We woke up Thursday morning to an enormous blessing here in North Texas in the dead heat of summer: rain. Lots and lots of rain. Enough to make me think those brainy weather channel dudes had missed the boat, and Hurricane Alex was making landfall right here in my very own backyard, four hundred miles north and west of where predicted. Thunder and lightning and howling winds. And lots of rain.
All this rain altered my plans just a little. I had anticipated a busy day filled with errand-running, commingled with naps, a swim, maybe a visit to the park, but staring at this ensuing monsoon out the window, I decided there was no possible way I was buckling and unbuckling two children into and out of their respective carseats over and over all day long, while we tried to stay warm and dry in these hurricane conditions.
I decided, instead, we would have a cozy picnic in the family room and watch movies while I folded and ironed umpteen loads of laundry.
Can I just mention here that with the whole introduction of baby food into Caroline's diet, I go through a minimum of four bibs a day now? FOUR. And that's not even counting the washcloths and paper towels I have to use to clean up Chicken Green Bean Apricot Wild Rice Compote from that tiny little angel face. They actually use the word compote on a baby food label, as if it makes combining three food groups together for the sake of baby nuturition okay. Even Aria told me yesterday, "Ew, Mommy! Caroline is a really messy eater!"
So, I had TiVo'd the animal movie Babe for Aria. Except she can't ever remember the name Babe, so she calls it, All About Farms. The child is obsessed with farms. She loves farms. She told Chris she wanted a chicken farm for her birthday. I have no idea where she gets this from. We are not farm-y people.
If you are reading this post and you do not have TiVo, can I just say, WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM??? TiVo is arguably one of man's greatest inventions (second only to the Graco Soothing Swing. Our swing was on loan, and I think I actually shed a tear the day I had to give it back to my friend when she gave birth. I still miss that thing). But TiVo. Oh, how I love my TiVo. The running joke in our family is that our TiVo is one of my dearest friends. He knows what I want and when I want it. He can make me laugh or cry. He doesn't make me watch pesky, boring commercials. TiVo, he gets me. He really gets me.
By ten AM, I had an enormous pile of clean clothes ready to be pressed and folded and the kids dressed and positioned in front of the TV ready to begin our First Official Thomas Family Movie Day on a Rainy Day and watch All About Farms.
This is what I saw on my TV screen instead of All About Farms.
What? You don't see anything?
That's right! It was a blank screen. I ran to the TV in Chris' office. Same thing. The TV in our bedroom. Nothing. Black nothing-ness. No cute, cuddly pig trying to save Farmer Hoggett's land. Not even a pesky, boring commercial. Blank. Void.
On a stormy, rainy day.
With piles and piles of laundry to do.
And two young children. One of whom is desperately anticipating All About Farms.
No, no, N-o-o-o-o-o. Not the TiVo! Anything but the TiVo. Anything but the Graco Soothing Swing and the TiVo.
After going through the usual female knee-jerk-panicky-technology-reactions (turn it on and off, press every button, unplug it from the wall), and swallowing the mounting fear in my gut, I shakily dialed the number of our provider, to whom we pay lots of money every month to not have this happen, and who, for the sake of this blog shall remain nameless (AT&T Uverse). After having to choose from about five million options, the easiest decision of which was my language of origin, and waiting about oh, I don't know, forty-three minutes, I finally got some nice, faceless person on the phone who directed me to do the following: turn it on and off, press every button, and unplug it from the wall.
By this time, the laundry is still glaring at me unfolded, Aria and Caroline are beginning to climb the walls, I'm having to dedicate my attention to what cable guy is telling me, the rain is still coming down outside, and our All About Farms day is turning into All About Receivers day, because apparently ours was dead. At least this is what I learned an hour-and-a-half later after "troubleshooting" the stupid thing on the phone with faceless (AT&T Uverse) guy.
During this period of time, my somewhat undersupervised 3-year-old decides to help Mommy out by changing the baby's diaper.
Yeah... not pretty.
Lucky for me, cable guy tells me he has a technician "in the area" who can be at my house to fix the offending receiver at some point within the next four hours. "Oh and remember", he warns me as we are hanging up the phone and I am preparing to wait out the next four hours as the Settlers did - you know, with lots of rain and two irritable kids and no TV, "All that troubleshooting we did erased all your TiVo recordings, so you'll need to be sure to reset everything".
Um, 'scuse me?
At this point, he must have misinterpreted my silent shock as acceptance, because he then brightly added, "Thank you for letting AT&T serve you, Mrs. Thomas, I hope you have a wonderful day!"
Is that what you say to someone when you've just killed their best friend, Mr. cable guy? Is it? Is that what your mama taught you? I highly doubt it. You just instructed me to murder my friend TiVo, and then you get to casually say goodbye and go on guiltlessly about your day? Have you no soul?
Needless to say, I was distraught about my friend TiVo. Aria was distraught about All About Farms. And we had to stay pinned to the house with no TV or movies, waiting for the in-the-area repairman to show up by 4. And my baby just had her diaper changed by her 3-year-old sister. Yeah... Juuusst like the Settlers.
Taking both kids anywhere in Hurricane Alex is looking like slicing warm butter.
Now, I'd like to point out that we are not a family obsessed with TV. We can go days and days without ever turning it on. Aria loves to read, and we plow through about a dozen books a day. But when you suddenly know you can't do/have/eat/watch something, it just makes you want it all the more. Interesting paradigm, isnt' it? That was me on that particular Thursday. I wanted our TV to work so badly because I knew it wouldn't.
Do I really have to tell you that by 5 he still wasn't at the house? And doesn't it go without saying that at 6 o'clock there was still no cable repairman anywhere to be found? Of course it does. Or, how about when, at 6:05, I get a recorded phone call telling me they were able to fix the problem "from a remote location", and they'd canceled the repairman? Sure enough, I run to the TV, and there oh there, is the picture. But when I turn on my TiVo... nothing. Soulless cable guy was right, TiVo was void. Empty. No All About Farms, no VH-1 Behind the Music, no Sesame Street, or Real Housewives of New Jersey (please DO NOT JUDGE). Gone.
So the First Official Thomas Family Movie Day on a Rainy Day was a bust. All our movies and shows were erased, and we are having to start over with my new friend TiVo the II.
Just like my Settlers forebears.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for the relief from the heat, but I do hope this rain clears up soon.
On the upside, however, I did learn that Aria knows how to change a diaper....