4:10: Will awakes from his nap. Emily Anne automatically asks if he wants to play Hide-n-Go-Seek. Will nods his head and says, "Yes, Anne."
4:12: After Will has "hidden," Emily Anne says that it is his turn to count. I hear, ". . . nine, ten. Heah I come!"
4:13: I call Joel at the office to fill him in on this endearing experience. Joel talks with Will briefly, and we hang up.
4:15: The Hide-n-Seek-Game is now defunct. Will asks, "Mama, where my pirate puzz (puzzle)?" I look in his puzzle drawer, but it's not there. As I make my way to their stairs to see if it's in his room, he says, "Mama, I want popcorn."
4:18: I take a bag of popcorn out of the brand-new box and put it in the microwave. I haven't made popcorn in so long that I can't remember how long it takes. I know that it doesn't take as long as it says on the box, so I press the timer for five minutes and figure that I'll listen for the popping to slow down (You see where this is going, right?).
4:18:30: I hear hysterical screams from the playroom and run in to see what is the matter. Addie, our Goldendoodle, has chewed up a plastic tupperware container (one of her favorite pasttimes), which contained Emily Anne's newest pet, a cricket she caught herself in the yard. I grab another plastic container and set about to catch this varmint, which is still alive and hoppin'.
4:21: I take the cricket and its new habitat to the kitchen, which is enveloped in a choking haze of smoke. I open the door to the microwave and, with teary eyes, remove the hot, charred remains of the popcorn bag. I ensconce it in a plastic garbage bag and run it out to the outside garbage can.
4:24: I remove the glass carousel from the microwave and scrub it, stopping to turn on the exhaust fan (a little late). Once I get that cleaned off, I start to attack the browned inside of the microwave, but the fumes are too strong. I open the doors to the screened porch and plop myself down on the wicker loveseat.
4:32: Will comes out to the porch and says, "Mama, I hungy." I ask him if he wants a cookie (I know, I know--it was too close to dinnertime, but I was desperate). He says, "No, Will don like cookies" with a pout.
4:32:15: Will says, "Mama, I want cookie." We go inside to get a cookie and some milk. I try to coax him onto the porch so that his lungs won't be damaged by smoke inhalation while I tackle the inside of the microwave.
4:38: I've gotten the microwave as clean as I can get it. I vacillate on the idea of getting started on my ironing. Will my clothes all smell like they were dried over a campfire?
4:40: I decide to start on the ironing and get everything set up.
4:42: Emily Anne comes in to the laundry room and announces that she thinks she has sprained her ankle. I stop ironing my first item, turn the iron off so that no one will get burned and examine the ankle. There is nothing wrong with her ankle. I iron three items of clothing.
4:54: Emily Anne comes into the laundry room and announces, "Addie pooped in the playroom." I go in to investigate and discover that EA's announcement was, in fact, an understatement. Our huge dog must have an upset stomach because she has created a trail of diarrhea through our playroom.
4:55: Muttering under my breath a word very appropriate to the situation, I clean up the mess. I follow through with carpet cleaner and a feeble attempt at freshening the air with Febreeze. Can you just imagine what my house smells like now?
5:20: Joel walks in from work and says, "What is that horrible smell?"
It is times like this when I feel ill-equipped to handle the myriad demands of raising children and keeping a home, which I know to be His will for me at this season of my life. I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 9:8:
And God is able to make all grace abound to you,
so that in all things at all times,
having all that you need,
you will abound in every good work.
So, in acrid popcorn smoke amidst escaped hopping crickets at the last hour before the reinforcements arrive, God will provide. Through his grace He will equip me with the patience, endurance, forbearance, compassion, and olfactory powers to deal with any situation that should come up in my good work for His glory.