Teaching and parenting both involve a lot of bodily ﬂuids and grossness. I’m okay with that. Very little gets the best of me.
Very little is not the same as nothing.
A few years back we received some tickets for the circus. My loving, bearded husband offered to take the three boys (aged 6, 4, and 2) so that I could work on ﬁnal report cards for my 42 students. Sounded great to me!
During our early dinner, (didn’t want them to waste any time getting out of the house so I could
“Uh, Jan, JAN, JAAAAAN!” BH panicked as he witnessed that little stinker puke on the beige living room carpet.
I jumped into action because according to our prenup, I’m on all Code Brown and related issues while BH owns all dead animal and rodent concerns. First, I took care of my poor little peanut (how could we ever have thought he was faking?) and then the ﬂoor.
Me: “So, did you feed the boys bologna today?”
BH: “I don’t want to talk about it.”
Me: “Well, I’m just trying to ﬁgure out if it was something he ate and maybe all----”
BH: “DOES IT REALLY MATTER? I DON’T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT! STOP IT! I’ll get the carpet steamer, just don’t say anything else.”
Me, muttering, “Well, it sure LOOKS like you gave them bologna.”
BH: “I can HEAR you. STOPITJUSTSTOPIT.”
Me: “How much chocolate milk did you give them?”
BH: “I really need you to stop.” (I could tell he meant it because he whispered.)
So I plunged ahead with the carpet clean-up, put the little angel to bed with a pail, sent the other three to the circus and got started on my reports. About 15 minutes into things, I heard a croaking call for help from upstairs. I rushed to my cherub’s side and he gave me a wobbly “thumbs up” that he had made it into the pail. He really is my secret favourite son, such a good boy.
Approximately 45 minutes later I got a phone call from BH:
“We’re coming home. Number 3 just threw up all over me.”
Me: “Oh, no! How did you clean him up? Is everything okay?”
BH: “I don’t want to talk about it. Just be ready, we’ll be home in 15 minutes.”
Poor little toddler arrived home half naked and all red from being wiped down with those awful brown paper towels. Got him cleaned and tucked in, Number Two seemed to be okay, put the oldest to bed and back to reports.
Every 15 to 20 minutes, one of the boys was getting sick. Number One son joined the party an hour or so after the circus incident. Sheets had to be changed, carpets scrubbed, new pajamas found. All of this fell under my jurisdiction. When I agreed to this, I never contemplated it could all happen at once. The only thing missing was someone pooping in the bathtub. Did I mention I was 37 weeks pregnant? Yeah, I thought I’d go into labour, too.
Finally, they were all cleaned and settled in. I sat down again to work on those report cards (by this point all my students were getting “Outstanding”). Moments later, I felt something scurry by my feet. I did an amazing silent scream and somehow hefted myself up onto the kitchen counter in record speed (pregnant, remember?).
Now it was BH’s turn to leap into action. He thought my water had broken. When I could ﬁnally catch my breath and my heart rate had slowed down (okay, I’d been crying, may as well go for full disclosure now) I told him, “Mouse - it touched me.”
BH patted my back and said, “I’ll take care of it. And, I think it might have been the chocolate milk - it expired yesterday.”
Tell me stories. Horror stories. Go!