Just one of my many talents
July 22, 2006
One of the things that I have developed over the years of being a mother is an amazing abilty to ignore things my children are doing. Even when they are right next to me, I am often oblivious. My husband might disagree with the amazingness of this ability, as he often mutters, “But I don’t get what you were doing while this all was going on?”
But this morning I astounded even myself with my, what has to be, God given talent.
I was sitting here at my computer in the breakfast room happily typing away. I heard my son babbling, giggling and stamping his feet next to me. Occassionally he would grab my skirt to steady himself. But he was having fun, why do I want to look at him and potentially spoil his fun by having to become mean mommy.
I saw the carton of rice milk for a brief second out of the corner of my eye as it was shaken and thrown about, but it must be empty. Otherwise it would be in the refrigerator, wouldn’t it? Why yes it would be since I had asked my seven year old to put the cereal and milk away and also wipe off the kicthen table after breakfast.
So I happily type along. Happy that my baby is happy.
I smelled a little something that let me know I should change his diaper. But surely it could wait a couple of minutes while I finished typing my thought. It obviously isn’t bothering him. And my baby he is HAPPY.
After a few more minutes passed I became aware that the smell was getting stronger and my leg felt like it was getting splashed by something. Probably drips flying out of the the what must be empty container of milk.
And then it happened. I looked over at him.
Oh people, nothing… NOTHING could have prepared me for this.
He had taken off his dirty diaper, poured a cointainer of rice milk onto the floor, and was DANCING in it. Dancing in a pool of milk and his own excrement.
And it was at that moment that I knew from where the expression, happy as a pig in shit came.
Time stood still while I came to the realization that I was going to have to touch him. And it would be nearly impossible to avoid getting any of it on myself. But even worse than that was the look on his face.
The look that said, “If you even look like you are going to come after me I am going to take off running through the house, spreading the wonder of my shitty milkiness on every surface I can manage.” I was being challenged by a 19 month old.
If my life had a soundtrack, the music from that Cint Eastwood western movie –you know right before that gun fight*– that music would have started.
As luck would have it, someone had left a bath towel on the breakfast room table, (also a pair of rain boots, two mismatched sandals, and a tupperware lid , but those things were of no use to me). I quickly grabbed the towel and threw it over him. I then picked him up, the towel an effective barrier between me and the shitty stew. And I carried him while he screamed and flailed like a cat in a pillowcase, possibly because he had for the first time smelled his own stench.
Or maybe because he was afraid I was going to throw him in the river. Which is silly since I’d have to walk really far to get to the river.
But the garden hose. That is not far away at all.
And as an unexpected bonus, the flowers got fertilized. I knew those gardening clogs would do wonders for my gardening abilities.
* yeah, I realize that describes just about every Clint Eastwood movie ever made.
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