Chicken Melt Down Under

I've always wondered why they call it a chicken melt....it seemed too simple to be just the melted cheese on top but alas, that is what the thousands of recipes seem to point to. But then today happened and I found out what "melt" REALLY means....

There is a book the kids really like, (yes, I know, another one...we have a lot of books) called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. The book title pretty much sums it up: Alexander has a rotten day, nothing seems to be going his way, he tells everyone about it and all he wants to do is go to Australia. The end. My favorite part is that his day NEVER GETS BETTER. Seriously, how honest is that?! Some days just suck. Period. 

Let's take today for instance. Kurt's parents were out visiting for Madeline's 4th birthday, and they left yesterday, just as the kids were edging closer to the volcano. We were fortunate that right around the time I may have expected Mount Vesuvius to erupt, a big box came to our front door with yet another present for Madeline. Zizi Owl (and family) to the rescue! The kids delighted in the little pieces, I mean, ponies, and were fully entertained for at least half an hour. (Not to mention the extra roomy box which is still bubbling over with potential.) They liked this gift so much that they fully cooperated with the picking up of the billion pieces, I mean, ponies and after a brief bit of chaos (think Hurricane Katrina on speed) they were all asleep by 6:30. Phew. 

Now, the kids usually go through a bit of a rough patch when we have company in and out of the house. They are a bit on the hyper side to begin with when anyone comes to the door, then add days of extra sugar, relatives with gifts galore, parties, checked-out parents and well, it isn't pretty.  So, first thing this morning, I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day (at least for the kids). Madeline and Aidan both went to school. Madeline had her extended day today (a 2:30 pick-up) and Aidan has been begging to stay late at school since he started so we chose today to be the day (4:30 pick-up time.) I knew things were going to be a little rocky so I chose not to fill our time with anything extra and I tried to be right down at kid level all day. It didn't prevent Lily from biting Madeline for trying to get into the big box or from Madeline tackling Lily out of the box mind you, but at least I was there to dish out the consequences, with a side of sympathy, at the right time. After holding each of the girls while Liam watched on, giggling at the whole scene, I decided we should go ahead and get Aidan. Why not, right?

The ride home went something like this:

"Mom, you picked me up too early," Aidan complained.

"La la la, twinkle twinkle, la la la," Lily sang. 

"Lily, I don't want to hear noise, please stop singing," Aidan said with as much calm as he could muster.

"How was your day?" I asked, trying to circumvent the inevitable.

"La, la, la," Lily kept singing. 

"Aidan, she is still singing a song," Madeline said in her sing-song voice.

"DON'T TALK TO ME! IT HURTS MY EARS!" Aidan yelled back. 

"Aidan, don't yell at your sister," I scolded. 

"WuuuuuuuuAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Madeline bursted, tears streaming. 

"STOP CRYING! IT HURTS MY EARS!" Lily screamed. 

"I'M HAVING A ROUGH DAY!" Madeline sobbed even louder. "WAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!"


"La, la, la," Lily started singing again. "La, tee, da, la...." 

"Daaa daaa daaa, dee dee dee dee, daaa, daaa," Liam joined in, I am sure with a great big grin on his face.

"The only one I want to hear is Liam!" Aidan pronounced. "He is the only one who can make noise."

"Wuuuuuuuuuauaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh!" cried Madeline. Then we saw a car stop on the side of the road and a woman got out of the car, close to where a horse was standing.

"Why is that person stopped in the street," Madeline asked calmly, no hint of emotion in her voice. For one split second, the car was silent. 

"Dee, dee, dee," Liam cooed. 

"La, la, la," Lily sung.

"BE QUIET LILY!" Aidan shouted.

"WAAAAAAAAAAAA!" Madeline wailed. 

And the chickens all melted....

If you need me, I'll be meeting Alexander in Australia. 

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