Archive for June, 2005

Seven Eggs

// June 5th, 2005 // No Comments » // archive

Last week on the day of my cousin’s baby shower, all the women were at my aunt’s house. It was the guy’s turn to watch the kids. My Dad and my mom’s cousin Joel were watching the triplets and Joseph. I was there trying to amuse Joseph (and the triplets, if possible).

Mark grabbed Anna’s bottle, started drinking it and she started crying. Emma saw this and started to cry a little, as well. I’ve noticed that without my Mom and my sister around, it isn’t hard to get Emma to cry. I pointed at her food once and expressed a little too much excitement and she started to cry. The good news is that it usually isn’t hard to get them smiling again. Sometimes it just takes a little doing, like Baby Einstein on the big screen, which so recently used to host the loudest and largest football games on the planet.

My father is on a chair holding Emma while Mark and Anna are in walkers. It might be easier if everyone were sitting in wheeled walkers, including the dog. As long as the stairs are blocked off, we could get around easier and no one would get hurt. It might resemble bumper cars, but everyone would actually have bumpers, so safety would not be an issue. My father calmly tells me to get a new bottle for one of the triplets. It doesn’t matter which one. Essentially, they all need one of the same thing. All the time, just in case.

My father isn’t yelling these things, instead he is as calm as could be. Many yogis are not as calm as my father. He has burned off all his aggression previously in the day, before we all are awake while bicycling 40 miles in the health club. My
father does more on a stationary bicycle than more people do all year. While I haven’t seen it recently, I imagine there is a slight glow around him. He could generate his own electric power.

So I go into the enormous refrigerator and go to the top shelf, in my mind the first place I look for milk. I grab the gallon of milk and my father says, “Make sure it has a red top.” This milk has a pink top, so I put it back. On the bottom shelf I find two more gallon size milk containers. One has a red cap. As I pull the milk out, the entire shelf tilts with it. I think momentarily, “Oh, that’s convenient.”

The next moment, the milk touches the shelf above it. This shelf also tilts, but it contains eggs, not milk. The entire shelf comes out of the refrigerator door and falls to the ground, upside down. I immediately start laying down a suppressing litany of excuses. “I’m sorry! The shelf fell! I didn’t mean it!” As I speak, I’m reverting back to an 8 year old. I’m all set for my Dad to blow up at me about this.

Instead there’s nothing. I continue to fill the bottle up, close it, put the milk away, step around the eggs and give the bottle to the crying baby who doesn’t have one. My Dad is kind of laughing about the eggs, the craziness and probably his son’s inability to deal with a baby crisis (or at least cope with one without creating a mess).

I run back to the scene of the accident and proceed to look for paper towels and cleaning equipment. It’s pretty much in the same location since I lived in this house years ago, so that’s not hard. Meanwhile, Joel, who is my father’s age, has stepped nimbly up to the task. He grabs some paper towels from me, asks me where the cleaning supplies are, then rips up two paper plates and starts the mopping up of the eggs. I know I would have smeared them around. When I finally get there, he’s done about 95% of the hard work. I’m not even sure, but he may have been holding a child at the time. It’s hard to say.

I went back to helping amuse the babies, later to find out that in this short time, my mother has called on the phone to check in, asked about something in the house and discovered that I’ve broken the eggs. Very shortly after this, most of my family has heard about me breaking the eggs. More than a few people have been laughing at me before I’ve
thought of funny or clever things to say about what has happened. The next day, at a wedding, not a few people expressed concern about how I actually cleaned up the mess. “You know, it’s hard to clean up eggs the right way. They stick!” or “Did you make sure none of it went under the refrigerator? That can smell!” Since I’m already stunned about how
quickly this news has spread. I have little chance to tell them, “Hey, pal, I know how to clean up messes! I’ve been making them my whole life. I plan major events beforehand, knowing the surfaces and the potential risks and hazards ahead of time. I’ll scope out a room, ‘Wood floor, wallpaper on walls. Check.’” This is without admitting that I would have just smeared the eggs around the floor with a rag or an entire roll of paper towels.

I also know that someone bought eggs the next day. I’m sure of it. More likely, a few people showed up with them, worried that the house wouldn’t have eggs for any cooking or baking needs. Word in my family spreads fast, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my mom was later giving them away (or more likely omelettes). I would have showed up at the house with them, but I was busy destroying food at other houses.

Oh, I know I’ll live down the eggs. Because I know that I constantly improve and evolve the disasters that follow me in crisis moments. Not a week will go by before I witness (or more likely cause) the next bigger and hopefully funnier incident. My family will be there to appreciate it and to tell it to others.