The joys of motherhood

As seen on Facebook:

Hey! So have you ever come home and entered the kitchen only to have your daughter say, “Mommy – I think somebody did something in here…” and then you look over on the counter and notice that there is a puddle of wet, red glop at least 2″ thick by 2′ round? And then you see that a the pulpy red mess isn’t human or animal but is actually watermelon guts, and at first you think, “Holy crap, the dog must have jumped up on the counter and clawed his way into the watermelon…” but then you notice that the melon has a clean slice running down it (and why would a dog crack into an unscented, unopened watermelon??) and you realize, “Holy crap, that watermelon must have had a rotten spot and it became so spoiled that it just burst itself open and exploded its insides all over the counter”??

And because it was a *rotten* watermelon, the insides aren’t spongy like watermelon is supposed to be, but are instead all congealed and gelatinous and now oozing all over the entire counter and onto the floor? And also because it was rotten, the entire kitchen is now enveloped in this thick, gag-inducing SMELL… OMG THE SMELL… And you’re actually concerned that maybe you won’t be able to clean it up because your stomach is bottoming out but if you don’t, who will? because your husband is on an airplane and it is STILL LEAKING AND SMELLING and you have a piano student coming to the house in 30 minutes?? So you hike up your If-Mama-Can-Wipe-Butts-And-Catch-Puke-In-Her-Hands-Surely-She-Can-Clean-This-DISGUSTING-WATERMELON-AWFULNESS pants and manage to get rid of the mess?????Anyone? ANYONE???

No? Well. It was SOMETHIN’ ELSE. Truly.
The joys of motherhood just overfloweth in my kitchen, lemme tell you.

Annie wasn’t wearing her coat when I arrived to pick her up from school. Normally, I’m an if-you-don’t-want-to-wear-your-coat-that’s-fine-but-no-complaining-if-you-freeze-to-death kind of mom, but for some reason — maybe because it was a little chillier than normal? — I told her to please put on her coat for the walk home. Well, it must have been a rough afternoon in kindergarten, because there was NO. WAY. she was putting on the coat. She was too hot. She didn’t need it. It would make her backpack uncomfortable. Tantrum mode, right there in the school lobby.

Admittedly, it wasn’t that cold out, so I could have backtracked on the coat thing. And, if she’d been even the tiniest bit reasonable, or polite, or just not a screeching maniac, I might have rescinded my directive. But when you do the full-body I WILL NOT LISTEN TO YOU dance and thrash around on the lobby bench and yell loudly at me about HOW UNFAIR I am, well, let’s just say that I don’t care how nutty my original request might have been: the gauntlet had been thrown, and that coat was going to be worn, sohelpmeGod.

I played it cool, didn’t raise my voice, only gave her one or two you-are-embarrassing-me-KNOCK-IT-OFF-AND-STOP-BEING-A-LUNATIC looks before I sat down on the bench beside her and — totally pulling out one of my awesome parenting strategies — proclaimed that we could just wait here for as long as it took for her to put on her coat. About three minutes into the wait, however, as she continued to freak out beside me, and after I’d checked my email and Facebook twice, I realized that I was the one being punished and that I didn’t want to sit on this freakin’ bench anymore — I wanted to go HOME. So, parenting strategies be damned, I got up and told her I was leaving (wait — another parenting strategy, holla!) and, lo and behold, Annie both followed me AND grudgingly put on the coat.

Given that she scowled and stomped and whined for the duration of the walk, and considering her lovely display in the school lobby, I decided that a brief time-out was in order when we arrived home. I instructed her to sit on the stairs and, in a couple of minutes, told her that I would tell her when she could get up.

As I was taking off my own coat (chilly outside), I heard Ella’s voice from the kitchen. She sounded fairly perturbed, so I headed that way pretty quickly… And then the smell hit me…  (See above: Facebook disaster.)

According to the comments I received, this apparently has happened to other people, which made me feel slightly better — but also made me feel horrible for them, because I totally mouth-breathed for a good 10 minutes while I cleaned up, and I imagine they must have felt similarly disgusted.

At first, I just stood looking at the mess, because how in the HELL do you clean up piles of gelatinous watermelon??? You can’t pick it up with your hands (OMG). You can’t use a sponge. You can’t sweep it away. You can’t even call the dogs to come help, because if it was rotten enough to explode into your kitchen like an angry gremlin bursting out of an egg, surely it was gross enough to cause canine dysentery or something. More than once, I actually said, out loud, “I don’t know what to do,” which was really comforting to Ella, who stood feet away watching the disaster ooze all over the counters.

I finally decided that the only way to fix it was to use paper towels to push the goo into a bowl, then dump the bowl into the sink, and repeat the process (many, many, OH SO MANY times) until everything was gone, then run the disposal like crazy and disinfect the counter a few hundred times. All while not breathing through my nose because throwing up would definitely have made the situation more complicated.

Did I mention that I had a piano student arriving at the house in 30 minutes? Yeah. Good times.

At long last, the mess was contained and I’d stopped dry heaving and I went to get Ella a snack. It was then that I noticed that Annie was still seated on the steps in what had become the longest time-out in history. Not sure which parenting strategy that was.

I’d love to say that, since then, Annie hasn’t pitched a fit over her outfits again. But that would just be silly. I will say, however, that since then, no watermelons have entered the house, nor will they anytime soon, unless they’re accompanied by freshness guarantees and nose plugs.

The joys of motherhood very literally overfloweth, indeed.

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