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May '08

Shannon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night

Wes was fine today, until we got back from running together (by that, of course, I mean I ran and he slept in the stroller). From about four o’clock on he wouldn’t do anything I wanted him to do. If I wanted him to play quietly so I could do something that contributes to my sanity, such as eat dinner or take a shower, he wouldn’t. He wasn’t screaming or anything, just being fussy and noisy.

The most blissful moment of my night was when I finished giving him his last bottle around 8 p.m. and he lay peacefully in my lap, staring up at me with big, glassy, tired-looking eyes. This lasted for about five minutes, him just looking up at me, until his lids finally got heavy and blinked a few times, and then he was out. FINALLY!

So THEN I got to eat dinner and do the one fun thing I had told myself I’d get to do tonight–make cookies. Only here’s how it went.

While the oven preheated I rolled the cookie dough in cinnamon and sugar (for snickerdoodles) and put them on the baking sheet. When the oven was halfway to 375 degrees I started to notice the air was getting rather smoky, and it smelled like smoke, too. I turned around and saw a thick haze of smoke right above the oven. I opened its door and smoke poured out. I shut it fast, but not before noticing some nice charred remnants of last night’s frozen pizza burning bright orange on the oven’s floor. I didn’t want to set off the smoke alarm (especially since the baby had JUST gone down to sleep), so I turned the vent on high and quickly ran around opening windows and the back door. Between the vent blaring on high speed and the book on CD I was listening to (Princess Mia, by Meg Cabot) turned up at top volume so I could hear it over the vent, it’s probably lucky the smoke alarm didn’t go off, because I likely would have blown an eardrum from all the noise. The open windows and door helped, though; soon the smoke levels diminished, and my cookies were baking merrily away in the oven.

I was just shaking my head at all the hassle I’d gone through for the sake of a batch of cookies when I noticed a strange, loud buzzing sound above me. I looked up and saw the hugest moth EVER frantically banging its head against the kitchen light fixture. This guy was two or three inches long, with a very pretty wing design that I would have admired had I observed it in its natural habitat outdoors and not in my kitchen at 9:30 at night when I’m trying miserably to make a batch of cookies. Normally I solicit John for all insect-related incidents, but he was working late and I was on my own. I had the good sense to turn off the kitchen light so the moth would quit banging against it, which it did, but then it flew frenetically all over everywhere in the dark, and I had to try to track it down with my hastily rolled-up newspaper, praying I’d smack the thing before it buzzed its way into my bowl of cookie dough. The moth finally settled against a window screen. I grabbed a dustpan and slapped it over the moth, which captured it, then slid a JCPenny ad between the moth and the screen to create a little trap. I carefully but quickly carried the moth to the back door, which I had closed as soon as I had seen the moth inside. As I was about to open it again, the moth escaped its trap and took refuge in the light fixture near the back door.

And then . . . I’m not sure what happened, exactly. Maybe the moth singed itself on the hot light as it tried to hide in the fixture. Or maybe I was a little more aggressive with the dustpan than I had thought. Because the moth didn’t move anymore after that. The three-inch guy is lying peacefully in our light fixture. And I’m not sure what to do about that.

So that’s how I ended up with a dead moth in my light fixture and a plate full of cookies. But at least Wes never woke up.

UPDATE, two hours later: I was in bed, trying to drift off to sleep when I heard that familiar fanatical flapping sound again. It was the moth, back from the dead! Or, I guess, it never was dead, but was maybe good at playing dead? Or maybe I had just tired it out from chasing it all around the kitchen. In any case, it was back. John is still at work, so I was still on my own to get rid of this guy for once and for all. This time it was me, the moth, and a giant issue of Allure magazine having a showdown in the hallway outside Wesley’s bedroom. I didn’t want to wake the baby with all my whapping, and I actually didn’t want to hurt the moth, but it’s nearly midnight and I was getting desperate. Let’s just say that the Allure magazine did the trick, at least to stun the moth well enough that I could take it downstairs and dump it out our back door. Who says fashion magazines are useless?


4 Responses to “Shannon and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Night”

  1. brozy Says:

    I’m glad you got the moth out before it made it into your cookie dough. : )

  2. alicia Says:

    This all reminds me of that short movie (Pixar?) of the old woman Kangaroo swatting at a moth before it could get in her cake batter. If I remember right, in the end it ended up in her batter anyway but she was so mad that she mixed it up good anyway, put it in the oven and sat in a huff. Then the oven started banging around and she opened the oven, crawled in it to see what the bright light was, and then all we know is she is flying around “in heaven” with moths. Kinda funny. Totally sounds like this story. :) Congrats on getting Wes to sleep and finishing those cookies!

  3. Salieri Says:

    Are you going to move to Australia?

    (I take this post to mean that you’ll be telling Wes the story of Alexander, which is a good idea – it was my first introduction to the all-important concept that “s*** happens.”)

    (Can I say “s***” on a Mormon blog?)

  4. Coila Says:

    Hi there! I’m impressed that you got it out without killing it! Very humane of you. I just kill them. . . but I like the idea of not killing them.

    Btw, Gramma Holt talks about your blog pretty often (I think she gets a big kick out of it), and then I found it from your comment on a mutual friend’s blog! I love it! You do such great stuff with cooking and your little Wes is adorable!!

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