October 11, 2011
As of this morning, we were all just about fully recovered from Thursday night's excitement, AKA The Night I Panicked, Ran Into a Wall, Landed Butt-First In Dog Food, Narrowly Avoided Burning the House Down But Thoroughly Traumatized My Children Anyway. Jason and I replaced the fried oven coil over the weekend and scrubbed and re-scrubbed fire extinguisher residue off a truly mind-blowing number of surfaces and kitchen items.
The one thing we HADN'T done, however, was actually turn the oven on. That was like, Advanced Placement PTSD level shit there, and every time I thought about it I decided that I could totally cook healthy meals for my family in the microwave. Or by shoving pizza slices into the toaster.
I finally caved this morning and turned the oven on so I could bake a loaf of bread. (Because apparently I now BAKE BREAD. This just happened, you guys. I've even gone and acquired an attitude about bread machines, preferring to bake bread the frustrating, old-fashioned way. What the fuck kind of prairie-ass nonsense is this, I ask you?)
Anyway! I preheated the oven and everything seemed to be pretty okay in there, at least in the "Is There A Pyrotechnic Display Currently Happening Inside Your Stove Y/N" department, so I stuck the bread in and turned my attention back to making coffee.
"HEY LOOK FIRE!" Ezra observed casually, like the old seasoned pro he now apparently is.
Indeed, the oven was smoking. There was a terrible smell. And I discovered that for all our cleaning and scrubbing, there still seemed to be some extinguisher residue on the oven door. I removed our now-probably-50%-toxic loaf of sandwich bread and took immediate action, as I am now truly a mature, capable woman with excellent life skills.
(Translation: I called Jason and asked him what in the what fuck I was supposed to do now.)
It turned out Jason hadn't run the self-clean cycle on the oven, as we were instructed to do on some random, badly-written eHow article about What To Do When You've Gone And Probably Unecessarily Shot A Fire Extinguisher Into Your Fucking Oven. I thought he had, but apparently HIS Oven Fire PTSD had made him too afraid to try it unless he had four-and-a-half hours of free time he could spend staring directly at the oven.
Bitch, please. I gots four-and-a-half hours. I hit the self-clean button and opened the doors and windows to let the chemical-y smelling smoke out.
It turns out, though, that staring directly at an oven is kind of boring. So after the kids went to school I eventually wandered off to take a shower.
When I came back into the kitchen for a coffee refill, I was confronted with this:
Ceiba had apparently hurled her fool self at the back screen door and knocked it wide open. And a bird flew in. And...yes. There was now a bird in my house.
My first instinct was -- yes, okay -- to run for the camera to take pictures because otherwise who would BELIEVE THIS SHIT? I certainly wouldn't believe this shit. Hell, I was standing there slack-jawed and frozen a few feet away from the bird and still couldn't believe this shit. My luck is a small flappy bird, your argument is invalid.
I snapped a couple pictures and then we stared at each other for a minute or two. Then it decided to flip the fuck out and take off for the living room. I shrieked and ducked, even though it was flying in the opposite direction of where I was standing.
Indeed, Internet. NOW WHAT.
Cecily told me to get a broom and guide it out an open door, and several other people recommended various traps involving towels and hampers and board game lids.
I went with the broom option and approached the bird with confidence.
The dumb thing took off again, through the dining room where it flew facefirst into a mirror, then fluttered around making an incredible amount of racket and I shrieked and ducked again and GAH STUPID AWFUL NATURE.
Finally I went around opening all the windows and doors, attracting the attention of a landscaping crew right outside the front of the house, who all paused to watch the crazy woman in boxer shorts and a Les Miserables shirt from 1994 opening windows and screens while occasionally ducking and yelping for no apparent reason.
Then I went upstairs and closed the door. The bird was officially on its own to figure its own stupid shit out.
(Post-production re-enactment of presumed single glitter tear shed by bird in my absence.)
Every 15 minutes or so, I crept downstairs to check on the situation. I did wonder what I would do if the bird seemed to be gone, but without actually witnessing it making it out a door or window, would I feel okay closing everything up? What if it was just hiding? Or down in the basement, partying with the hypothetical snake? GET OUT OF MY HOUSE, WILDLIFE. I HATE YOU SO HARD RIGHT NOW.
I needn't have worried, because every time I made it downstairs I immediately spotted the bird, usually:
1) hanging out on the pot rack, directly next to a wide-open window
2) perched on a lamp, directly next to the wide-open back door
3) back on the stupid curtain rod which was LITERALLY FOUR INCHES FROM FREEDOM.
I basically spent over half of my morning being held hostage in my bedroom by the world's most mentally-challenged bird.
After an hour or more of this nonsense, I got fed up and marched downstairs, picked up the broom and stared down the bird directly. It was back on the pot rack. I lifted the broom to shoo it away but couldn't stop visualizing it taking off in a panic and dive-bombing directly at my head.
I don't know how long I stood there, trying to talk myself out of my irrational fear of this small, frightened creature, only to get a good look at its claws -- its horrible scaly chicken-claws -- and a new shudder of terror would rack through my system and I'd freeze up again.
It moved first. Downward, onto an Ikea island...
where I had put my plastic-wrapped loaf of still-uncooked, toiled-over bread...
that the bird was now landing directly on...
OH HELL NO YOU DIDN'T YOU GODDAMN FEATHERED VERMIN GET OFF MAH BREAD
This was apparently my breaking point. YOU MESS WITH THE BREAD, YOU GET THE BROOM. I shouted at the bird and charged at it with the broom. It instantly took off and flew to the other side of the kitchen and out the back door. It collided with the open screen on the way, but then it was gone.
I dropped the broom like a mic and slammed the door shut. This was my house. MY HOUSE. I was in charge. I was capable. I was a motherfucking ADULT.
EPILOGUE #1: And then the pediatrician's office called to find out why Noah and I hadn't shown up for his 6-year physical this morning.
EPILOGUE #2: And then I gave up and ate some cookies.