Despite having told this story to many of my friends already I feel like I need to record it so it's not forgotten. And what better place to record it then here where I can find it whenever I need a smile.
It all happened on the morning of Christmas Eve last year. I woke up early to do some last minute shopping for Krista's family's Christmas party. I agreed to bring dessert and knew exactly what it would be. One year before Jacob and Emma came along, Krista and I had Christmas at home with just the two of us. This was our first Christmas alone, but despite being alone we still wanted to observe all the traditions as if we were with our extended family. One of those was to have a big dinner on Christmas Eve complete with all the trimmings. Well, that seemed like a lot of work for just the two of us so we looked for options. And boy did we find one. La Madeleine restaurant had a special where you could purchase a complete Christmas dinner for two. It had everything we needed for a nice dinner including a Bûche de Noël for dessert. We had never had one before and quickly fell in love with it and have had many since. Anyway, back to the real story...
Before leaving the house the morning of Christmas Eve, I woke up Jake and told him I needed to run some errands and he was in charge until I returned. I told him to make sure he and Emma had something for breakfast and I would be back as soon as I could. Since La Madeleine didn't opened until 10 I figured I had some time to pick up a few things to add to Santa's loot for the next day. I was amazed at how deserted the stores were. I was expecting total chaos with all the last minute shoppers frantically trying to find a "Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time" for their son Ralphie. I guess it was still too early for the true procrastinators to feel like it was finally time to get their Christmas shopping done.
I went to several stores and picked up a few things I wanted to get for the kids then headed to La Madeleine so I could be there as soon as they opened. When I got there I noticed on the front door that they had been opened since 6:30. Why in the world did I think they opened at 10? I blamed the widower's fog - come to think of it I have blamed a lot on that lately, maybe I'm just getting old? Nah, it was the widower's fog. :) As soon as I realized they had been opened for 3.5 hours I started thinking... Bûche de Noël was a seasonal item for them which meant that quantities were limited and it was sooooo good that surely there was a huge demand for it and they had been selling them for almost 4 hours already today! The panic started to rise, what if they didn't have anymore? What could I possible bring to dinner that would be even half as scrumptious? It was 10am on Christmas Eve and I had no dessert for tonight! I was sure everyone in line in front of me was buying a Bûche de Noël and as soon as I reached the counter they would have just sold the last one.
Frantically I waited as I inched closer and closer to the counter doing my best to keep my smile from turning into a gorilla grin. After what felt like hours I had finally made it. Through the best smile I could muster I nervously asked the man at the counter "do you possibly have any Bûche de Noëls left"? He calmly smiled and said "did you see the semi trailer outside? It's still half full". It took me a couple of seconds to comprehend the words that came out of his mouth, then all the anxiety, worry and panic instantly melted away and was replace with pure joy. I was ready for Christmas now, I had dessert for tonight! The drive home was a wonderful experience, I calmly smiled as I passed hoards of procrastinators who were out in force now looking for that perfect gift or maybe even wondering what they we going to do about dessert for tonight.
I was still floating on a triumphant high when I got home and carried my precious cargo in from the car. Somehow I didn't notice how clean the kitchen floor was or that Jake and Em weren't lounging on the couch like spineless cats unable to turn away from hypnotic glow of Phineas & Ferb on the tv. That was until I stepped onto the kitchen floor tile. Something wasn't right, I couldn't get any traction to make it to the table to carefully deposit my hard fought loot. I wondered what I stepped in that made it so slick. After carefully setting the dessert on the table I checked the soles of my shoes. They felt oily and quite slick, so I wiped them on the rug in front of the back door. Then started back to the car to get everything else I had bought. Once again, as I stepped onto the kitchen floor tile I slipped and almost ended up doing the splits. I finally realized it wasn't my shoes, it was the floor. I then realized Jake and Em were no where to be found. Something was up and they were the cause of it.
After calling for them a few time they sheepishly sauntered into the kitchen. Immediately Jake and Em started blaming each other, Jake blamed Emma, Em replied that Jake helped her, Jake denied helping claiming it was all Emma's doing, she quickly countered with it was his idea in the first place. I quickly ended the bickering and had each of them tell me what happened while the other one listened.
It turned out they really wanted to go ice skating but knew they had no way to get to the rink. So they came up with the next best thing. They took Emma's olive oil hairspray that we use to keep her hair and scalp from drying out, and sprayed it all over the kitchen floor. Then, using their crocs as ice skates they were able to slide all around the kitchen. I was quite impressed with their creativity and problem solving abilities but of course I can never tell them that.
We then had a good talk about how that wasn't a smart thing to do. Not only was it dangerous and they could have been seriously injured, but it was Christmas Eve and it wasn't a good time to get on Santa's naughty list. Their eyes grew to the size of silver dollars as they comprehended the possibility of missing out on Christmas. I told them the only way to not get stuck on the naughty list was accept the natural consequences of their actions and clean it up before it was too late. I've never seen them work harder in their lives. It's amazing what they can do when motivated correctly. Finally, after mopping the floor six times, I could walk across the kitchen without sliding.
After they were done I assured them they were back on the nice list. We enjoyed the rest of the day together and had a wonderful Christmas dinner that evening with Krista's family. The dessert was amazing!