It was one of those days where I got the time wrong over and over again.
First, I dropped Grace off at her dance workshop, which worked out great because I could drop her off on the way to Lauren’s cheerleading football game, instead of having to make her walk or get Grandma to drive her. Then right on schedule, Lauren, Annie and I headed over to the high school about a half hour away for Lauren’s game. My first clue should have been the fact that we were the first ones there. I’m never the first one there.
While we hung out in the car waiting for people to show up I got a call from Grace. I had dropped her off at 9:45 but she didn’t really have to be there until 10:30. Well, she would just have to hang out at the dance studio. And she had a book to read, so I didn’t feel too bad. We hung up and my text alert boop-booped me. Oops. Lauren’s game was at 12:30, not 10:30, and at the middle school, not the high school.
So now it’s about 10:45, and I’m looking at a half hour drive home and a half hour drive back. But what the heck am I going to do to kill time in Buchanan, Michigan, with an energetic four-year-old and a second grader in a cheerleading uniform? I decided to go home via the scenic route, so at least I could start a load of laundry and feed the girls a quick lunch. I filled them in on the plan, backed out of my parking space and hit the road. It was a pretty drive along the back roads of southwest Michigan, through rolling farm fields with their barns open, selling apples, honey, sweet corn and all manner of pumpkins and squash. Past vineyards with lush purple grapes so ripe that I could smell their concord sweetness through the rolled up car windows. Somewhere along the line Annie asked me for a mint. I reached back and passed her an Ice Breaker mint I had up front.
The car was quiet because the girls were engrossed in Barbie, Princess and the Pop Star, when the screaming started. I couldn’t figure out what was going on. Annie was screaming in obvious distress, and not the my-sister-took-my-plastic-bracelet variety. But between her heaving breath and the snot coming out her nose, I just didn’t know what she was trying to tell me until Lauren checked in and said, “Annie stuck a mint up her nose!”
Sidebar – a few months ago Annie stuck a popcorn kernel up her nose while we were at my sister’s house. She was pretty freaked, although I don’t think it really hurt. My sister, who is a total badass, strapped on a headlamp, laid Annie out on the counter, and plucked the kernel out of Annie’s microscopic nostril with some crazy tweezers that had serrated tips. I sincerely hoped Annie had learned a lesson about sticking things up her nose. But apparently she had not.
At this point in my scenic drive I was about 20 minutes from home. I briefly considered going to the emergency room, but in either direction the ER was much farther than home so I kept driving. Inside I was kind of laughing because Annie was almost hysterical, and hysteria in others tends to bring out inappropriate laughter in me. Plus, I have to believe the Ice Breaker was just about burning a hole inside her nose as the little flavor crystals dissolved in mucus. So I just kept driving and Lauren turned up the volume on her headphones. I swung into the garage at Mach 2, grabbed Annie and made a run for my bedroom, where I dumped her onto the bed and went for the tweezers and some tissue.
And that’s when she coughed, heaved out a big breath and shot half an Ice Breaker out onto her cheek.
I wiped her face, took her downstairs, made lunch and about 45 minutes later we were back in the car, headed to the game at the actual time it started and at the actual location.
At 4:45 I headed over to the dance studio to pick up Grace. Turns out, I not only dropped her off early, I also picked her up late. I was supposed to be there at 4:00, at which time I could have watched the dances they learned that day.
I don’t know how I got every single time wrong for the entire day. And I definitely don’t know why I thought it was an okay idea to give Annie a mint that would fit in her nostril. Kind of makes me wonder who really needs to learn a lesson – her or me?