My husband is out of town.
Don't these stories always start out that way?
I knew we would be having a long, busy Sunday with an early start, so I set my alarm and woke the kids while it was still dark to get ready for early service at church.
I immediately noticed that the 5 year old was burning up with fever and couldn't get a deep breath without coughing and wheezing violently. (Don't these things always happen on a weekend?!)
Since some of the other children had obligations at church, I formulated a plan in which I would drop off the 6 of them with instructions to sit on the back row, be quiet, and help out getting little ones to Bible class. I would have the baby with me while taking the 5 year old to the minor emergency clinic, get her all fixed up, and be back to church to pick them up before any monkey business broke out.
Because the children? Oh, they know how to throw down on the monkey business.
So, everything was going according to my plan for at least 15 minutes.
Until the baby scatter pooped, the proportions of which shall not be spoken of here. Let's just say I had to apologize to the doctor for the offensive odor and visual evidence of said episode and head straight home for a wardrobe change for everyone involved.
I was still trying to make it to church before dismissal, so I told 5 year old to stay buckled up, and ran with the baby through the pouring rain to change our clothes.
After using around 257 wipes I got us cleaned up and changed, and we ran back out to the van, ready to finally head to church.
That's about the time I got the van firmly stuck in the mud.
Yup. It had been raining all day and night and the back left tire was sunk up to the axle in our muddy driveway. That may have had something to do with my brilliant idea to keep revving the engine in hopes that the tire would get tired of its "zzzzzzzz-ZZZZZZZZZZZ-ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ" spinning and magically levitate to firm ground.
In case you're wondering, tires don't do that simply because you wish they would. Trust me.
After 27 questions from the 5 year old about "Why is the van making that funny noise, Mommy?" and "Why aren't we going to church yet?" I decided to get out and shovel a trench under the tire so I could stick some twigs in there and then try revving the engine some more. Brilliant, right? (Remember, it was pouring down rain this whole time.) I'm pretty sure I saw something like that on Man vs. Wild once.
In case you're wondering, that doesn't work either. You'll just get wet and muddy and the tire will sink even deeper in the muck.
Are you writing this down? I did all of this with you people in mind. This was research.
I finally called a friend in the middle of church, and she mercifully answered! (Thanks, Melissa!) I started telling her my whole long story and at each step, she said, "Oh no!" "No, wait. There's more." I told her each time.
I finally got to the part about being stuck and needing to pick up the kids and asked her if she saw any capable men who might be willing to help me out. (Her husband was out of town, too!) She was off in a flash, and before I knew it, 2 men from church showed up and got down on hands and knees in my muddy driveway, in the pouring rain, to hook me up to a 4 wheel drive and pull me out. (Thanks, Clayton and Brian!)
I got to church just in time to pick up the kids, who confessed to only minimal monkey business while I was away.
The good news is, at that point I fully expected to be struck by lightning or involved in a traffic accident or attacked by a pack of hyenas on the way to church, and none of that happened, so I'm calling it a good day.
It's the little things, you know?