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Tales From the Motherhood: Pie bribes and fridge concerns

My 19-year-old, who’d generously volunteered to hang around to supervise the delivery of our new refrigerator, called me at work.

“Mom, we have a problem. It won’t fit through the door.” Sure it will. I measured. Happy to pop off any trim, if it would help, too, I’d said when I ordered it.

“Did you tell him you’d pop off the trim?”

“Yup.” He popped off the trim while I spoke to the delivery guy, but a few minutes later I got another call. Seems removing the trim wasn’t enough to convince the guy there’d be adequate space to get the fridge in the door, so he left with it still on his truck. Phooey.

The next time delivery was attempted, I was there. I was ready. I’d already consulted (for the second time) with the store manager about its dimensions and those of our doorways, removed the requisite trim – plus another piece, for insurance – and even removed the porch door, which Holly propped back into place to keep the wind out while we waited. But when the Big Red Dog had to go out, and Holly went to lift the door out of the way, Jake reconsidered and crossed his legs instead. We laughed so hard she almost dropped the door. 

“Where are those guys? It’s 10:51,” I said. Our “delivery window,” from 8 a.m. to noon, was rapidly closing. They finally called after noon to say they were on their way. So we turned off the heat, turned off the fridge, emptied it once more and then hustled the Big Red Dog and the cat up to Noah’s bedroom so they wouldn’t run away from home.

“Do you like pie?” I asked the guy in charge, when he balked at the size of our doorways. Why not? I had an extra Thanksgiving pie just sitting on my kitchen counter and singing my name (ack!) that really needed a good home. The guy grinned. But no dice; he didn’t think the fridge would fit. Noah hustled to remove another piece of trim as I considered slicing into the pie and just handing the guy a piece – you know? To soften him up so he’d at least get the dang fridge off the dang truck and try?

“Take off one more,” he said, and pointed at the beleaguered doorframe. Noah got busy wrenching off the last possible piece while I crossed my fingers. 

“Woof! Woof! Woof!”  

“That’s his concerned bark,” Noah explained to his buddy, who’d come over to help with a project. I turned around after Noah popped off the last piece of trim to find the fridge guy closing the door on his truck. It took me a second to register what I was seeing. 

“Huh? But we just did what he asked. What the heck?” Perhaps the pie thing was the wrong tack to take? Shoot. I jogged out to the truck. (I know, right? Really, I jogged.)

“We’ve been ‘released,’” the guy said.

“‘Released?’” Huh? Seems their time was up. Just then Noah sidled up. I swear I saw him move to put an arm around me when suddenly he thought better of it. Good call.

“Mom, he’s gonna run you over,” he said. Whoa, he’d read my mind! This kid is good! For a split second I HAD had half a notion (well, maybe more) to stand in front of the truck and quietly insist he give me my fridge. (What if I spoke very calmly? That always works with my kids.) “You just asked him if he liked [pie] but didn’t give him any,” Noah suggested, once we got the doors back on. 

“Well, yeah, I was GONNA give him pie. The WHOLE pie, in fact, but AFTER the deed was done.” People don’t bribe people with pie anymore? What’s the world coming to? I don’t like this brave new world. I wasn’t feeling brave. I was in tears. Yeah, a classic first-world problem, but food was perishing all over the kitchen. (Later I would find a pound of ground beef defrosting under the kitchen island all by it’s lonesome. Yeah.)

“I’m becoming really acquainted with the condiments,” Holly commented a little while later, after denial gave way to defeat and we restocked the fridge.

A whole week later, the planets aligned. We cleared off the top of the fridge, pulled everything out again, and removed all of the trim and doors once more. This new delivery crew didn’t bat an eyelash, merely got the job done. I just knew it would fit! Hallelujah! I swear I hear a chorus of angels every time I open the new fridge door. So clean! So spacious! And so bright! It’s like opening the door to Narnia, I think, every time I make an excuse to open it. Merry Christmas to us!

Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her family. Her column runs regularly in the Kane Weekend section of the Kane County Chronicle. Contact her at

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