Friday, October 05, 2007

Toasted Toys

So, it's been an awfully long time since I've blogged--my apologies. Solar Decathlon ( makes the best scapegoat, since Jason's involvement as the project manager for UIUC has kept him scurrying from sunup to sundown--and then some.

Jason has been out of town most of the week setting up Illinois's solar-powered house on the National Mall in Washington DC. Even though it's been lonely, I was starting to feel like I had this single-mommy thing kind of under control. After all, the last months have provided some good opportunities to practice.

And then this evening happened. Around 6:00 pm, I strode confidently into the house and freed Talia from the double stroller where she had twisted herself completely around so as to be able to better poke Brooklyn in the eyes. Brooklyn decided to remain in the stroller (whether for protection, or simply because she was too distracted screaming for a graham cracker, I'm not sure.) I went straight to the kitchen, pulled a pizza out of the freezer, turned the oven on to preheat, and thought, ta da, dinner is served. (I even thought ahead enough to buy the deluxe pizza to ensure we're getting enough veggies in our diet...)

And then the smell started... Now, you've got to understand. Our house has lots of smells. Unfortunately, many of them are not good. No, no happy aromas of freshly-baked bread in this Wheeler house, and if you smell chocolate-chip cookies, it means that Kara's had a really bad day and is feeling desperate. No, most of the odors in our house are directly attributable to the plethora of stinky diapers (including Talia's recent poopy diaper that had Brooklyn's bright orange earplug embedded in it, but that's a story for another day.) So, when a strange smell started to come from the kitchen, I didn't think much of it, and blamed it on the garbage disposal.

Until I opened the oven... When what to my wondering eyes should I see, but a green tambourine, and two DVDs! Talk about a surprise. The house filled with smoke, but I could still make out the melted plastic dripping from the DVD cases down into the broiler. Brooklyn came over, peeked in, and looking extremely guilty, said, "Sorry Mommy."

It wasn't until everything had cooled off that I noticed that the roundish green thing protruding from the tambourine wasn't bludgeoning plastic, but the remnants of a once large bouncy ball. The ball and DVDs were toast (literally), but the instrument came out relatively unscathed. I guess it just goes to show the truth in the song I learned as a child: All things shall perish from under the sky, but music alone shall live, never to die.