I just found an old email that I wrote in response to one with the subject line: “Hi From the Amalfi Coast!” that my retired, world-traveling parents had sent me from…the actual Amalfi Coast.
This reminds me of what it’s like to be raising kids while the rest of the world is out there living it up. Thought I’d share.
Subject Line: Hi, From Our Bloody Shit Storm!
I’ll take it from the top here.
Yesterday afternoon, while catching up on laundry and email, and listening to two life-sized, Pirate’s Booty-filled versions of the Lego Ninjagos act out a battle with the nefarious serpentine death squad in my back yard (don’t ask), I noticed that Dog was standing unusually close to me. This means that he could not remove his nose from between my butt cheeks, despite my increasingly hostile pleas, not to mention the fact that I was sitting down.
When he finally plopped onto a pile of freshly-laundered but not-yet-folded white bedsheets and started sucking on his chest, I realized something was wrong. He looked like a laboring, pregnant cow, lay down in a manger.
After panicking because I thought his heart and lungs had exploded, I speed-dialed the vet. Remember Dog’s old stick-in-the-chest wound, which he got while sprinting into a rabbit hole sometime around 2007? For the past ten years, that crackerjack pocket of gnar has been gaining speed, building into a sinister pouch of super-infected nastiness, which exploded last night and leaked bloody pus globules all over the house. If we’d caught it on camera, we’d be YouTube billionaires by now, sipping on masticated yucca wine inside a grass hut on the Amazon.
Speaking of gross, as we were getting ready for school on Thursday, Son disappeared upstairs to take care of business and jam an entire roll of toilet paper into the U-bend. Twenty minutes later, Daughter started screeching, saying it was “raining” on her in the kitchen. What she meant was that something wet was squirting out of two light sockets and spewing through the kitchen cabinets. I darted upstairs, hollering wildly to my kids—something about staying calm and always asking for help in the midst of a crisis.
In case you hadn’t guessed, the toilet had overflowed. I mopped it up with a bunch of bed pillows, plunged away, and returned to my post in the kitchen. I cried for a minute, wondering—of all things—whether I should text my house-cleaning friend and ask her not to show up as she was scheduled to do in ten minutes because that mess was just embarrassing. I also wondered how I was going to make my kids’ lunches on a countertop full of sewage.
But first, I walked through the rain of poop water and grabbed my coffee. Then I stood in the kitchen, raw waste juicing from my hair, and Daughter brought me all the money from her piggy bank, which she said I could use to fix the ceiling if the whole bathroom fell through.
This was somehow comforting.
The waterfall finally slowed to a dribble (“MOM! IT’S YELLOW!!”), and we were all right. I can’t help thinking this is somehow all Baby’s fault, because like Dog, he is totally obsessed with whatever he finds sailing through the toilet.
In other news, Son figured out how babies are made all by himself (I’m hoping he doesn’t share this information with the Student Council, to which he was recently elected), Baby figured out how to eat Play-Doh and mix it into a soup inside the dirty laundry basket, and Daughter lost two teeth, one of which Son knocked out with his elbow.
We are leaving the kids with a very capable but unfortunate 15 year old tonight and heading to dinner at the house of some friends who have NO kids—just two yappy squirrel-like dogs that we can flick out of the way with our big toes.
Gotta run—the washing machine is leaking all over the floor.