Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday and Crisp

A crunch and a balloon of steamy exhaust signals the passing of an auto by my house. My car has a shiny coat that can't be attributed to a highly waxed polish. A snug sheet of ice blankets it entirely. Yesterday was only the second day I have used the rear window defroster in the thirteen years I have owned this car. We're cold here. We are moving very slow and I can almost hear the creak of bones as I pad around this house on the cold tile floors. I'm trying to count my blessings and not focus on this weird weather for us southerners.

This house has been insulated, windows new and of the highest quality and doors that do not leak. There is extra insulation in the attic and I still lack that toasty warm feeling. I think the square footage defeats. I'm grateful for 9 ft. ceilings at this time. I've always envied the look of those high ceiling homes, soaring upward for a grand open room. I can't imagine heating one though. Right now I'm content with low ceilings. I'm also grateful that this weather only lasts a day or two before it zooms back upward to more habitable weather.

The sleepover won't be reenacted soon. I'm taking a break from the disaster that was Carrie's sleepover. The daughter is much better at these things and takes in stride having more then one child in her house at one time.

I should have been more attentive and involved. Carrie and her friend were found sitting on the floor in her bedroom on  a light pink rug. Her friend had a shirt tied over her eyes, her hands extended into a paper bowl, the fingers submerged in the light brown thick liquid. Is that paint?
I crept closer and got a better look at the bowl's contents. Craft paint! I don't allow nail polish, wet towels, nor any liquid drink in my bedrooms. Since the time I moved the bed to pull up the carpet in Ted's bedroom and found the huge circle of stained carpet from a drink that was spilled and never cleaned up, the bedrooms have been off limits to any liquids.

The floor of the room was littered with Lincoln building blocks, the contents of a braclet making kit and marbles; not a clear spot to walk.
Carrie was instructed to take her bowl of paint to the kitchen and Maddie headed to the bathroom to wash the paint from her hands. Their guessing game on what their hands were submerged in was over. Meanwhile, I started scrubbing the brown paint off the walls, out of the pink rug and off the sham that is part of the Waterford comforter set that goes in that room.

I wanted them to have a good time so I tried to give them some privacy and not be on guard. That was my biggest mistake.
I retired to my bedroom to hear Carrie calling out to me that they were going to do a science experiment. I should have been warned by this but again, I made the wrong decision. Had I followed them into the kitchen, I wouldn't have found glue and paint and frozen eggs in jarred containers, paper litter and liquids that were unrecognizable.

By this time, I was close to wit's end. "We are going to clean up this mess!" I said to Carrie. "Maddie, you go in the bedroom. I want to talk to Carrie!"
Soon I was herding Maddie back to the kitchen to help Carrie and I clean up this mess. I don't think Maddie is used to picking up after herself. She retaliated.

It is midnight. Maddie has decided she wants to go home and wants to call her dad. She starts screaming and throwing herself on the floor. After 15 minutes of this behavior, I was more then ready to call her dad.

Speaking softly, I offered her something to drink. When she agreed to that, I made another offer of some popcorn. She was calming down now and with the television on in their room, I slipped out leaving them in a darkened room. They slept.
The following morning over breakfast, Maddie shared with me that she had been "putting on" with her hysterical behavior. I smiled and said "That usually works to get your way?" She smiled and nodded.
One for me, zip for Maddie. She lives with a single parent; a
52 year old male that must cater to  her every wish.

She spent the entire next day with us and didn't want to go home. When she did call for her father, she waited a few minutes, called him back to tell him to turn around, she wasn't ready to come home.

An hour passes, at which time I encourage her to call her father once again and this time do not tell him to turn around and go back. I was ready for some quiet time with Carrie.
I realize that most of this disaster was my fault. We will have new rules and more direction on the next sleepover and less cleanup.

Last night was quiet. Carrie again spent the night. Alone. With us. No fuss. No mess. It was lovely.

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