I wanted to stick with light, happy stories for Christmas. But that’s not my life. What I’ve had going on is a kid with a snotty, runny nose, screaming, yelling and pooping his pants through my house, non-stop this past week. No REALLY YELLING – a lot. Pooping pants? Not once or twice. Every.single.day for over a week.
Now, for the holidays, I have to cook. One meal for Christmas Eve. Another meal for Christmas Day. Not a big deal. But I do have to remember to get all the right ingredients, Asian and soft stuff for the old folks, vegan stuff for the girl, meat for the two men, something for the picky kid. No biggie.
I need to find time to wrap all the gifts. I’ve been getting up at 5:30 a.m. I do dishes and chores and head upstairs to the secret present closet, sit on the floor and wrap for about 30 minutes and then hide everything, go back down and get ready for the day, get the kid ready, and go. No big deal.
Do you know how “no big deal” meets “no big deal” times, like 25? It kinda snowballs. And somehow, it all seems like a big deal.
So, yesterday, I had to finish up some shopping. We headed out. We started at Target. Big carts – kid in cart. No big deal.
We head to the depths of hell – yes, the mall. After playing musical parking spots, I secure a spot about ten miles away, crossed what felt like the autobahn, and made it inside. I managed to get to one store (on the side of the mall opposite from where we parked) when all of a sudden, the kid starts walking like he’s got something stuck up his rear end, kind of teetering from side to side.
I knew what happened. Was I prepared? Of course not.
I asked. “Did you pee your pants?”
“NO. ZERO, ONE…….” he yelled back. This is his new mantra. He will either start doing equations or reciting numbers. Usually, equations but he threw in some variety this morning for the 4000 or so on lookers in the crowded mall.
Being as we were close to The Children’s Place, I popped in and grabbed some clearance jeans and underwear. As he stood there, rotating from side to side, yelling, “TWO PLUS FIVE EQUALS SEVEN!”, the clerk actually asked me to type in my email address on one of those touch pads for your signature. “No.” I said, full of Christmas spirit.
Now, we had to walk quite a ways to get to the bathroom I was determined to use for this project. My beloved Nordstrom has a family bathroom which is large and private. So we walked. I listened to “8+6=14…… 11-1=10” and finally, “WANNA PRESS THE “A” BUTTON” which apparently was meant to go to some elevator of which I am unaware.
It was at this moment that “no big deal” became, a big deal. “You’re going up this elevator and you’re pressing 2.” I told him. “WANNA PRESS THE A”. “You’re going to press the 2” I said quite emphatically. “Wanna press the 2” he replied.
We walked for another 5 storefronts to get inside Nordstrom and across the store to the bathroom. I was ready, at this point, to kick the door down if anyone was occupying it, but luckily, it was empty. We entered. I was wearing a coat, a blazer, and a turtleneck. By this point, I was sweating. And it wasn’t a pretty little, I-got-a-little-exercise sweat. It was that prickly-feeling, I’m crawling out of my skin kind of sweat. My hair was caught in the sunglasses on my head and falling into my eyes and mouth.
I told him to get his shoes off. His shoes are the size of flippers, I swear and his jeans are the tight skinny ones, so, of course he tries to pull his pants down instead. I reach down and get his shoes off, looking at the disgusting floor, wondering what was on the ground that I really didn’t want to know about. Meanwhile, the kid is keeping his balance by pulling on my hair.
When I finally get his pants down, they’re dry. Inside the undies, there is one tiny nugget. Yeah.
So he gets on the toilet and he’s got poop everywhere – on his legs, on his rear, on his little boy parts. What?! And it’s the dry kind. The kind you need water to remove. Or a good wipee – which I did not have.
So I proceed to use toilet paper. The transparent, let’s-see-how-I-can-get-this-1/2 ply paper-that-comes-out-of-the-dispenser-one-sheet-at-a-time-and-for-which-I-cannot-find -the-beginning-of-the-roll-for-five-minutes, to wet it and wipe my kid’s behind. So, I feel like I’ve hit the Lotto when I manage to get three square out to wet for wiping. I proceed and it balls up and rips and tears, falls to the floor and generally is a mess.
Eventually, I clean him up enough to get on the new undies. To get those on, again, he chooses to balance by holding my head with his hands which have been hugging and clinging to the very public toilet upon which his dirty rear end has just been seated. Are you jealous of me yet?
Eventually, I made it out. Okay. That’s over. No big deal, right? We get home at the end of the day and feeling all renewed and, again, full of the Christmas spirit, I pull out the Pillsbury Sugar Cookie dough (cuz let’s face it – I’m no Suzy Homemaker) and tell the little guy how we’re gonna bake cookies for Santa.
I leave him alone, playing the Wii. I go to the kitchen, pull out the frosting, the cookie sheets, the cutting board, and use the rolling pin to roll out the dough.
Then I head back to the bedroom to get the little guy to wash his hands and help me cut out little stars, Christmas trees and trains for cookies. Bonding, 101, right? A Norman Rockwell moment, right?
I call. He comes into his little bathroom, looks me in the eye and yells, “TOILET!” I said, “Oh, that’s so good, honey. I’m glad you’re telling me now.”
And then I realized. This was after the fact.
This one warranted a bath. Washing of clothes. Five good flushes with nice hefty wipee usage. This was enough to zap my Christmas spirit. Still, being the trooper I am, I put one batch of cookies, stars, Christmas trees, trains, fire trucks and hearts in the oven.
This is what came out of my oven:
Merry Christmas. Does anyone know what time Mrs. Field’s opens this morning?