|The week between the tailgates I left |
Gumby in the car, safe from Jaws
aka Finn. Every time I looked in my
rearview mirror, I spotted him
lounging in the backseat.
Flashing back to mid October: I spent the week after the tailgate at IU prepping for the next tailgate at ND. I made grocery lists, rolled up my sleeves, and cooked and baked myself silly. The chili endeavor was exhausting: three large crockpots full, which was about 10 pounds of meat to give you an idea. Once it was done, I juggled stuff in the fridge to make room.
I was also babysitting and getting the house ready to host four of Tank's friends. Let's be clear, my house cannot be whipped into shape for overnight guests very quickly. Heck, I'm not pleased that we are overnight guests in our own home half the time, but that's life. I knew these college boys wouldn't be in specific areas of the house. We focused our efforts on the visitor friendly spaces.
|Chili making in bulk. Pumpkin bread, |
6 loaves, cooling in the background.
The kitchen was a mess all week with all the food making, but I did my best. Coach put sheets on the spare beds in Tank's room and cleaned the upstairs kids' bathroom - a room I try my best not to enter. Remember Tank was home this week, so he cleaned the kids' shower. "Well, it's better than our dorm shower." Way to keep the bar low.
|Also that week, my boys and a tot|
and his baby sister, who stay till 5:00 pm,
cheered for Curly during her volleyball game.
Thursday, the day the college guys arrived, I had twin 2 year olds who we're trying to potty train plus other kids. One of the twins was standing outside the bathroom when she tossed her cookies. She had a nasty cough and she had a little gag reflex issue. Thankfully she was nowhere near the family room carpet.
Minutes before Tank walked in with his friends, I was cleaning puke from the kitchen floor and cleaning the poor, overused-by-toddlers first floor bathroom. I was dripping in sweat.
The desk chair in the boys' room is missing a wooden piece that connects the two sides. I tucked it into the desk and didn't think much of it. I assume my boys know to be careful when they sit on it. That room has three twin beds. Tank slept in his and two guys slept in the other two beds. We bumped Reg to Mini and Curly's room for the night. Two guys slept in sleeping bags on the floor in the boys' room.
Before they arrived, Tank took photos of the toddler cot and the pack n' play and texted the guys to say they were sleeping there. Of course, I removed my daycare furniture from the room before they arrived.
Apparently the chair fell over on top of one of the floor-sleeping guys. He was afraid to push it in case it might land on another guy. Tank was relentless the next morning.
Tank: So you couldn't push a small desk chair off of yourself? You had to wake up another guy to help you?
I'm sure they'll be back for another visit what with our collapsing furniture and our river of dog shit.
Oh, I forgot to mention. On Thursday night the guys left to go to a local bar frequented by middle aged men. They hoped their fake IDs would work and I hoped not to bail anyone out of jail.
While they were gone, I made cookies. I had a great stash in the freezer, but this is what I do: I over-prepare. As I alone? I was putting cookies on sheets at the island. Reg was standing a few feet from me, sniffing.
Reg: What is that? It smells like poop.
|I also whipped up some |
shamrock cookies. Why not?
Me: I smell cookies (I sort of hummed this as if my humming could make Reg's observation disintegrate).
It was true - I was smelling cookies. I was also not looking for any poop. I'd spent a day cleaning up poop and pee and puke and I wanted no part of whatever he might be smelling. I was staying in my happy place, a place of denial.
Oh good gravy, when Coach and Reg found the source of the smell . . . there were some disgruntled family members, loud moans, and words said.
Me? I never even wandered into the living room, which fortunately is hard wood - no carpet. I continued to inhale my warm cookie aroma and let the mess be handled by someone else. Lad was on his way home from working out. I called him, PLEASE HURRY.
Lad: It must be these (insert some dog treat or chew thing).
Me (speaking in a monotone voice with a chilling calmness, which I find remarkable. I attribute my inability to get worked up to my sheer exhaustion): Well, figure it out in a hurry because we (including Lad!) are going out of town and Reg and Curly are not going to deal with Finn's diareha. You can use the newspapers over there to scoop. Open the windows on the first floor. Rags are kept in that cabinet and how do you not know where we keep the rags if you live here?
I then texted Tank to alert him: Assuming you got in the bar with no issues. Please let your friends know that the dog shit smell is generated by the river of dog shit that poured out of Finn a little bit ago. Lad is cleaning it up. We are airing the place out. Hoping it only smells like my cookies by the time you get home.
CHANGE MY PLANS, WILL YOU? Coach realized that Reg and Curly are staying at our house alone Friday night and again AFTER the homecoming dance Saturday night. He was upset. I was confused. I'd mentioned 'the plan' a million times.
I don't think he didn't trust the kids. I think it's the epilepsy component. So, in the 11th hour, like at 10 pm on Thursday night when I really WANTED TO BE IN BED, I called our family friend and asked if Reg and Curly could crash at their house Friday night. Their son had to be at the high school in the morning, so he'd drop Curly there for volleyball. It was all settled.
I left notes everywhere so that the kids would remember to bring a loaf of banana bread and a loaf of pumpkin bread to the sleepover house. At last, I collapsed in my bed.
Friday morning I was awake at 5:20 am. I made banana bread (see above), not needed but a nice touch. You expect this of me at this point, right? I cooked breakfast burritos and cinnamon rolls for the college crew. Coach came home and we started talking about how to load the cars and which car was going where.
|Stick to the plan: there was no way |
we were going to get there in one car.
Exhibit A. I've explained all
of this. Really, I have.
Well, this is when it became clear/clearer that when I open my mouth Coach hears white noise (also see above). I'd discussed my master plan MULTIPLE times. I'd drive the minivan with all the fixings for a tailgate, including Gumby, to the hotel. He'd drive the kid car.
1. Heat the crockpots with the precooked chili in them overnight in the hotel room and hope that the aroma wouldn't disturb anyone's sleep.
2. Early Saturday morning, I'd load the warm crockpots into the minivan and hope not to wake Lad, Ed, and Ed's GF.
3. I'd drive to the parking lot when it was still dark out and wait for the lot to open at 8 am and get a great spot.
4. I'd be unshowered, dressed in layers ready for a brisk 3 mile jog back to the hotel.
Coach tried to come up with another plan in this, the ELEVENTH HOUR. Nope. THIS IS THE PLAN. I'M GUMBY DAMN IT, or in this case I'm Gumby's handler, and the tailgate orchestrater.
Do you speak in white noise? Do you have people try to change the plan on you at the last minute? Do you have pets that decide to stink up your home as soon as guests arrive? Do you cook for an army ever? *Colleen Martin, I already know your answer ;)