I came out of church a little late one Sunday. Almost everyone had gone home. The parking lot was deserted except for a little cluster of cars with people outside them standing over to the side. All the people were gathered around looking at something intently.
I went over to see what was going on, of course. They said there was a bird who had laid an egg in the middle of the gravel lot.
I looked, and sure enough, the fat brown bird was standing there with an egg between its feet. This is in an open field fill of gravel and sand that is used for extra church parking.
Like, this is where you choose to lay an egg? Why, bird?
One of the onlookers found a couple of traffic cones and set them up to try to help make a barrier around the bird, which it disliked intensely. If you approached the bird it would become extremely agitated , flapping and squawking.
Obviously this thing was determined that it and its egg belonged right there in the church parking lot. The group of people were wondering what to do.
I said, “Do you want me to call my daughter?” (That’s ET; she has just finished vet school.)
Everyone thought that as a good idea, so I face-timed her to show her the bird in question.
ET said, “Oh, that’s how those birds are. They just lay eggs anywhere they want. We had one at the barn that laid an egg right in front of the horse stalls at the barn. We had to carefully lead the horses around it for a while.”
I asked her what we should do, and she said to leave the bird alone.
So everyone got into their cars and left, satisfied that an expert had told them it was okay not to stand guard over a bird who didn’t know that this was possibly the worst place to lay an egg. (Besides in front of a horse stall, I guess.).
I don’t know what happened; the bird wasn’t there the next Sunday. Maybe she moved the egg after the threatening people had gone. In any case, I was glad to have saved several well-meaning people from standing in an empty gravel lot all afternoon feeling confused.
Just before midnight Saturday, I heard my kids yelling that something was flying around the living room.
I figured it was just a bug, as usual, (“Just SQUISH it yourSELF!” I’m always yelling back; See my post on ineffective extermination methods.) but they were screaming a lot. “It’s BIG!” “It’s a BAT!”
So I went in there and it was not a bat. It was a bird. A confused little bird was perched up high out of everyone’s reach.
How did it get in there? Maybe it came down the chimney (the fireplace doors were open) or maybe someone let it in accidentally (birds seem to enjoy coming in the garage). Who knows? In any case, we needed to get it OUT.
First of all, I shut all the doors to the living room so it couldn’t go to any other room. Then I opened the patio door to outside. Then all heck broke loose.
There followed a lot of screaming and running around and the bird flew from one corner of the room to the other.
My daughter GG was waving a broom around madly while I tried to catch the poor thing in a big bucket.
The twins simply screamed, and took photos.
Eventually, the bird got near the door and I tried switching the porchlight on and turning off all the indoor lights. Finally it flew out!
And the good news is, I only found ONE spot of bird poo it left behind.
The twins are starting high school this year, and –having experienced the car line at the high school before– I have declared that they are going to be riding the bus.
(The high school campus houses a middle school also, and the traffic jams during pick-up and drop-off time are horrendous! On Boo’s first day of school there, four years ago, I thought I had allowed plenty of time to get there. Then I spent over twenty minutes waiting in the car line and Boo was actually late to school on the first day!)
But I digress. My point is, the twins are riding the bus to and from high school.
This means they have to be at the bus stop at 6:24 am every day, which means I have to get up before five in the morning, which is way too early, but whatever. I am making it happen.
It was still dark when we went out to catch the bus. It’s August. That means it’s only getting darker, as the sun will be rising later and later as time progresses. But hey, I’ve seen worse. I’ve lived in Alaska.
In the morning they got on the bus without incident. The bus driver handed me a form to fill out, introduced himself as Mr. B, and they were off.
In the afternoon I went outside to wait for the bus to come. Sitting on my front porch, I can see the corner where the bus will stop –it’s on a busy road where the neighborhood entrance is—but it’s across the yard and past some trees. So I can see the bus when it comes, but I can’t see when the kid gets off or whatever.
Okay, so yesterday I’m sitting out there and the bus stops at the corner, and then the bus drives away. I wait, but my child never shows up.
I was only expecting one of the twins, because Little Boy stayed after school for band practice. But Little Girl never appeared.
I walked over there and looked around, but she wasn’t there. Then she texted me saying that she was still on the bus.
Ok, I thought. So you’re trapped on the bus now?
I started walking down the street because I figured the next stop shouldn’t be that far away.
I went to get the car. Then my husband pulled up in his car, and I said, “Hey you wanna go on a mission to get a kid who is trapped on the bus?” He is always up for a mission, so he hopped in.
So there is a new thing I’ve never seen before: they have an app that tells me where the bus is. I had downloaded it earlier, thinking it would just give me bus updates, but it seems that there’s a literal GPS sitting on that bus telling me exactly where the bus is in real time. I’ve never seen this before; I’m pretty excited about it actually.
Technology= WOW, am I right?
I was like, well let’s just follow the bus on the app, and then once I catch up to it, she can get off. I handed the phone to my husband and said to look at the app and figure out where the bus is.
He was looking on there while I was driving. Then he said, “Okay I have it.” He directed me to a corner in a neighborhood near ours.
“Park right here,” he said. “Then the bus will be trapped down this circle, and when it comes by, we’ll get our kid.”
He was taking this “we’re on a mission” thing very seriously.
I said okay and stopped. I put on my emergency blinkers so people could go around me and waited. Then he said, “When I see the bus coming, I’m gonna get out and stand in the street and wave my arms.”
I said, “Really?”
He said that he figured it was gonna really embarrass her but then she’d figure out how to get off the bus at the right stop after this.
Talk about tough love!
SO. He saw the bus coming and stood in the street waving his arms.
Inside the bus driver was like, “What gives?” and tried to wave him away.
My husband went up to the window and said, “Hey my kid is on that bus, and I need it back.”
Then he explained that she didn’t get off at her stop, and the bus driver said he would take her back there.
“Nah,” said my husband, “just let her out right now and I’ll take her.”
So Little Girl got off the bus. You can imagine how incredibly embarrassing this was. She got in the car and said, “Mom. Dad stood in front of the bus. He stood in front of the bus!”
I told her how you’ve got to stand up when it’s your stop, and if he if he drives away without letting you off you yell, “Hey it’s my stop!” I don’t know why this kid doesn’t know bus etiquette. I guess because she only rode the bus in elementary school where they’re actually more careful about the kids, maybe she isn’t aware of how you’re supposed to act?
Anyways, it was the first day the driver didn’t know who was supposed to be getting on and off but…
I took a trip to Maryland to visit a friend. The first day there were a couple of bugs in my hotel room that she identified as stinkbugs, telling me that those types of insects are all over in the area.
One stinkbug was dead and one was still alive; my friend gently scooped the living bug up and set it free outside.
The next day whileI was alone and peacefully reading a book, I saw another live one sitting on the washcloth I was using for coaster under my soda cup.
Thinking I would be compassionate and humane like my friend, I carefully wrapped the washcloth around the base of my cup and carried the whole thing outside the door.
Out there I unwrapped the cup and flapped the washcloth vigorously to free the stinkbug. I thought it fell out—there was a black spot in the ground— so I pulled my glasses from the top of my head down to my eyes in order to check. (I can’t read with my glasses on, but I need the glasses to see distances. It’s tough being over forty.)
Unfortunately it was just a black spot.
So where was the stinkbug? I flapped the washcloth some more, but nothing fell out. Maybe it flew away?
I shrugged and stepped back into the room, glancing down at the soda still in my hand.
There was the bug on top of the lid, SITTING RIGHT NEXT TO THE STRAW. I screamed and threw the cup across the room.
All thoughts of humanely setting a cute little bug free vanished and I smashed that nasty thing flat.
My oldest daughter ET is in her fourth year of veterinary school.
Although she does go to class in person, a lot of her school work is still online. Therefore when her laptop wasn’t working, she took it into the school IT department for repair.
While there, she had to wait in front of a counter for a long time while the IT guy looked at her computer, and on the counter was Jar Jar Binks.
That’s right. The IT office has a big figurine of the the most hated character from Star Wars Episode One sitting front and center on the counter, staring her in the face. And the figurine had a button on it that simply cried out to be pressed.
ET stood there for almost half an hour, NOT PRESSING the button. Then, the IT guy went out of sight to the back room, and the receptionist went to the restroom. Briefly the office was deserted.
The button called its siren song, and with no one looking, ET succumbed to temptation and pressed it.
Immediately Jar Jar began to dance and sing. LOUDLY.
The song was so loud that it was obviously audible everywhere in the building, including in the restroom and the back room.
The receptionist emerged and glared at ET as Jar Jar continued to sing his ear-splittingly loud and VERY LONG song.
The IT guy, looking supremely unamused, came out of the back as Jar Jar finally wound the song up with a big finale.
“I really hate that song,” said the IT guy. “You just had to press the button, huh?”
Sheepishly ET shrugged. “I resisted a really long time…”
Recently I took a little roadtrip with three of my kids.
On the way we stopped at a roadside rest station and the kids wanted snacks from the vending machine. I got Little Boy some Doritos and GG a Dr. Pepper.
(Little Girl had remained in the car. She wants us to think that she never-ever has to pee, or at least this is the position she maintains at all costs when we visit rest areas.)
Then I wanted a Diet Coke, but I had used all of my one-dollar bills and was almost out of change. The Diet Coke was $2. I had put all of the silver change in my wallet into the machine and the display read $1.90.
I now had only pennies left, and without much hope I tried inserting one. It came back out; the total remained $1.90.
I needed a dime. “I’m a dime short!” I complained. Suddenly Little Boy said, “Hey! I see one! There’s a dime!”
We all looked. The dime gleamed on the dirty floor between the drink and snack machine, all the way back next to the wall.
But the machines were housed behind locked iron bars to prevent vandalism or theft.
How could we get that dime? I really wanted that Diet Coke!
Little Boy wanted to help me. He is thirteen now, and has gotten a lot taller recently. He got down on the ground and stretched one newly-elongated arms out through the bars, straining to reach.
GG and I watched in trepidation as he reached … and almost touched the dime.
Then he found a stick and used it to scrape the dime forward enough so that he could grasp it.
Triumphantly he stood and handed me the coin. I was so excited.
“You are the best of sons!” I exclaimed as I put the coin in and pressed the button.
The Diet Coke came obediently out of the spot. Ah, the sweet elixir! I was so happy.
That kid has earned his mother’s eternal gratitude!