follow by email and never miss a typo

Thursday, April 14, 2011

911 is 111 in NZ

You know what’s great about me?  I like to multi-task.  Make a list.  Get things done.  And when it all goes well and things actually get accomplished, I’m not going to lie, I feel pretty darn good about myself.  You know what’s not great about me?  I’m easily distracted.  By the lure of anything.  I wouldn’t be a good fish.  I’d have a hook in my gill as soon as I discovered I had free will and opened my mouth to bite the shiny thing.  And as I swallowed my own blood, I’d probably feel like a really dumb fish.  But I’m not a fish, I’m me.  And me plus multi-tasking plus distractions equals not good things.

8:15 am.  This morning.  I decided to make some hard-boiled eggs.  That way whenever someone wanted a light snack or a quick breakfast, the eggs would be there.  Genius!  Or it would be if I didn’t come up with this idea right as I was in the middle of doing five other things – all of which involved yelling at my two kids.  1.  Get dressed!  2.  Get your socks on!  3.  Brush your teeth!  4.  Well, find the sunscreen!  5.  WHERE ARE YOUR HATS?!  Not the best time to add to the list but I did it anyway.  6.  Put a pot of water on the stove with six innocent eggs, set the knob to high and leave…  the… room!

What could go wrong?  Ask Mrs. O’Leary’s cow.

This is where I blame New Zealand.  There are hills.  And houses.  And houses behind houses.  And houses down driveways behind other houses.  And lots of vertical living.  That’s our house.  A house behind a house sharing a driveway with another house and we have three floors.  You know what living in a house with three floors means?  You are invariably never on the same floor with what you need.  Watching TV on floor 1 and need slippers?  Floor 2.  Putting clothes away on floor 3 but left laundry basket by washer?  Floor 1.  This morning, getting kids dressed, socked, teeth cleaned, SPF’d, hatted (yes, Microsoft Word, “hatted”) and all of us out the front door on floor 2… and poor forgotten semi-boiling eggs?  Floor 1.    

8:35 am.  Walking my children to school is one of my favorite things to do.  It is a chance to spend time together, hold hands and take in the beautiful ozone-less sunshine.  It’s moments like these I’m sad we’re not on a reality show so a camera crew could capture this pure joy.  But then four deep breaths later when a squabble has erupted, I’m so thankful E! isn’t giving shows to non-Kardashians like myself.  Still, I love leisurely walking with my kids and lingering at their school. 

Back at my house:  six boiling hot eggs scream for help.  No one can hear them.

9:00 am.  After I confiscate a Lego Ninjago figurine from Max (for some reason he thinks “no toys at school” means “sneak toys into school”) and drop off both boys, I head to my husband’s work.  Back in LA, we had two nice new cars and always seemed to be driving here and there alone.  We never saw each other.  It was a horrible way to live.  So, in NZ, we decided we only needed one car.  A ’99 Honda CRV.  That is not a typo.  We own a twelve-year-old car and you know what?  It’s just fine.  It’s better than fine.  It’s shiny and comfortable and it turns left AND right.  We’re definitely being kinder to the environment now and I drove a hybrid back home.  If Leonardo DiCaprio knew we existed, he would probably bake us a thank-you cake.  But I digress.  So, every morning, this is our routine.  My husband drives to work in peace, I walk the kids to school in non-peace then I walk to his work to pick up the car and drive back home to work in peace.  End of day, we all pick up Daddy.  Good for the environment, my husband, our children and my ass.  Not so good for the eggs on the stove.

9:11 am.  Completely forget I have eggs on the stove.
9:12 am.  Pet a dog.  Dogs are irresistible. 
9:13 am.  Stretch out my hamstring. 
9:15 am.  Continue walking.
9:16 am.  Notice how hot the sun is so early in the morning.
9:17 am.  Turn the corner and see the Sky Tower.
9:18 am.  Notice how big the Sky Tower is.
9:19 am.  Think about stopping to get a coffee.
9:20 am.  Realize I don’t have any money on me.  Just my phone, my keys, Max’s Lego Ninjago and-- EGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGSSSSS!!! 

A series of expletives are then released.  Like doves at a wedding. 

9:22 am.  I fuh-reak out and start to multi-task like a crazy person.  1.  Reach in pocket to pull out phone and accidentally send it crashing to the asphalt.  2.  Reach down to pick up phone with newly shattered glass and Lego Ninjago flies out of my pocket, disassembles itself and pieces go everywhere.  3.  Start running like my house is on fire because MY HOUSE IS PROBABLY ON FIRE!  4.  Call husband to see if he turned off the burner only to find how he has no idea what I’m talking about so I hang up on him.  5.  Run down hill.  6.  Run up hill.  7.  Curse Auckland and its hills!  8.  Text my neighbor friend to let her know I think my house is on fire.  9.  Check the time.  9:30!!!  10.  Pray. 

When you think your house is on fire, you imagine the worst.  This is the worst:  My house is on fire.  All three floors.  My neighbor’s house is on fire.  The house in front of my house is on fire.  The hills are on fire.  The city of Auckland is on fire.  Leonardo DiCaprio is going to hate me for burning down New Zealand.  It’s a bad, dark place. 

I finally get to the car, buckle my bad, dark place in the passenger seat next to me and race home.  I am a complete and utter mess.  I pray to God but I’m sure He can’t understand me because, again, complete and utter mess.  All is interrupted when I hear the wail of a siren.  Waitaminute, that’s not a siren.  That’s silence.  I look up in the sky to catch the plumes of smoke.  But there are no plumes of smoke.  Confused, I turn down my street and-- Hey!  Where’s all the ash?  And that’s when I see it:  my house.  Behind a house.  Next to a house.  Not on fire.  At all.

9:42 am.  I burst through the front door on floor 2 and fly down the stairs to the kitchen on floor 1.  I gasp.  On the stove are six of the hardest-boiled eggs in a tiny puddle of water.  A tiny puddle of water that should not be there yet there it is.  I then do what anyone in my shoes would do.  Multi-task. 1.  Burst into tears.  2.  Thank God a lot.  3.  Call my husband to let him know I almost burned down the house BUT didn’t and then hang up on him.  4. Google what 911 is in New Zealand.  5.  Eat an egg.