Thursday, November 6, 2008

Go Ahead, Laugh

Time for a little creative writing today, completely off the topic of my Prayers for Virtue theme. I could probably tie it in to my self-control post from yesterday, but as that would just smack of me needing to learn something from this, I will not. This is just a story from our household.

I wish I had a picture for you, because a picture says so much more than words can. But this morning, I had neither a camera nor the presence of mind to document the moment. I can, however, describe the scene and let your imagination fill in the rest.

First, however, I have to back up to an episode from last night. Last night was swimming night, in which we hurried through an early dinner in order to leave at 6pm to take Miss Boo to practice. Generally Hubby has been able to get home in time to join us and then keep J-Roo at home while I run out the door with her. But sometimes, work makes its demands and I end up taking the Rooster with me to observe. Last night was the second kind of night.

At 5:55, I dismissed Missy from the table to get her suit on. Roo complained that his tummy hurt. I pointed out this probably meant it was time for a visit to the bathroom, which he denied. He then left the table while I gulped the last few bites of my dinner, intending to hurry him through a potty stop and change him into a pull-up before we took off. Not a minute later, Miss Boo yelled down the stairs, "Someone has poopy pants!" Great.

A picture of someone else's son victoriously using the toilet

Meanwhile the Hub texted me that he was leaving for home in 5 minutes. Not helpful, since he wouldn't get home until after we left.

So there I was at 6pm, trudging up the stairs and fuming at the colossal poor timing of this event. I directed Roo into the bathroom and rolled up my sleeves to deal with the mess. This week we have been having him clean up his own messes, in the hope that he will get the message about how much less messy it is to just put it straight in the potty the first time. So I directed him through the S-L-O-O-O-W process of undressing, dumping, swishing, wiping... and it was still a mess.

It was time for a hose down, so I put him in the shower, still fuming that there wasn't even time to wash hair and give him the complete bathing he needed, just to rinse off the...sludge. Finish the shower, look for clean undies--oh forget it here is a pull-up, wouldn't it have been helpful to have THAT on five minutes earlier? and look at the time this is when we need to be AT the pool for Maren's lesson... And in the door walks Dad.

I left the child in his steamy, barely-rinsed, sweaty skin and a pull-up, and made a beeline for the door, muttering about the injustice of the situation that was clearly the fault of no one I could righteously blame for the sake of feeling better.

Someone else's street on a rainy morning

Now about this morning. I awoke to hear the sound of rain outside, but by the time I got Hubby and Boo Bear off, the sun was peeking through. This is my MOPS day, so I had to scurry a little to get ready. Rooster was playing in the backyard, all ready to go, so I shut myself in the bathroom for a 10 minute spit shine and makeup session. At 8:30 I emerged, ready to load the Roo into the car and take off for my big day. I have been looking forward to this day because I was about to unleash a Really Cool Craft on the gang.

I went to the back door and called for the boy . . . no boy.

I called inside the house . . . no boy.

I walked to the front of the house to call up the stairs . . . wait, there was a boy out in the street in front of my house!

I charged out the front door intending to issue a spank and a stern warning about leaving the house without Mommy . . . only to realize that what stood in front of me only slightly resembled a little boy. Through the magic of morning rain falling on construction dirt, from fingertips to elbows, from toes to knees, what had been a (more or less) clean little boy had transformed in ten minutes into a Mud Monster!

I was speechless.

For the second time in 12 hours, I was about to be late due to this . . . boy, doing what a boy does so well: being a mess.

Well, I hardly knew where to start. I couldn't spank the child, couldn't find a clean spot to grab. Couldn't yell at him, he was clearly In His Element and the look of joy on his face was too precious.

So I brought him in through the garage, laid a newspaper trail from the laundry room to my bathroom, and threw him in the shower. At this point, I decided to finish the job of the night before, and I went ahead and scrubbed his hair, neck and behind his ears in addition to soaping off all the mud.

I dressed him, we scurried out the door, and all turned out well. I got to MOPS, got some help with my detailed setup, and laughed about the incident with my friends, who understood because they are moms, too. We even joked about his early morning spa treatment.

All I can do is laugh. My children have taught me that my options are either laugh or deal with a headache, and while last night I chose the headache (I still feel like that headache chose me), today pushed me over the edge and saved me from myself. I guess the saying is true, "Thank heaven for little boys."

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