Pocketing Peach Pits

Jul 22 2008

As a mother, there are gross things that are simply part of the job description.  Pocketing peach pits is apparently one of them.

I took Abby, my almost-10 year old, to the video store yesterday.  She ate a peach in the car.  Reference “Excrement and Other Things My Car Smells Like” for the reason I didn’t let her leave the pit to rot somewhere in the car’s nether regions after we arrived at the store.

Side Note: Car’s nether regions sounds a little nasty.  Sorry about that.

Sure, a garbage bag would be a lovely addition to the car.  However, after the last vehicle-cleansing session, I just haven’t managed to get another bag out there.

I told Abby she could just throw her peach pit away at the video store.  It seemed like a reasonable solution until we searched the store (in and out) and couldn’t find a single trash receptacle.  By this time, Abby is reasonably less than thrilled.  First, she picks a healthy snack.  Next, she makes an attempt to take care of her own garbage appropriately.  Finally, she’s stuck carrying a slimy, gooey peach stone all over the store.

Although I’ve said to my kids repeatedly, “Mommy is not a garbage can” when they attempt to hand me everything from candy wrappers to used Kleenex, I was starting to feel genuinely sorry for Abby.  She’d done everything right and was getting no breaks.  Not to mention that this trip to the video store was to choose a movie for Family Movie Night as a way to thank her for cleaning the entire laundry room with her friend unasked.  We’ve had many conversations along the lines of “if you save Mommy time on chores, then I’m free to do more fun things with you.”  It was time for me to put up or shut up.

So I opened my pocket and told her to toss it on in.  She did, and we moved on with our day.

Of course, you know what happened a few hours later.  On a warm, summer day.  After the goo left on the outside of the peach started to really rot.

I forgot it was there.  And I stuck my hand in my pocket.

Gross.

This isn’t the grossest thing I’ve ever done as a parent.  And I’m sure it won’t even register on the grossest things I’ve had to do this year list come December.  But it is the most recent.

I’ve decided not to issue a complete list.  Mostly because I think there should be a rule that there will be no more than 2 posts in a row about poo.  So, excluding those more graphic stories, here are some of the gross highlights:

1. On an airplane… at the beginning of the descent immediately after the Fasten Your Seatbelts sign was illuminated… “Mommy, I have to go pee.  It hurts!  I can’t wait…” sliding a barf bag (aka, airplane seat protector) and my only sweatshirt under my three-year-old and then discreetly pulling down her pants so she could pee on my clothes.  That was fun to wrap back around myself to deplane.

2. Finding out that projectile vomit actually projects.  Across a full stairwell and into my hair.  After I fed her red Kool-Aid.

3. Yelling at my husband while riding next to a carsick child, “She’s going to puke! Get a bag.  Get a bag.  Getabaggetabagetabag!”  And catching it in my hands.

4. Diaper pails.  Diaper genies.  I don’t care how magical they try to make them sound.  They all hold dirty diapers, and it’s just not pretty.  Ever.

5. Holding my son’s eyebrow closed after his sister split it open for him by pushing to get into the van first.  (Probably because our minivan is such an exciting place to be.)  Turns out, the edge of the door is quite sharp.  And resulting cuts that reach through muscle into bone bleed.  A lot.

Well, my fabulous brother and wonderful sister-in-law are at the hospital about to have their first baby.  In fact, I’m typing from their room.  Not to be too mushy, but I really couldn’t be more thrilled for them.  I cannot wait for this baby to arrive.

She’ll be as gross as my children, and she’ll give her parents as many opportunities to touch things that are wet and don’t belong to them.

But I know… know, deep in my heart… how wonderful and precious these little ones are.  When chubby little arms are wrapped around your neck, when sweet baby voices say “wuv you,” when big kids do something profoundly kind and helpful and clean up the entire laundry room… these are the moments I wish for them.  Knowing the gross bits are a very, very small price to pay for the privilege.

Excrement and Other Things My Car Smells Like

Jul 18 2008

I hopped in my oh-so-hip minivan today after work on this warm, summer day in Oregon and was immediately taken aback by the moderate smell of excrement emminating from the hot interior.  Not sure why I was taken aback.  My car has smelled this way for at least a week now.

This is minivan number 4 for us.

I know.  You’d like to be as cool as me.  Take a number.  And, just to whet your appetite for my high style of living, I’ll brag that I have not one, but TWO vans.  One mini and one whopping 8 passenger.  That leaves us, like, one whole extra seat to spill on.

The amazing thing about vehicles with 5 kids is the development of a signature odor.  Now, I’d like to point out that we do not live in filth and squalor.  No we do not.  Well, maybe filth on a semi-regular basis.  But the squalor is right out.

Of our 4 vans, the previous two also developed a special scent.  Why?  I don’t know!  We clean the car out, clear it of trash, damp bathing suits and used socks.  We require our children to carry their own stuff in from the car (a special talent reserved for children from large families).  We rarely take the dog with us on trips.  There are no moldy milkshakes (currently) or half-eaten hamburgers (anymore) left about.  So why, over the last week after we cleaned the garbage out, has my car begun to develop a definitive poo smell?

I think there’s an unwritten smell-warranty on my cars.  After a few months (we’ve owned the car for 6), the warranty expires.  No grace period.  No warranty extensions.  That’s all, folks.  Bring on the poo.

Will I search more for the smell?  Will my husband and I tear it apart, deodorize it, hang lime-scented trees from the rear view mirror?  Unlikely.  I’ll probably continue to drive it for many more months, breathing it in.  Which means developing creative excuses for not carpooling with my coworkers to lunches and conferences.  If you have any good ones, let me know.

Why won’t I keep looking for the source and eliminate it?  I have 5 kids.  I’m tired.

Five Kids Is A Lot Of Kids

Jul 16 2008

I’ve had three friends in the past week ask me where my blog is.  Why did they do that?  Cleary because I’m unbelieveably popular, and they like me very much.

Sadly, I don’t believe that.  I think it’s actually because they want to laugh at me more regularly than they already do.  See, I’m a mother of five kids.  That means my life is a) necessarily funny and b) a comfort to others.  In this, my first blog post, we’ll explore each of these ideas.  Did you notice that I said “we” as though other people will be reading?  Confidence, that.

Let’s look first at Necessarily Funny

Necessarily = unavoidably… Yep, can’t be helped that my life is funny.  My husband and I didn’t mean to have 5 kids.  Seriously.  Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but it really wasn’t entirely our fault.

Here’s what happened.  We adopted our oldest daughter, Abby, as an infant in 1998.  She was just so darn great that we made the grave error a few years later of seeking a second child through adoption.  Very long story short, the agency called and did the “is there any way…” and “would you ever consider…” thing, played on our mushy, malleable hearts and, voila!, in 2003 we came home with not one, but two more kids, Ian and Aden.  Then, in a weak moment, we thought a biological child would be a fantastic addition.  One more, that’s all, then we’re done.  And along came our twin boys, Cai and Cael, in 2006.

So here we are.  We only had kids three times, but we managed to end up with five kids.  And let me tell you, that is a LOT of kids.

To be fair, one kid is a lot of kids, too.  Five just makes life funnier.  And don’t tell me that funnier’s not a word until you’ve yelled things at your kids like, “Put down that urinal cake!” and “The dog is not a napkin!”

One of the proverbial friends who asked me this week where to find my blog was explaining about her friends’ beautiful blogs full of their perfect, beautiful children.  She asked me when someone is going to write a blog with pictures of poop smeared all over their kids’ rooms.  It got me to thinking.  I’m just the girl for the task.   Which leads me to…

Why my life is a Comfort to Others

Have you ever watched that TLC show John and Kate Plus Eight?  I watch it sometimes when it doesn’t completely stress me out.  Whenever I can manage that delicate balance, I come away with the awesome realization that someone out there somewhere has a life crazier than mine.  It comforts me.  It’s schadenfreude, a.k.a. the largely unanticipated delight in the suffering of another.

Read. Laugh. Be comforted.  This is not your life.  It’s mine.  There may be the ever-present possibility of smearing of poop upon my walls, but, dang it, they’re my walls, and I love the little poopers.