I got home late.
I hadn't eaten.
The kids were wound up, not yet in pajamas and their lunches weren't made.
[Sisyphus? I know how you feel!]
K wrangled the kids into their sleeping garb and read them stories while I ate cold cereal and packed up the next day's lunches.
Then I remembered....
"Sh*t! I have to bake!"
[I got suckered by the Pre-K PTA.]
I agreed to bake a cake for the Fall Festival.
[Ha ha ha ha.]
When I agreed to bake, I decided I would make my Grandma K's Lemon Pound Cake with Walnuts (without the walnuts because nuts are banned from the land of the short people).
I e-mailed my Dad and asked for the recipe and, once he sent it, I purchased the ingredients.
It wasn't until I stood before the pre-heated oven and the greased bundt cake pan that I actually READ the recipe he sent.
[Which, unfortunately, confused me greatly.]
I tried calling my Dad at home and on his cell phone.
[Dad access = FAIL.]
I tried calling his sister, my Aunt Dorothy.
[WHO DOESN'T ANSWER HER CELL PHONE WHILE PLAYING CANASTA!!]
Next, I called my cousin Gary and his wife Judy answered.
This is how she answered the phone,
"Hal-low? What? Wait. Listen, I'm forty-five years old and I'm going through some CHANGES right now, okay. I just got my period. It was two weeks late and it feels like everything down there is going to fall right out on the floor. I've been up since 2:30 in the morning and I'm covered in glitter and glue and I'm trying to make a Heat Miser Halloween costume for a sixteen year old. What do YOU want?"
[Ha ha ha ha ha.]
I tried to be empathetic.
"I feel you," I said.
"Oh, I don't think so. No, no, no. You definitely DO NOT. Call me back when yours are teen-agers!"
I told her why I was calling.
"Oh, please," she said. "I do NOT bake."
Judy suggested I call my cousin Jeffrey and then she started swearing.
"This glue is giving me a damned headache!"
I bid Judy a polite goodbye and called my cousin Jeffrey.
Jeffrey had a vague idea that the cake recipe involved a package of lemon pudding mix.
[Then he told me that he thought Sarah Palin was cute.]
"Did you try my mom?" he asked.
"Yeah, I tried her first, but she didn't pick up."
"Oh, right. Canasta."
[There was a pause.]
"You could try calling Aunt Gladys," he said and he gave me her phone number.
Aunt Gladys, one of my Grandma K's sisters, is famous for telling extremely raunchy jokes and pretending she doesn't understand why they're naughty.
I glanced at the clock.
It was getting later and later and I hadn't even started the cake.
I was desperate.
"When do you have to make this cake?" Jeffrey asked me.
"Right now," I answered. "I'm in PTA hell."
"It's due tomorrow? You waited until the last minute?"
"Well, who's gonna eat the cake?" Jeffrey asked.
"What do you mean? I don't know who's going to eat it," I said.
"So why don't you just follow the directions on the cake mix box and forget about Grandma's recipe?"
"Okay, Jeffrey. You've talked me down."
I'M COMING DOWN FROM THE LEDGE NOW PEOPLE!!!
And I am listening to a self-help tape...
"Repeat after me... I do not have to be a baking over-achiever for the PTA...now try that a few more times...""I do not have to be a baking over-achiever for the PTA...""I do not have to be a baking over-achiever for the PTA...""I do not have to be a baking over-achiever for the PTA..."
Everything is going to be just fine.