Walking on broken glass

The sound of breaking glass is almost never good.

Especially not when the sound is coming from the kitchen, where dinner is cooking, and you’re in the living room, watching the kids watch “Bob the Builder” and taking a quick minute to check your e-mail.

Even more surprising than the sound that propels you out of the easy chair in a dead run for the kitchen with two curious kiddos trailing behind is what you find when you get there.

Glass. Everywhere.

Mostly concentrated on the stove, where you discover the cause: You turned on the wrong set of burners for the cast iron griddle. The chicken sausages you thought would be ready when the acorn squash came out of the oven are literally chillin’ on a cold griddle while the dishes you had piled on the stove to make room on the table (yes, you have an oversized pile of dirty dishes) are now in various states of broken, hot and cooked.

You shoo the children back to the living room, slap on a pair of flip-flops so as to avoid the inevitable shard-of-glass-in-the-bottom-of-the-foot pain and sweep the room with your eyes before deciding to sweep the floor with the broom. Gotta start somewhere.

After trying to salvage the sausages for dinner, you notice glass on the griddle and fearing shards of glass lodged in the sausages, you dump five otherwise perfectly fine sausages in the garbage because you don’t want a trip to the emergency room. (You also have an overactive imagination.) Besides cleaning glass from every corner of the kitchen, you wrack your brain for a quick and easy protein replacement for the sausages, knowing the squash won’t quite cut it for dinner.

Meanwhile, the squash is ready to come out of the oven and the children (well, one curious almost-2-year-old in particular) begin to wander toward the kitchen. You send him away for his shoes and he wails “But I can’t put them on!” He brings you his sandals; you put them on; you realize he’s walking funny, like he’s in pain in one foot. You sweep him up in your arms and take him to the bathroom, ready to administer your minimal first aid knowledge.

A small spot of blood appears on the bottom of his foot. You wipe it away and poke around with tweezers, finding nothing. You attempt to put a band-aid (a Cars band-aid, no less) on the squirmy child, who resists. You put his shoe back on. He limps and cries in pain. You take the shoe off and poke around on his foot again, wondering if glass causes infection and if you’ll have to have his foot amputated when his father gets home from work in a couple of hours. (See previous note about overactive imagination.) Shoe back on. Limp and cry. You wonder if the glass is in the shoe. “Glass in da shoe,” your son tells you. You look, then look again, and sure enough, you pluck a small piece out of the shoe. Sandals back on.

Meanwhile, you discover this has happened in the living room while you’ve been sweeping, picking and wiping up glass in the kitchen.

Under normal circumstances, this would send you searching for the closest Diet Coke or bar of chocolate. Today, you shrug and retreat to the kitchen. The 3-year-old follows you, wearing mismatched slippers, determined to help you find all the glass in the kitchen and asking a million questions. (Where was the glass? Everywhere. But WHERE was it? Everywhere you can see.) You move back to dinner, finishing up the squash and deciding that scrambled eggs are going to have to suffice. Scrambled eggs and squash — not exactly a texturally diverse meal, but thankfully no Food Network judge is scheduled to appear at your house tonight. (Robert Irvine, however, would be a welcome guest. Kitchen: Impossible. You bet.)

You finally plate the squash and eggs and offer the children a nice little table in the living room in front of the TV for their dining pleasure. Your son plows through his eggs and demands more, then takes a bite of his squash, rubs it all over his hands and face and declares “I no like squash. I wanta save it.” He heads for the kitchen, barefoot, to get the plastic wrap. You get up for the 3rd time during your “dinner” and put his shoes back on before putting his plate in the fridge and offering the kids toast as another course to their gourmet meal. Butter and  jelly (also wiped all over everything in the living room) are a small price to pay for a few moments of peace.

You reflect on the past couple of hours and here’s what you what you can take away from the evening:

  1. You are finding new and different ways to ruin dinner.
  2. You now have at least 2 dirty dishes you don’t have to wash. Ever again.
  3. Women with more than 2 children under the age of five should not be allowed to cook without adult supervision.
  4. You will discover glass in your kitchen for the next month and be amazed at how far shattered glass can travel.
  5. The strongest drink you have in your house is Diet Coke and even if you had something stronger, your church disallows it and you are practically a pastor’s wife.
  6. You wish you’d paid more attention in chemistry (or physics?) about the properties of glass.
  7. You realize that by writing an entire post in the second person you are violating your English teachers’ rule about using the word “you” and even though you are MANY years past high school, you fear their correction. (Automatic one letter grade lower. Some things just stick with you.)
  8. It is Thursday night and even though you were underwhelmed by the NBC comedies last week, you are guaranteed at least a few laughs tonight. Unless you decide to clean the kitchen from top to bottom.
  9. Most importantly, you are grateful that neither you nor the children were in the kitchen when the glass shattered because although you aren’t always satisfied with your looks, “scarface” is not a name you’re eager to adopt. And you’re queasy around too much blood. You remember that God is good. And even when things are bad, they CAN be worse.

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