Thursday, May 21, 2009

1 window unit and a river of tears

Today it got up to 89 degrees in Oak Park. It was still about 80 degrees at dinner, which meant it was time to lug Z's A/C out of the garage and into her window. After we'd secured it to her rickety old window (an elegant process involving a brick, two old towels and a couple of strips of duct tape) and Z was bathed, brushed and read to, I headed downstairs.

A couple minutes later, Josh heard a beep. "That sounds like Z's air conditioner. Is she playing with it?"

"I told her not to," I replied.

Fast-forward about 15 minutes and Josh calls me out of the kitchen, where I was starting to make bran muffins. "Is that crying? Is that Z crying?"

Indeed, I hear her sobbing audibly. I put down the eggs and milk to race upstairs. Z's buried herself under her comforter. She's slick with sweat, hiccuping and sobbing so uncontrollably it's impossible to figure out what she's saying. Eventually I calm her down enough to figure out the following: She turned her air conditioner off because she wanted it to be on high. After turning it off, she couldn't figure out how to get it on again, but she didn't want to call me up because I'd take away a penny.

It was such a sad, pitiful story that Z ended up getting extra cuddles and the made-up story I'd apparently forgotten to tell her. And she kept her penny.