Thursday, June 13, 2013

Mobile Disasters

On Tuesday, I mentioned in passing that my beloved iPhone had taken a brief swim in the toilet.  I left it at that, but then had a handful of people (who I didn't know were readers) inquire about the details of that particular story.

It happened back in March, during that dark week when I didn't post at all, and no one seemed to notice, prompting me to convince myself even further that the fates were conspiring to do me in.  When I emerged from my den of distress, I tried to pen a post about it but found the entire thing so utterly ridiculous that I kept that epic to myself.  Until now...

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of cell-phone-less-ness.  More specifically, it was the age of Joel's Spring Break music trip, during which time he, the chaperones and students would tour the east coast for a week.  I had the option of going along as a chaperone, as I always do being the director's wife, but the bone-chilling fear of relinquishing control handing my children over to someone else (even someone I'd trust with my own life) always keeps me home while my husband and 100 teenagers gallivant across the country.

The week started out fine.  His painfully early departure drove me back to bed, and an early showing of Toy Story 3 kept the boys occupied so that I could sleep in.  In fact, the whole day was lazy and uneventful, dotted with trips to the store and meals with my family.  But when I woke up Saturday morning to a knee that was grossly swollen and even more grossly bruised, I should have taken it for the omen it was.

A visit to the doctor revealed that I had likely torn the bursa sack around my right knee, and fluid and blood were pooling under the skin to create an impressive watercolor of blue and black.  But as I dealt gingerly with my knee, I prayed that it would be the worst of the week's adventures.  But when Monday came, trouble came too.

Warning:  Here's where things go south.  I have always set out to create a blog that was appropriate for my whole family to read, and I will do my best to preserve that sentiment.  But this story is so bizarre that you might want to get out now.  I wish I had.  Need something do instead?  This will kill ten minutes.

Back to the story. 

In the midst of an already challenging time, not so much because Joel was gone, but because my children's temper-tantrums seem to align with his departures much like the tides to the moon, I was battling a period of particularly rough language from my sons' mouths.  But amidst the traditional potty talk that I battle daily, I heard something particularly jarring. 

"Graham, where is the f---ing fire truck?"

The floor dropped out from under me.  I knew that Cael had already discovered that word, because an unfortunate rhyming incident a couple of years ago yielded a dramatic response.  I hadn't, however, heard him weave it into regular conversation so effortlessly, as if he was using one of Thomas the Train's pithy figures of speech. 

Fizzling fireboxes, I was shocked.

We had a lengthy conversation, a time-out for good measure (because I knew that HE knew how inappropriate that was) and the boys vowed to pull it together for the sake of their poor, tired, husband-less mother.  Only they didn't.  The language was better, mercifully, but the behavior continued, and although already starved for adult conversation, I holed us up in my home and avoided my Dad and sister so that they wouldn't be subjected to the horrors of that particular week.

Eventually my boredom won out and I invited Amy and my nephew Keaton over for supper.  Just as they were preparing to leave, I began to feel "unsettled" and feared I might have eaten something bad.  Over the next hour, as no one else felt sick and I got worse and worse, I accepted the inevitable; I had stomach flu.

But alone as I was, I dragged the garbage cans to the driveway, loaded the dishwasher, fed the dog, and kept it together as much as I could until the kids were in bed, and all hell broke loose.

I was absolutely miserable, and solely responsible for my two kids to boot.  I was forced to open my doors to outsiders my Dad so that he could help with my kids and let me sleep, since my nocturnal digestive pyrotechnics kept me from getting any real rest.

By the time Friday morning arrived, and with it returned my appetite and energy, I was very ready for Joel to return and give me a much needed break.  I eagerly got up, got dressed, and I was getting my makeup on my bathroom, contemplating whether or not I was capable of eating a sausage biscuit on a plate nearby, my cat jumped up to steal said biscuit, knocking my iPad off the counter.  iPad fell on the bathmat, iPhone went straight into the open toilet.

Immediately everything went green, my stomach and my expression included.  Not only had I likely just ruined my phone, my pathetically important link to the outside world, but it fell in the same toilet that I had not only recently used, but where I had spent two days emptying the contents of my stomach.

In the end, two weeks in a bag of rice and on a vent brought my phone back to life, or at least close enough to it to function.  And even though my camera (and a few other features) are a little out of sorts, it was a real full circle experience.  The week began with a sore knee and bad language, and I closed it out with a sore muscles and, well, some more bad language. 

Sounds like it's my turn for a vacation.  Watch out, Joel...

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