Erica Lucke Dean

"Making the world a better place, one book at a time."

it's a piece of cake

Today has been another one of those days that has me grasping a fist full of my own hair in one hand, and a sharp pair of scissors poised at the ready in the other, just one loud noise away from marrying the two in a single slice.  Why?  Well, my house is a text book example of chaos theory, my shower is too small to effectively shave my legs, and my children can’t decide between chocolate and vanilla birthday cake to celebrate the three who have August birthdays.  Is it any wonder I’m ready to lop off my own hair in an act of foolish defiance?  I think not. 

Where do I begin?

First thing this morning, I was rudely awakened by one of our newly minted adult children phoning me to say she would be going out of town with some friends.  Not far out of town, but far enough that she would be either very late, or not in attendance at the family birthday celebration planned for this evening.  Unfortunately, because she chose to call before I was fully awake, I didn’t recognize anything she said as being English, so I disregarded it as a telemarketing phone call and went back to sleep.   Not more than an hour later, another of my newly minted adult children came thundering into my room with the announcement that not only did her sister go out of town and would miss birthday cake, but she didn’t take her along.  This was considered a two-fer crime as they had discussed this trip the evening before and it was decided they couldn’t go or risk parental ire.  Apparently, one of them reneged on the deal.

Luckily, now that she’s eighteen my daughter is all grown up and didn’t go on for more than a few minutes with her tirade before making new plans, including the plan where she would eat all the cake meant for the other.  Problem solved.

This freed up the rest of my morning for more important things, like shaving my legs. 

The problem with shaving my legs is far too deep to get into in a single blog, but I’ll try to break it down for you.  My shower is the size of an airplane toilet.  Or worse…the bathroom on a Greyhound bus…minus all that space.  I’ve written about this before, but it always bears repeating.  I hate my shower.  It’s a corner unit that reminds me of a tanning bed turned upright.  My husband has repeatedly promised to replace it since the day we moved into the house over six months ago, but since there is a list as long as one of my hairy legs that he has to work on, I suppose it will have to wait. 

So in the absence of a nice shower, I would use the one I had. 

I twisted on the water and ducked out of the way as the spray went haywire, soaking me from head to toe before I had even undressed.  And not just me, but the floor and everything on it.  The dog heard my screams and bashed the door open to rescue me from the water, getting himself wet in the process.  At least he’s clean now.  I tucked myself behind the vinyl curtain like a shield and reached in to fix the cockeyed showerhead. Then I waited a full ten minutes for the water to heat up. 

Are you getting the picture yet?  Right…too awful to imagine, I know. 

So I step in and struggle to stay within the confines of this tiny death trap while bending down to shave the length of my legs without poking any part of my body out of the curtain.  This is entirely impossible, but I struggle nonetheless. 

Once I’m done in the shower, and forced to accept the fact that I have missed entire spots on my legs, thereby making me look like I have some sort of horrible skin condition, I tackle the cake baking process.  As I’m sure you know, I hate to cook but love to bake.   But if I’m going to bake, someone needs to wash the dishes.  That someone turns out to be the youngest child in our house.  She was here for her every other weekend visit, fraught with such tortures as spider squashing, dog drool and dish washing. 

To say she is squeamish would be hugely understated, as the other kids are frequently found chasing her around the house with a piece of tissue they claim was used to kill a bug.  Rarely is that the case, but nevertheless, she runs screaming throughout the house much to the delight of her sadistic siblings.  So, of course, we give her dish duty.  I’m all about procrastinating and weaseling out of chores, but this kid takes the cake (no pun intended).  Every bit of stuck on food was suddenly a conspiracy to gross her out, and quite possibly not food at all but some alien life form planning to suck her brains out for what little bits of knowledge she has acquired in her thirteen years of life. 

Once the kitchen was thoroughly flooded and the child completely soaked, my husband thankfully relieved her of the task before we had to build an ark.  All kidding aside, she’s almost as bad in the kitchen as me.

So with the cakes baked (one chocolate, one vanilla) and all but the one child who disappeared early this morning in attendance, we sat down for a lovely family dessert.  Spencer sat in his room watching a movie.  My husband sat in the living room watching Planet Green with Mady.  Alexa sat in the kitchen with me and Lauren’s replacement, a tagalong friend who heard we had cake.  It wasn’t what I had in mind when I planned the day, but what is that saying about the best laid plans? 

Yep…they go right down the drain of my awful shower.

Until the next time…I’ll be shaving my legs in the sink!

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