Mother’s Day Surprises

I’m not good at Mother’s Day shopping. How can a card sum up the gratitude I feel for a woman who raised two troublesome awesome kids completely on her own? Where’s the card that says “Thanks for totally giving up your dreams so that your kids could have theirs?” And doesn’t require extra postage? C’mon.

So I bought a card, but Squish and I also spent a morning making her one, cutting and pasting flowers and hearts. The Princess of Darkness carefully transcribed text as dictated by Squish ( Mom, if you’re reading this, that’s why it says “BEDX Nonnie.” ). Sticking it in the mail seemed too impersonal. And too late. Lacking the ability to turn back time, I decided we were going to hand-deliver as a surprise. There was definitely a surprise involved.

I got to my mom’s house and was a just a tiny bit relieved to see her car in the driveway. Because she is retired and actually has a life, so my odds of surprising her at home are never better than 50-50. So far, so good.

Squish and I went in the gate.  Squish wiggled through the tiny little maltese-size dog-door before I realized that the back door was actually locked, rendering me and my tiny tornado on opposite sides.  And I didn’t have my key. Awesome. I mentally calculated how much damage he could do before his Nonnie realized he was there and intercepted. But amazingly, the kid opened the door for me.

And I heard the tell-tale beep-beep-beep of her house alarm. Did I mention that I don’t know the code? Yeah. If I left now before the operator called, the police would come. More awesome. If I stuck around, I’d be standing in the house as the alarm went off. Lose-lose. I waited. The alarm went off. After what seemed an eternity, the operator’s voice sounded through the tele-pad. I gave her the password, which I did know. And which was useless. Without the numeric code, there was no way to shut off the alarm, and it would simply sound again until the police arrived. Did I already say awesome? Fun dilemmas for the morning:

With no pass code, the alarm would summon the police. Dressed in cut-off sweatpants and 15 year old t-shirt, I definitely looked a little shady.

I couldn’t call my mom and get her pass code because the phone lines are totally tied up with the alarm. And I don’t own a cellphone.

If I got arrested for breaking and entering, I would totally blow my chances of being elected PTA president. Wait. Go ahead and book me.

The operator gave me 10 minutes to get in touch with my mom. As she was signing off, that’s when I noticed it. My mom’s key ring. And her purse. And her cellphone. Items she would have needed if she were to leave the house. Things, scary things, started clicking. I don’t freak out easily, but I was close. I begged the operator to stay on the line as I searched the house.

I wandered through the house calling for her, wondering if I was going to find her unconscious. Or worse. I wasn’t sure whether to be relieved or terrified that I couldn’t find her at all. I finally managed a phone call to my sister, who was just as clueless as I was as to our mother’s whereabouts. She gave me the numeric code, which at least took the police out of the picture.

Finally, after some frantic searching, I noticed some clues. A list of items to take to the hospital, and a page of dietary instructions. She was having a medical test and had left all of her things at home because someone else was taking her. My sister called a few minutes after the pieces clicked in my head and confirmed. My mom wasn’t dead after all. All’s well that ends well, right?

Lessons gleaned from this mess:

Surprise visits may end in surprises of the unpleasant sort.

If your mom tells you her pass code, pay attention. There may be a test later.

Always wear clean underwear in case you are in an accident. That has no direct application to the story other than it’s the kind of thing a mom would say, and it is a Mother’s Day post.


Oh, and Shop for Mother’s Day cards earlier and just stick them in the mail. You’re less likely to summon the police.

Thanks for not being dead, Mommy! Would you like a doughnut?

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39 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Surprises

  1. Right now all the things my mom has told me over the years are running through my head – how many times have i just nodded & said “ok, yeh….” What an experience, you deserve that donut!

  2. Too funny! Maybe as well as clean underwear you could also make sure you have a clean T shirt when going out!! calling out to the suspicious police that your underwear is clean may not be quite the thing to do!! c

  3. Love that story! And I love to do surprise visits. Although I have to admit that mine are never quite as exciting. Although the little monster totally has the dog entrance trick down too. And I expect him to use that way in/out somewhat beyond his 4th birthday, seeing that he is now 3 and 1 month and is still wearing jeans for 1 1/2 – 2 year olds.

  4. What a mother’s day!
    The alarm thing happened to me once. My husband was out of town and I set the alarm overnight. I was late getting up so we rushed getting ready and then I ran my daughter out to the bus. By the time I got back to the house, I heard the alarm going off. It had already been a few minutes. Of course, I could not remember the code I had to give the alarm company when they called….so I got a visit by the police. I now know the code!

  5. Now this is what I call versatility… For most of your post you had me laughing at your predicament – but still with some sympathy, because I’ve been in my own version of alarm trouble before. (The jury found me found innocent!) But then you suddenly turned your story on a dime, from humor to serious concern about the well being of your mother by describing circumstances that did seem disturbingly ominous. And then you bring it all safely home with a logically harmless explanation and a humorously happy ending. Well done! 🙂

  6. What my sister FORGOT to say, was that our dear mom neglected to mention said procedure! Had us both freaked out pretty good…Mom’s still laughing, though

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