Saturday, December 4, 2010

Dinner Wars Part 2 and a series of unfortunate events.

Last night I began devising a strategy to end the dinner wars forever. Phase one of the strategy was simple: get people excited about dinner. And for this, my friends, I had a fail-proof plan.

My daughters are crazy about Fancy Nancy. My mother sent them a Fancy Nancy book on CD, and they both have it memorized. On seeing this doll for the first time at Walmart, Claire giddily yelled, "MOM! LOOK! IT'S FANCY NANCY AT THE MUSEUM BY JANE O'CONNOR!!"

I kid you not.

So I prepared a Fancy Nancy theme dinner. I wanted the dinner to be just healthier than their favorites (I know, setting the bar crazy high here), but wanted the food to be familiar enough that they could still be excited. I settled on a simple menu: cucumber sandwiches, egg salad sandwiches, a green salad, and hot chocolate. Weird. But edible.

I was cutting the sandwiches into tiny, crustless little squares when I noticed silence. I searched for Claire, ultimately finding this:

I was bummed. But not too bummed. I thought I would let her sleep a while and then wake her to get dressed up for our fancy dinner.

I shortly learned that she would not be woken up. From the previous picture you may recognize that the item she is resting so comfortably on is a ROCKING recliner. It probably swayed with her every heartbeat.

At some point, it must have swayed too much, because I arrived back to check on her and found her like this:

... Still asleep. Brad tried to wake her up. So did Grace. No luck. Eventually I succumbed to the realization that our dinner would be short one serious Fancy Nancy fan. I reluctantly told Grace that we couldn't wait for Claire and that it was time for her to get Fancy like Nancy.

She was, as I'm sure you can imagine, completely elated. She requested my expert advice on her attire, and then scuttled off to the bathroom to apply some glittery make up.

Brad was helping me set the table when we heard a sharp piercing scream. We found Grace, cradling her head on the floor of the bathroom tile. She had fallen off the vanity, hit her head on the toilet, and was nursing this:

Usually Grace is not allowed out of the house with make-up on. But considering the circumstances, we carried her to the car anyway along with our two other children (Claire still sleeping) and drove to the ER.

Thankfully, Friday night is one of the least busy nights in the ER, because as it was we waited for an hour.

Here is Grace waiting for her stitches. Look at that outfit.

This girl is brave. Picture four pricks of lidocaine and three stitches, each of which she seems able to feel completely. Envision no screaming. The kid had silent tears streaming through her blush and eyeshadow and was squeezing my hand and clenching every other part of her body in intense rigidity. She. Was. A. Champ.

I promised her ice cream. We held hands and walked around the parking lot waiting for daddy to return from a poorly timed run to Subway. When he came, Claire and Weston still asleep, we stopped at McDonalds for a chocolate shake for Grace. As we pulled away from the place, Claire decided to wake up. Great timing.

After Grace shared her shake with Claire and Brad finished his sub, we got home and sat down to eat our Fancy meal.

It was 8:00. No one was very hungry (except maybe me). And almost nothing got eaten.

Oh well.


  1. Poor Grace. But it's become a family tradition to get forehead stitches. So, kind of a right of passage. Glad you're the type of mom to delay the rush to the hospital long enough to document the injury with photos. We thank you :)

  2. Bummer! I hate when every possible thing goes wrong when you've made such an effort! You're awesome anyway!

  3. I'm so sorry about Grace's fall from grace! Jimmy has a scar on his forehead, too. It's a rite of passage, I think, to have some sort of facial scar from childhood. Sorry you didn't get to have your fancy dinner. It sounded wonderful. Try again!

  4. Oh man, Elise. You sure tell a good story though.

  5. Oh. My. Goodness. Not the ending I was expecting! The nutrition gods were not been smiling on you!! =) So sad for everyone. Although, I'm glad everyone is ok.

    You poor thing, after all that work! I love the picture of Grace posing in her darling outfit with the bandaging on her head. She sounds like such a brave little girl, and you sound like you handled the whole event very well!

    Sounds like your action plan is a good one, though, and I love your strategic choice of food. It kind of made me crave an egg salad sandwich!

    Ok, I just read my comment and it is so scatterbrained it makes no sense at all, but I'm too tired to re-do it.

    The jist:

    1) I'm glad your little girl is ok
    2) She is very brave, I'm impressed
    3) You handled it amazingly well, sounds like
    4) I hope your next meal goes more smoothly, with all your pre-work and genius idea, it sounds like it's bound to!

  6. Poor Grace! Sorry your meal failed but it was a great story!

  7. I love how i've talked to you 4 times since this happened and you didn't mention ONE word about it! I have to check your blog to REALLY know what's going on with your family-got the message

  8. Holy cow! What a night! And what a sweetheart. Good luck in future attempts to make dinner fun! :)

  9. Okay know I don't laugh out loud unless I'm reading James Herriott, but this had me rolling on the floor. It's the ole sadistic British Estes ancestry sense of humor again. Keep it coming. Makes me happy you can see the humor in these things.

    And you can tell Grace that the outfit she chose combined with the bandage really makes her look like Fancy Nancy. Way to go, Gracie Lou!!!!

  10. Ok, want to know something funny? I made egg salad sandwiches the very next day after reading this because, well, I wasn't kidding, it really made me crave them!

    And guess what?

    Weston cracked a glass plate and sliced his hands ALL OVER THE PLACE! Tons of slices all over his little chubby hands. Seriously, blood everywhere (and I mean *everywhere*). At one point I actually thought we were going to go for stitches when we couldn't get the bleeding stopped after 15 minutes.

    But we did get it stopped, luckily.

    And then I remembered your blog post and it made me laugh out loud.
    I don't think egg salad sandwiches will be served around our house for a very long time. I have learned my lesson!

  11. When I was 2, I ran face first into the fire place. My Mom was home alone and panicked. Who did she turn to??

    The ESTES of course!!!

    Your grandpa scooped me up and drove me and Mom to Overlake. I still remember sitting on the front seat of his car like it was yesterday.

    I was so lucky to grow up next to them :)