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     As a parent, I feel that I have a pretty strong stomach. Unusually so. In fact, I was always given the grossest tasks when I worked in residential treatment because my co-workers were weak and squeamish – they couldn't handle the bodily fluids/lumps/or chunks, leaving me to do the clean up when the kiddos got sick or went bonkers.

     But even the strongest people have their limits. And today, I reached mine at least 12 times. To set the stage, it's important to note that most of our household is currently getting over that lovely end-of-summer cold, complete with all things Mucinex is supposed to fix but doesn't. Additionally, the humidity was approximately 2,794% and my clothes were sticking to me like they'd been attached with a gallon of Elmer's glue. Along with my hair. And everything floating through the air.

     We started the day off at church. The weather was still somewhat cool and we were all freshly showered (a rare occurrence, really). By the time we'd left the church and made our way to the park for our annual picnic, the sweat started attracting an array of flying insects… insects that get stuck in your hair and your eyelashes… insects that find their way up skirt and make you swat at your unmentionable parts, all while trying to avoid looking like a lunatic and disgracing the family name.

     It wasn't long before small people started revealing to us that naps were needed immediately. They demonstrated this need by throwing hot dogs at me and by dumping my plate of macaroni and cheese onto my lap. Because I just wasn't sticky enough. The smallest of the group then made a run for it and fell face first onto the muddy road. Covered in scrapes and donning a hefty lump on his head, I ran to him and scooped him up, cuddling him into me as I tried to assess his marks. Thankfully my Sunday dress served as a magnificent towel. It soaked up his mud-covered front side rather well.

     We arrived at home and nap time could not come quickly enough! We sent the Bigs to their rooms and prepped the Littles for sleep as fast as we could. The husband and I laid down as the air conditioning finally started working it's magic. Isaac rolled into me for a sleepy cuddle and I happily wrapped my arms around him. And then, just as heavy eyelids were starting to close, he sneezed a handful-sized ball of snot all over my chest. I couldn't get the words out fast enough….

     “Don't touch….!” But it was too late. Chubby little hands wiped the remaining snot all across his chubby little face. And then he sneezed about 8 more times with equal amounts of boogers connecting and stringing to me like a spider web. Wyatt was screaming from his crib and Isaac obviously needed to be power-washed, so I gave up on the hopes of a nap. Isaac was sent to the bathroom as I grabbed the little one and brought him into the restroom with his brother so my husband could rest. After all, he had done the dishes, cooked breakfast, and did all of bedtime routine the night before. The man deserved a medal… but he settled for a nap instead. When I returned to the door, Isaac had stripped down and was peeing on his potty chair.

     “Good boy!” I said with enthusiasm, setting Wyatt down. Only there was a sticky suction sound that popped in the air as I detached from my baby. And there was an orange substance gracing my stomach, arm, and hand that had held him. Carrots? Yams? Nope. One sniff answered all my questions. Crap.

     It's really something when poop works it's way into the crevices of your wedding ring, isn't it? It's also fun when you're in the process of changing a baby's diaper and he shoves his fist and a toy into the mix. Meanwhile, trying to keep the poo splattering to a minimum, Isaac finished his toilet endeavors and INSISTED on emptying the contents into the big potty by himself, despite my repeated pleas to “Wait for Mommy!”

     “I do it, Mama, I help you...” In the rush to change the baby, I notice that I had set my cell phone on top of the toilet lid. Isaac, however, failed to see this. He lifted the lid and dumped pee everywhere. Sure, some of it got in the toilet. And some of it got on my phone… the phone that fell off the lid and knocked over the toilet brush holder, spilling grimy toilet nastiness all across the floor and my phone. Wyatt happily splashed in his orange crap, laughing at his big brother while I hastily finished up the diaper change and hand sanitizing. That's when I felt sprinkles coming from behind me. I turned in time to see Isaac fondly petting the toilet brush, sending flecks of grossness EVERYWHERE while he giggled, “It tickles, Mommy!!”

     As chemicaled poop water rained down on me, I contemplated the very real possibility that this was the worst day of my life. If not the worst, it was certainly the very grossest. I couldn't take another second of it.

     “STOP!!!

     For a moment, both the little ones stared at me and stopped smearing, spraying, and splattering. They stared at me with wide eyes and still hands. For a full 2 seconds, I felt powerful. It had worked! It NEVER works, but today, God smiled down on me and had pity.

     It was Isaac's sneeze that broke the silence. And of course he wiped the rest of it across his face… along with all the toilet germs he'd accumulated in the previous 5 minutes. (Ok… so maybe it didn't actually work.) Disappointed and exasperated, I scrubbed the babies down and hustled them to the playroom. Isaac immediately began building his train and pulled me to the floor to help him. After 10 minutes, we were rather proud of our track and ready to play.

     The trains were making their first loop around our newly-built creation and both boys were mesmerized. Isaac made train sounds and Wyatt clapped his hands while gasping at the sight of a train car getting closer and closer to where he was seated. It was more than he could handle. He had to grab it. And as Wyatt bent down to snatch up the passing car, he projectile vomited everywhere.

     “Aw, Wyatt!!” Isaac bellowed. “You're gross!” (He obviously hadn't seen his snot-covered face today.) I grabbed the tracks and rushed them to he sink, dripping white chunks of stomach acid down my arms as I ran. We are NEVER having sex again, I thought to myself as I tried to undo the baby-proof latch with slimy hands… the very latch that was keeping me from my highly-needed bleach products. Curse these latches! And curse trains! And motherhood! And VOMIT! But as I finished up with my final curse, I noticed pink gooey crud all over the still-to-be-washed train tracks. “What the heck is this??”

     Isaac climbed up on his stool next to me at the sink, looked over my shoulder and said to me as innocently as possible…. “Well, it might be yogurt.” Of course it is. Why wouldn't it be yogurt is the REAL question. I scrubbed it clean and brought it back to the train room. Bending to wipe up the floor, two raisins fell out of my hair. They were warm.

     You have GOT to be kidding me.

     My hubby came downstairs just in time to save me from banishing all raisin/grape products from our house forever. He was there to help, but he just needed a drink first. Upon opening the fridge, he pulled out the milk, only to find that the lid had no been screwed on tightly and that milk had poured through the entire lower refrigerator and the crisping drawers. Yep. That's going to help my day tremendously.

     And then, as he pulled out the first drawer, I noticed a brown sticky puddle spanning the entire width of the fridge. It took me a while to realize that it was teryaki sauce, you know, because it was covered in milk and all. In my haste to clean it up, I grabbed the rag covered in baby puke. Because that's how I roll. (Please know that if you choose to eat at my house or use my bathrooms, I make no guarantees that you will not die of e.coli or C-diff…. This is why I don't host parties. That and because all my appetizers are hiding in my hair somewhere.)

     We cleaned up the mess as best we could, but it was time to get Isaac ready to go back to his Dad's house and I needed to get the puker outside where he could run free. And run he did. He ran well, but I did not. I ran into a pile of dog poop. I didn't know it right away, but my oldest informed me that I had it all over my foot AND my leg. I grabbed my only tissue to wipe my leg, but remembered too late that it was the one covered in Isaac's snot. It smeared the poop and seemed to help it adhere to me, creating some sort of Super-Poop never seen before.

     I kind of wanted to cry. And I kind of wanted to vomit just a little bit. I very much wanted to shower, but I wasn't about to put that dirty baby in his crib before giving him a bath. And I've learned the hard way that showering with him loose in the bathroom with me leads to all my things being put into the toilet. All of them. So I washed my leg in a mud puddle and put the baby in his swing. With a few hearty pushes, he was giggling with glee. As I was contemplating the fact that he could very well throw up again, I started feeling itchy on my legs.

     I looked down and my legs were swarming. I had stood on an ant hill and was apparently being overtaken by its colony! That was it. I could handle no more. I screamed bloody murder and swatted at my legs so hard that I left marks… marks that I couldn't see until I had killed at least 50 ants. This was more than anyone should have to bear, honestly. It was practically the plagues of Egypt all rolled into a 5-hour period - all directed at ME. There I was, in dirty garments and a bug-filled land, trying to lead my sick children and dogs across our 40 acres of Ellwood City wilderness. I was basically Charlton Heston.

     The thought of a nice hot bath was quite literally only thing that kept me from pulling my clothes off in the middle of my yard and scaring my neighbors half to death. The husband returned home and I immediately took my leave. Since the baby needed a bath as well, I decided to kill two birds with one stone and I just joined him in the tub. He played with his train and wash cloth, I soaped myself and let the suds marinate my skin. Naturally, Wyatt peed in the bath water. But I didn't care. It was the cleanest thing I'd touched all day. And I allowed myself to think that the suds would protect me from all things. The magical suds that were washing away the grossest day of my life.

     Snuggled into bed an hour later with my computer and a bottle of Nyquil, I made my list of tasks for tomorrow:

Scrub all floors.

Sanitize all counters.

Wash all laundry.

Disinfect both bathrooms.

Clean fridge.

Buy new toilet brush.

Spray for ants.

Clean dog poop from yard.

Burn house down.

 

     Yeah. That'll work. Goodnight, Friends. And may your tomorrow be better than my today.

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