The day was to be the Storm of the Century.  The news stations had warned everyone of the damaging winds and the possible tornados to come.  It was to be the worst storm the Midwest had seen in 70 years.  It also happened to fall on library day.  Should we even go I wondered?  What if I got stuck in the storm with her?  What if we were trapped in the basement of the library?  I even got the worried reminder phone call from my mom.  “Make sure you have a weather radio on.  We have a tornado watch today.  We are supposed to get severe storms.”  Not only was it the Storm of the Century, Ellie also hadn’t been napping well.  Well, she hadn’t been napping at all, for a little over a week now.  Ten or fifteen minutes in the car on the way home from Meijers does not count as a nap.  Also, story time is at 11:00am which is a tricky time for us.  Ellie usually eats at 11:00am or 11:30am, and if I’m lucky she’ll hopefully fall asleep afterwards.  So between all these things, you could say I was a little distracted in the morning.

I had finally finished feeding Ellie breakfast and still needed to prepare her bottles, but she was showing signs of being tired.  Should I put her down now at 10:00am, this close to story time, or should I wait?  I decide to give a try.  After 15 minutes of trying I decide this was a bad idea.  I prepare her bottles so all I have to do is warm them up when we get home..  I also need to decide if I should feed her before story time, or after.  There are benefits to both.  If she eats beforehand, I can take the long way home and have her pass out in the car and hopefully she’ll stay asleep for a little bit.  Or if I wait, she’ll be hungrier and more tired and pass out for a good nap.  I decide to feed her afterwards, but at least I’ll heat up the water before I leave so it won’t take as long to heat up when we get back.  I fill up the kettle, place it on the stove, and turn it on high.

We make it to the library just fine despite the Storm of the Century.  Ellie perks right up, as usual, and starts trying to play with her friend Emily who is all dolled up in her rockin’Halloween skull pants.  Story time starts and since Ellie has recently learned how to clap on her own, she is smiling and clapping at everything.  She is having a ball.  There were new stories, and new songs.  More songs I need to learn.  Songs about monkeys jumping on the bed, buses, and toes.  And the last song the instructor closed with was my arch nemesis, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  One of the grandmas was there again showing off her song skills.  It seems she lacks the signal in your brain that stops you from talking.  It must have broken somehow along the way.  Her inner monologue, is now an outer monologue.  “We’re gonna go to the park before the storm.  Yes we are, yes we are.  We are going to jump.  Just like last week.  Show me how you can jump.  Remember to jump? Oh look Ellie has your toy, but you can share.  Even though you won’t know what that means until you’re three… And I tell you and your mom, my job is to keep you safe!”  For a moment I thought I saw the kid roll his eyes and say, “okay okay, the park, yes I’ll jump, give it a rest already, I’m playing with my truck right now.” 

All in all, it was a good trip.  Ellie had a ball, the two other kids had fun, and I even had a conversation with one of the other moms.  I think we all benefited from this trip.  AND we were going to safely make it home before the Storm of the Century starts.  I put my jacket on and get Ellie ready and say, it’s time to get you home so you can eat and…. 


Have you ever had that moment when you remembered something far too late to do anything about it?  Like when you’ve over slept, or when you completely missed an exam in college, or realized YOU MAY HAVE BURNED DOWN YOUR HOUSE!?   

Oh No!  EFFF!  I turned the stove on high before we left, and I didn’t turn it off!  I had left the kettle on the stove, on HIGH, for at least 30 minutes!  Fortunately we live really close to the library, but now I fear my house will burn down before the storm has a chance to blow it away.  As we drive back home I keep hearing in my head the Talking Heads song, Burning Down the House.  But the Tom Jones version.

We pull in the driveway and I’m glad to see that there is no smoke coming from the roof.  I run in expecting to hear the whistle of the kettle but all I hear is the sound of the burning flame on the stove top.  It was boiling for so long all of the water had boiled away and the bottom of the kettle had turned black.  The kitchen smelled like burnt metal.  I look over by the front door and see Ellie in her car seat as if jamming to Tom Jones, smiling and clapping.  Watch out… burnin’down the house!”  Luckily, just as nothing happened with the Storm of the Century, nothing major happened to my house or the kitchen.  But it still caused the same amount of anxiety.  I just kept thinking:  MAJOR FAIL.

And to just think the other day I was telling my mom how responsible I am and that she doesn’t need to give me all her friendly reminders: 

Make sure you’re wearing clean underwear: check. 

Make sure you have your seat belt on: check. 

Make sure you drive safely: check. 



  1. I did that once, too, except the flame went out and the kitchen filled with gas odor. The guardian angels watched over the house and it didn't expode! I never forgot again and am paranoid about checking burners when I leave .

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