Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Drama in the Dark

A quick one:

On Sunday we had no electricity for about 12 hours, from 8 am until 8 pm. There was a rumor that this was because Hillary Clinton visited Lilongwe that day (for about 5 hours), but I have thus far been unable to correlate the two events.  It was a long, somewhat boring day, especially challenging because no electricity means no coffee, and life is just harder when you’re under-caffeinated.  We did arts and crafts (then spent twice as long cajoling the kids into cleaning up after themselves).  We built blanket forts in the living room (then spent twice as long cajoling the kids into cleaning up after themselves).  We brought pizza back for dinner (then cleaned it up ourselves, because it was just easier). Eventually, at about 6:30 pm, I decided it was bedtime.  I lay on the bed and let the twins crawl on me and drool in my hair, while the girls brushed their teeth in the bathroom.  It was pitch dark by this time, so they had a wine bottle with a tall wax candle in it burning on the edge of the sink (only the best for the Fitzgerald kids).  Suddenly, from behind the closed door, I heard a loud crash, and the sound of shattered glass.  This was followed closely by the high-pitched sound of AIne’s voice as she screamed “Fire!!!” There was the muffled sound of movement and then the anguished cry from Malawi, “I pooped my pants!!”

I leapt up, startled twins dragged in the crook of each elbow and flashlight in hand, although I did not see any obvious signs of fire. Putting the babies down outside I opened the door.  Both girls were standing in the bathroom, afraid to move, surrounded by shards of broken glass.  There was no fire.  Poor Malawi stood looking forlorn and physically uncomfortable, her jeans unbuttoned.

Aine had knocked the wine bottle over with her elbow while brushing her teeth. Always expecting a natural disaster of some kind (no idea where she gets that from), she had screamed in anticipation of fire.  Malawi, who had just started to settle down onto the potty, leapt up and soiled herself in the process.  Unable or unwilling to deal with the enormity of the situation (did I mention that our bathroom floor is dark brown?), I extricated the girls from the room and Malawi from her pants, then made the executive decision to abandon the bathroom until electricity was restored.   God Bless my husband, he cleaned the majority of the mess while I had a quiet nervous breakdown.

On the upside, it makes a good story.

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