Saturday, April 25, 2009

thank heaven...for rubber gloves

I’m sorry I haven’t been posting anything. The truth is that my life hasn’t felt very funny lately. My job requires me to be home from 7:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. There are some days when I only leave the house to watch kids play in the backyard (does that even count as leaving the house?) And I fell into a little slump thinking that you have to leave the house to experience “funny.” But then I got a little surprise that I think was sent to help me out of my slump.

I’ve talked before about how I like surprises – most surprises. And working with kids, I get a lot of surprises. Like finding a handful of corn in my tennis shoe. Or finding out that the new coloring book came with a bonus page of stickers – which are now all stuck to the TV screen. Surprise!

Most of the daycare kids that come to our house bring a little backpack with them each day with extra clothes. Lately they have all realized that an easy way to get each other’s goat is to take the backpack of another child and say, “This is mine!” And that produces immediate screaming and usually is followed by some loud chasing and eventually ends in someone losing an eye or at least spending two minutes in the time out chair. Being the problem solver that I am, I thought really hard about how I could stop this daily insanity. And it came to me – why not just move the backpacks to a place where the kids can’t get to them? I know, why didn’t I think of that like six months ago, right?

So now the backpacks are all stashed safely in the laundry room on top of the washing machine during the day. The only problem being that if I need to do laundry, I have to move them all. But trust me, I’d rather move a million backpacks than listen to, “That’s mine!” “No, it’s mine! Give it back to me!” “Aaaaah!” all day long.

Well, this week I was experiencing a semi-calm moment with the kids and took the opportunity to try and get a load of towels into the washer. I raced into the laundry room and picked up the backpacks and there it was – sitting right on top of my white washing machine lid – a turd.

I didn’t have to smell it to be sure – in my line of work, I see a lot of turds (heck, I’m practically a turd expert) so I knew what it was right away. I have no idea if it came from one of the backpacks or really where it came from at all. I was just a little surprised to see it looking up at me, all brown and smelly. How did it get there? Who did it come from? Why was it on my washing machine? What did it want from me?

I stood there for a minute, just looking at it, my face expressionless. Then I got out my state-mandated rubber gloves and without saying anything to any of the kids, I laid the little turd to rest in the garbage can on the back porch. I didn’t even say a moment of silence.

But honestly, I owe that little turd a big thank you. It breathed new life into my day. So to that turd I say, “Two thumbs up, little friend.”

Thursday, April 9, 2009

i wear a lifejacket in the bathtub

When I was just a young pup, probably in middle school, I was reading my mother’s Reader’s Digest. I don’t even remember what the point of the article was but it told about a woman who was in a freak accident: she was driving in her car and a semi full of logs was driving on an overpass above her. One of the logs came loose and fell from the overpass onto the car she was in, smashing her to tiny bits. It was a terrible story. I had trouble sleeping for weeks. And this is going to sound morbid, but at that moment, I developed a fear that someday I would be in a freak accident.

That fear is still secretly in me today. Only it has gotten worse over time, probably due to the fact that I have read so many more stories about freak things that happened to other people. And each time, I file them in my mind as something that could happen to me. I’m almost certain that someday I will be on an escalator that collapses or get my front teeth knocked out by a frisbee or be hit by a falling meteor.

A few weeks ago, I was watching a show on TV about a medical examiner. She was investigating a woman who had apparently died of a blood clot. And the next day when my leg started to hurt, I was sure that I had one, too. I started to think of my poor boys, and how they would be raised by someone other than their mommy. Would their new mommy know that Wesley is afraid of the automatic car wash and that Wyatt doesn’t like apricots?

Today I was hiding Easter eggs for the kids to hunt in our backyard. I was putting some in the playhouse and trying to hurry as fast as I could so the kids could come outside. I stood up really fast, forgetting that I was in a child’s playhouse and that I am taller than a Smurf. I hit my head hard. This is the part that scared me, though – it didn’t hurt but I was immediately dizzy. And my head felt like things were a little wobbly in there.

Normal people would think, “Wow! That might leave a mark but I’m sure I’ll be okay.” I am not normal. I think of a celebrity who recently died of a head injury that seemed insignificant at first…

Next time I hide eggs, I guess I’ll just have to wear my bicycle helmet.