One of my pant legs has been BBQ-sauced and the other has been apple-juiced, there’s a trace of regurgitated milk on my shoulder. I think I need to buy stronger deodorant and I know I need a nap.
I hauled all my children to church for a water play day. My two year old refused to participate, and clung to my pants, and begged to go home. I was mean and told him to play or take a nap. Then to add insult to injury, I didn’t give him a chocolate chip cookie at 9:30 a.m. His lack of enthusiasm made me angry like the Hulk. How dare he be uninterested in water balloons and water slides and sprinklers?
He finally got a sweet treat and he is stained with red popsicle, and one arm is dripping with crimson. Wet wipes don’t remove colored sugar from skin very well, and who has time for bathing?
We stood in the hot sun for a few hours and Sheldon started to cry and Q started to cry, so I did what any normal mother who’s motto is “Have fun or die” would do: I took them to Chick-fil-A. It has a play area that is enclosed in glass, and you can barely hear the screaming kids on the other side. I ate two french fries in peace and tried to carry on a conversation with my pal.
Sheldon crawled shamelessly all over the play area floor, covering his hands with all sorts of germs. The kids swarmed around in a Lost Boys sort of way, poking each other, shrieking, stepping on toes and pushed and bossed while the parents ate chicken sandwiches and pretended their children were behaving.
I finally wore myself out and dragged my kids away from the sticky anarchy. Sheldon screeched “NA NA NAH!!!” and reached desperately for the black mat of disease that he had been occupying.
We all wanted to get home, but traffic was not our friend. As we idled at a long red light, Q announced that he had turned our car into a race car, and commanded me to drive crazy.
When that didn’t work he said, “Mom, I turned dis car into a helicopter so we can fly away home, so go!”
“How did you turn it into a helicopter?” I queried, secretly wishing it were possible.
“I used my magic stick dat Dad got me from the store, because yesterday was my birthday. My birthday is on Christmas and you missed it. SO get going momma. Fly off!”
The light turned green and we creeped home, filthy, tired and perhaps a tad dehydrated. Despite the fact that I had inadvertently missed Christmas AND Q’s birthday, I feel like the morning had been a success…because there’s something about dirt and grime that screams full and exuberant living.
The gift of today is sauce stains, sticky hands, dirt, germs and grime, because you should never let a little dirt get in the way of adventure.