Would now be a good time to tell you all that we lost the cat on Christmas eve?
But don't worry, we found him again!
He wasn't 'lost-lost' more like 'temporarily misplaced'.
So here's how the story unfolds: we got LB the Ikea play kitchen for Christmas (as you see in the previous post), which we were very excited to give to her. At the music classes we go to, there is one of these play kitchens in the waiting area and she's always in there like a dirty shirt, wrestling her way between the big kids so that she too can stand at the sink and bang a pot against it. There's also a Fisher Price play kitchen at our playgroup, which she is equally enamoured with. Me? Not so much.
Let's be frank: hulking toys of plastic are ugly as fuck and I didn't want that in my house.
I originally had plans to pimp LB's play kitchen by painting it, but in the end it did seem like a suicide mission so close to Christmas. One drawback to living in an apartment is there isn't a garage or basement where you can spread out and do something crafty without running the risk of tiny feet or hands smearing themselves through the fresh paint.
I will save this project for a future date. I will! This is my solemn vow!
So anyhow, on Christmas Eve we attended a dinner and didn't get home until 11:30. When we first arrived at the dinner the champagne was flowing, I was thirsty, and rather than get some water I instead drank two very full flutes of champers. Oops. LB was sweet as could be, but was so excited to be in a space she'd never been before that she was into everything, and nothing was kid friendly which made it all the more exciting for her.
Not so much for Dan and I.
Chasing her around was exhausting.
I was starting to come down from my champagne buzz and really just wanted to lie on the couch and fall asleep. So I drank some red wine instead to try and pick back up. Again, why didn't I chug water?! One does not combat alcohol drowsiness with more alcohol.
Essentially by the time we got home I was exhausted, but firmly refused to go to bed. Earlier that week I'd told Dan that it was very, very important to me that we assemble LB's Santa gift so that it was set-up and waiting under the tree for when she woke up. We would not spend Christmas day doing this. Dan agreed, since my foot was firmly down on this matter. These are the moments parenting memories are made of, right?! So we got home, put our sleeping girl into her crib, and Dan went downstairs to our storage locker to get the boxes so we could assemble the kitchen.
I put National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the television, and at midnight we started to piece her kitchen together.
All was merry and bright.
Then at 12:30 I was over it and wanted to speed the process up. So as Dan assembled one part of the kitchen, I'd skip ahead in the manual and get the next step ready.
I was being helpful, dammit!
Except, I wasn't. Because as Dan used a lot of blunt force to screw two screws into a door hinge he kept grunting, "Are you sure these are the right screws?"
"Yes I'm sure! God! You think I can't read something as basic as an Ikea manual?!"
"Well they aren't going in that easily."
"Not my fault they made the holes too small. I CAN READ AN INSTRUCTION MANUAL, DAN."
Nope, I couldn't. Wrong screws.
I was a totally useless cast member in a production that I had spearheaded, so instead I basically lay on the couch and tried to stay awake for moral support, then every so often would get up to toss the cardboard on our deck.
Finally, at 2 a.m. the kitchen was together and we just had to fill it with the pots and pans and wooden vegetables. It was at this point we realised that Cosmo hadn't once traipsed through Dan's efforts and sent small bits of hardware rolling everywhere.
"He must have got onto the deck when you put the first set of boxes out there," Dan reasoned.
"He's probably sleeping on the chair in [LB's] room," I reasoned.
"He's probably stuck in the shoe cupboard again," we both decided.
"The towel cupboard, again?"
"Stuck in a kitchen cabinet, again?"
Not a single one.
WHERE WAS HE?
I got out the treat bag and gently shook it into every nook and cranny of the apartment, and apart from having a very excited Poppy trailing at my feet, there was no Cosmo. He clearly escaped earlier when Dan came in with the kitchen boxes. So I crept into the hallway of our building and gently rattled the treat bag as I walked up and down the stairs softly calling his name. No Cosmo. By now it was 2:30 in the morning and I was tired and a bit panicked that Cosmo might be lost.
Dan was rejoicing that his wish for Cosmo's permanent freedom might be coming true. A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE.
I was not impressed with his lack of concern.
I decided that someone must have let him out of the building, so I bundled up, grabbed the treat bag again, and quietly made my way back to the lobby. As I turned the key to go outside, the flash of the glass door on the light reflected on two eyes that belonged to a feline body that was positively flattened underneath LB's stroller.
I shut the door and went over to the stroller and moved it, and the poor little guy was hiding under there, trembling, looking as scared as I'd ever seen him. He basically spent nearly three hours in the wilds of our building, and he was clearly scarred from it. I mean, he wouldn't even budge for the rattling of the treat bag. I picked him up and clambered back to our apartment, where Dan seemed less than excited that I'd found him.
I set Cosmo on the ground and he puffed up like a cotton ball, pranced around for a second, before collapsing on his cat bed in sheer gratitude that he was home. We hoped his new found appreciation for the apartment would stay with him, but alas our theory that he has a memory of a goldfish has been confirmed because not less than twelve hours after his ordeal, he was again crying for freedom.
Which Dan really wanted to make happen.
Oh Christmas, you really do bring out the best in us.