Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wind, Rain, and Downed Power Lines... Oh my!

"Today we will see clouds moving in with severe weather picking up late in the afternoon. Expect strong winds, heavy rain, and possible tornados." The weatherman set the day's prediction right as I stepped off the treadmill and prepared for another morning of wet diapers, picking up last night's discarded toys, and a rush to fit everything in before the storm overtook our day of errands.

"Whaaaaaa!" Maddox's morning cries erupted from his bedroom and I swooped in to save him from the prison of his bedroom.

By the time we returned that day, the clouds had already begun to darken and loom eerily in the sky. "Okay buddy, we have to hurry and walk the dogs," I told Maddox while buckling him into his stroller and grabbing a few bites of homemade spiced apples to calm my own growling stomach. Being Momma often means a meager breakfast. Especially when those precious few moments when my two-year old is strapped into his high chair are perfect for popping laundry into the wash, sweeping up, and starting my day.

The minute we stepped outside, the first few drops of rain began to fall. By the time we turned back for home, a full downpour erupted and doused us with a cool spring shower. By the time we turned into the driveway, our clothes stuck to our skin. I quickly un-hooked the dogs to dry in the garage and whisked our wet clothing into the dryer while simultaneously throwing together a quick lunch. (Mothers are wonderful multi-taskers, aren't we?)

By the time juniors naptime came, I was looking forward to a few moments of solitude and a gripping episode of Pit Bulls and Parolees. Just as I was about to learn if a sick dog was going to live or die, the wind and rain roared at speeds topping 90 mph and flicked our power on and off in a teasing game of "will I or won't I go out." At the most gripping moment of doggie survival, the power shut off with a snap. "Oh great," I grumbled. "So much for 'me' time."

After glancing outside, it was all too obvious why. A large tree across the streeet had snapped in two, landing in a hammock made of power lines, some having snapped and laying in a maze of twisting coils across our lawn and driveway.

That night we sat in candlelight, optimistic that the lights would be on in no time, and made the best of a fun family night.

By the next night we were still waiting, only this time with a grumpy toddler who had no chance of a nap without his Veggie Tales cd. Tired, grouchy, and unable to remove our car from the garage due to the cluttered driveway, we tried to stay patient.

Soon a truck made it's way up the hill and rounded the corner. Hoop hoop hooray!!!! I stifled the desire to dance around the room. The joy was short-lived however when the driver proceeded to chop the tree, shred it, and then drive away without restoring our precious electricity.

Naptime was... increasingly difficult. It began with: "Juice! Juice! Snack! Snack! Snack!!!" Which led to "Whaaaaa!!!! Whaaaaaaa!!!!!!" And eventually gave way to short cries and shrieks. And 45 minutes later had turned to "Mom? Mooom? MOOOOOOOM!!!"

Needless to say, naptime was a loss and my grouchy little man quickly turned into a firefighter who happily munched Honey Bunches of Oats (for the moment at least) on the sofa while I tried to gather my energy.

Day 3: Spirits were low. Most of the remenants of our fridge were either trash by now or safely stored in a mini fridge at dad's work. Mom was tired and wanted a nap. (This wasn't possible thanks to grumpy pouts, a wayward toddler, and being a highway at the moment for multiple large plastic trucks). Maddox was full of energy, impatient, and emitted angry cries of "Go! GO!!!" every few minutes, begging to be freed.

Lunch was pancakes and homemade brown sugar syrup on the gas grill. It would have been a fun picnick, had both our nerves not been so fried. Maddox spent most of the warm afternoon hauling our French Bulldog up and down the stairs and throwing himself on the ground if the dog resisted his directions.

By naptime, I still hoped  for fatigue to kick in and knock my little bullet of energy out for at least an hour. No luck...

After a few more hours of shouts, screeches, whines, and general displays of unhappiness (including four necessary trips to time-out), I'd had it. I was ready to do everything in my power to find freedom. At least car rides put junior to sleep and could ease some of the tension brought on by a naughty, tired pint-sized terror.

Without fully thinking of the possible consequences, I unlatched the safty lever on our garage and swung the door high. Ahhhhh, freedom was at hand!

I then grabbed a broom and a large branch and carefully moved the trecherous coils fully into the grass. (Note: Please do NOT attempt this on your own! Any contact with electrical wires is very dangerous and can result in death, as it did with a man in Memphis after this same storm hit them.)

At the moment though, I either didn't consider the full extent of the danger or my fried brain didn't care. I was free!!!! Or so I thought until realizing the car seat was safely strapped into my husband's car!

Panic set in as I desperately tried to drum up a plan that included getting to Walmart and buying the first toddler car seat I found. But the neighbors weren't home and as much as I wanted to tie Maddox up and drive to the store, it still couldn't be justified.

Thankfully, my husband agreed to be home in 30 minutes or less. (Which might have had something to do with threats of what would happen if he didn't intervene.)

Alas, the car seat was returned and my car was free to roam. I spent some time with my horse, then enjoyed a nice dinner (alone, listening to a talented guitarist) at a lovely french restaurant called Bicyclette that I've been dying to try, and by 9pm our lights were restored. Life was restored to normalcy once again and my sanity was safe for one more day.

But our moment without power leaves one to wonder: Why is it though that the son you desperately love and who is the center of your world also weilds the power to drive you to the verge of insanity?

Ahh love, is such a complicated thing!

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