Monday, April 27, 2009

TGIM - Thank God It's Monday

Thank God it's Monday.

I never thought I see myself saying, thinking or writing that. I usually long for the weekend. I spend my weekdays in my office slaving at the computer, storytelling, and I really enjoy turning my brain off on Friday. However this weekend...yeesh.

It all started Saturday afternoon.

Actually, to tell this story properly, I have to give you a little backstory. I'll try to keep it short because, well, I don't want to lose my reader. Nevertheless, setting and history is important. Here it is: We live in Oklahoma. Oklahoma has snakes. Lots of snakes. Poisonous snakes. Scary snakes.

My background: I grew up in Indianapolis. Hardly any snakes. In fact, at the Indiana Dunes near Michigan City, IN, they hand out a pamphlet on What to do when you see the elusive, Indian rattlesnake (this is a real animal): 1) Determine your location, preferably via GPS; 2) Call the local park hotline and let them know where the snake is; 3) try not to scare said snake.
Reaction by Oklahomans to above description about what to do when you see a rattler in Indiana: Bursts of uncontrollable laughter.

Husband's background: He grew up in Germany. No snakes. Well, okay, there is this one thing that's like a snake that lives in Germany, but it's more like a lizard, slow, sweet, entirely harmless.

End of backstory.

It all started Saturday afternoon. The family had just finished our first heavy yardwork day in the flowerbeds. My husband and I were sitting on the front steps, nursing our sore muscles and drinking a beer. My kids were instantly bored.

Kids: "We're bored."
Me: "Go see your friends."
Kids: "Nobody's around."
Me: "Play with each other."
Kids: Glares and pained expressions.
Husband: "You can go to the creek."
Kids: "YEAY!!!!!"
Me: Refrain from killing husbad. I hate the creek. Houses that back up to it and that have pools regularly have water moccasins. Don't get me wrong. I went creek stomping as a kid, but I never saw a snake in a creek until I moved to Oklahoma, and they've all be water moccasins.
Me: Not wanting to scare children witless but maybe dissuade husband. "They have to take a phone in case something happens." (Important: our kids don't have cell phones).
Husband: Unperturbed. "They can take your phone."
Me: Refrain from walloping husband on head with beer bottle. There is, after all, still beer in it. "It was your idea. Give them your phone."
Husband: Fatal error number 1. "Okay."
Me: Fatal error number 2. "Fine."
Kids: "YEAY!!!!"
Kids take off to creek with dire upon-pain-of-death warning that they are not to lose said phone or go into creek with phone. Kids swear up and down on each other's lives they will follow this one little rule.
Fatal error number 3. We believe them.

7:15 kids lose creek.

We of course don't know this until Sunday morning after spending hours at the creek both before and after dark wading through water, rushes, tall grasses - with all the water moccasins and God knows what else - looking for said phone. I found it the next morning as I'm having my daughter retrace her steps, step for step, along the bank and then jumping from rock to rock in the middle of the creek (she's 10, she could have known better, I think). It was lying in the middle of the creek bed still shorting out.

Needless to say, the creek is now off-limits until adulthood for them (secretly, I'm relieved. No more snakes). We are paying for our stupidity by having to buy my husband a second phone (it was an iPhone, the lost one). My kids had the scare of their lives because they had to tell us they lost the phone. The oldest, the one who actually lost it, is grounded from technology of all sorts until her birthday, her 18th birthday (okay, not really, just her upcoming one in May). They both spent Sunday grounded, which means I had to stay home and finally got a chance to relax. And I've learned how to extract water from a phone. There's this nifty little trick that involves a plastic bag, phone and rice (or coffee beans), and/or a dryer with a drying rack you can put in the middle of it. Didn't work, but hey, I could share nifty information.

What a weekend. Thank God it's Monday (TGIM).


beth said...

LOL! Fatal error #3....I can so see that!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Ah, the "what if" of every childhood adventure is the stuff of great plots!

Bee said...

I had exactly this childhood experience -- without the cell phone, of course. We used to (regularly) play in the creek near our home . . . which was full of, you got it, water mocassins.

I guess we survived because of dumb luck.

adrienne said...

You do need a break!
We had some teenage drama this weekend, but no threat of snakes or big purchases...

Keri Mikulski said...

Yikes! What a weekend. :)

I hate snakes too. :)

D.A. Riser said...

Your post reminds me of Indiana Jones - "Snakes? I hate snakes!"

But, on a different note, my 15 month old loves picture books. We have one of animals, and he makes the noises of the ones he knows. Anyway, his latest one that he has learned is a snake. He sees snakes and does his best snake imitation. Aside from it being a snake, it's pretty cute. Hopefully, he won't be seeing any real ones!

Christina Farley said...

Water snakes are the worst! So glad you all are okay.

Sarah Laurence said...

I was expecting a snake to swallow the phone - with a ringing mocassin. Sometimes you need a weekend to recover from the weekend. It's a good story.

I had pet snakes growing up until my mom broke down and got me a cat. A water snake still would have freaked me out.

Pen Pen said...

WHOA...Hold On!...U can EXTRACT water from a phone?! For reals?!
I've lost 3 phones due to me dropping them in some type of water:
Phone 1- sink at high school
phone 2- lake in college
phone 3- pedicure tub

Don't be too upset with them :) I think water zeros in on phones and aims to kill them!

and that's scary about the snakes!! I was running at this park with a friend the other day and she saw a tiny snake and pointed to it--I screamed and fell was already dead and she laughed for like an hour straight.

Stacy Nyikos said...

Ringing water moccasin, now that would have taken the cake. I still can't believe I survived walking along a creek at night. My mom grew up in Houston and I got to hear all of the stories about snakes and woods and snakes trying to get in the house. I was scared silly from an early age.
PenPen, my daughter and I saw a snake that day while working in the garden. It was just a garder snake, but I screamed so loudly, my daughter heard me in the house. Just can't get friendly with the little buggers!