I like to cook. Aside from the hour before the twinkies wake up it’s usually my favorite part of the day. I pour a glass of wine, relegate the kids to somewhere other than the kitchen, turn on music and work away. The only thing I like better than cooking is not having to cook. So, when Christin invited my clan over for dinner Saturday night I was more than a little excited.
This was especially true after my Running Of The Reindeer adventure. Even though it was only a couple of blocks, it was in deep snow so it was a tiny bit strenuous. Plus my dumb kids disappeared. The big kids were watching the little kids and were nowhere to be found after the race. Eventually I located them hanging out in a shop (where it was warm). You know that feeling when you are panicked because you’ve lost your child? Then you find them and instantly want to shake the shit out of them for disappearing? Yeah, that.
I was even more excited to attend when I got this text.
Why do I love her? That’s why.
The evening went well. Christin made lasagne and spaghetti. She decided to make spaghetti (and the best homemade meat sauce ever) when she remembered that I think lasagne made with cottage cheese is gross.
Don’t disagree with me. I’m right, you’re wrong. Cottage cheese is supposed to be served cold.
(I did try Christin’s though – to be polite – and it was very good.)
The children behaved. Taryn was helpful and sweet (John didn’t go). Neither of my monsters threw food. Jackson didn’t say “fart nugget” or “butt licken’” or “buttcheeks” even once. Probably because I had threatened him with permanent loss of Super Mario Brothers if he did. Neither here nor there.
The only problem was the smoke alarm. Their smoke alarm starting going off about 20 minutes after we arrived. Christin’s husband, Dan, reset it.
Then it went off again. Dan checked it again. He went downstairs and checked the ones down there too.
Again it went off. More checking.
After several rounds of this, Dan dragged out the ladder while Christin fished around for a 9 volt battery. (Why 9 volts? Can’t we invent a smoke alarm that just takes the AA’s everyone has lying around the house?)
New battery installed. Problem solved.
Except…it started beeping again.
All along Christin had been saying the beep was weird. I’m pretty sure both Dan and I ignored this bit of information. After all, Christin and I were about halfway through a bottle of Skinny Girl Cosmo and Dan had a few Pabst Blue Ribbons under his belt.
(Yes, he drinks PBR and has all of his teeth. That’s a subject for another blog.)
Christin then did something that would never happen in my house – she got out the manual for the smoke alarm. Dan reviewed it and said, “it’s the carbon monoxide alarm, this says we’re supposed to call the fire department.”
But…we’re all here eating and drinking and watching the kids play Dance, Dance, Revolution. Seriously?
Dan found the non-emergency number and called the Fire Department. He explained the problem, then I heard this, “So we can just stay in the house until you guys get here right? … Oh, really? Ok.”
Yes. Yes, we had to leave the house with all the kids. Five kids ages 15, 5, 5, 2, and 8 months. It was 8 PM and 20 degrees. The only real option (after calling a neighbor who didn’t answer) was to load everyone in my car and wait for the firemen.
Lucky for us, Low by Flo Rida came on the radio.
Party in the mini van! I always knew it was cooler than everyone thought.
I couldn’t make this up. But here’s more proof of the events, for those who need proof.
As it turns out there is something wrong with their stove. When it was on it made the carbon monoxide jump to a dangerous level. The hot fireman explained this all in very scientific terms. (All the while eyeing the 5 kids, martini glasses, and empty cans of PBR. We’re excellent parents.)
Opening some windows and promising not to use the stove until a repairman could come out solved the problem.
But just a word of caution, read the fine print on dinner invitations from Christin and Dan. I’m pretty sure it says:
Come over for dinner.
We might kill you.