furnace, and the eggs cooked in the oven during that time.”
“I don’t like these kind,” she whines. She looks distastefully at the heaping plate, a vision of circular gelatinous wonder.
Meanwhile, another happy chorister joins the breakfast ensemble. Brian is still trying to get his body to the table, and l see a look of panic come over his face. Breakfast is cooling faster than an ice flow in Florida.
“Who set the table?” complains child number two, while noticing there are no utensils at his place setting.
As I shoot a look that would kill, he quickly adds, “…I was just going to say that the person who set the table did a GREAT job.”
I am at one end of the table looking every bit the burned-out mama I am. Since I have neither showered nor brushed my hair, I am sure I do not look the vision I had pictured in my storm day fantasy. My husband, looking more awake than I, dashes around the kitchen, all the while getting more and more testy by the minute as the eggs are now nearing a freezing point. As they look like pucks anyway, they might have a future planned for them other than the table, in the event that the picky eaters sitting round the storm day feast actually follow through on their sensitivity to different textured eggs. My husband, undeterred, has a place set for himself at the other end of the table, showcasing a plate overflowing with eggs, toast and bacon that are unfortunately getting colder by the minute.
We say grace.
As we partake, the dog steals a sock to chew on under the table causing general alarm from yours truly, as anything the dog has ingested then regurgitated lately, has ended up looking like a hamburger.
As there is only a certain amount of bacon to go around, it is carefully rationed. I give my share up as I had a few too many chips and dip last night. The one who doesn’t eat eggs but loves the bacon promptly drops her piece on the floor shortly after we begin, and again the eggs are re-offered and refused. At least the dog has something other than socks to chew on now.
There is something to be said for tenacity, coupled with a good dose of patience. That would be my husband. Where I would have offered a box of Fruit Loops and a glass of juice and called it a wrap, he has the ability to pull off the storm day breakfast and make it look easy. I grumble and complain about crumbs under the table, and he just thinks that’s what we have a dog for.
In the end, it is all worth the while as the kids head outside to build snow forts and lose mittens in the freshly fallen snow. The kitchen is clean, the beds are made and I have finally had a shower.
The only thing left to do on this storm day morning is make potato salad for lunch with none other than the leftover eggs from the storm day breakfast.
Not eggs-actly what I had fantasized I would eat for lunch on the perfect storm day. But I’ll roll with it.