As a mom of 3 boys in various stages of life, I felt that I have seen a lot of things most nonparental units would run away screaming in horror and can deal with those issues without batting an eye. Booger noses? No problem. Boogers picked and eaten? Cake. Vomit? I'm a pro. Diaper explosions? Pffft, bring it on. I admit, I got cocky, thinking there was nothing on this planet that the kids could throw at me that I couldn't handle with a yawn and an eye roll.
Until I moved into a house with 3 floors of white carpet.
Now, I realize that moving into a new place with 3 stories of white carpeting, and having 3 kids is enough to give me a one way ticket to the loony bin. However, realize that the rental market specifically catering to a family of 5 with an office away from the rest of the house in a certain location is harder to narrow down. We honestly didn't have much choice folks. It was either this place or another where there was a giant mud ditch as a backyard, and I weighed the pros and cons to constant muddy children vs. white carpets, and I took my chances.
Since we have moved in I have become anal about keeping the floors clean. New rules in the house consist of shoes off as soon as we come home, and no food is EVER to be taken out of the kitchen or (white carpeted) dining room. And the boys have adjusted well. J and I have pounded it into their precious little heads that they will be in SERIOUS trouble if we ever catch them out of a certain vicinity with victuals in their hands. It has actually created a great sense of family time during breakfast and lunch, as we now are forced to sit across from one another 3 times a day instead of the mandatory dinner time. We're really enjoying these new rules and the consequences they bring.
However food is not the only enemy as I found out today. Oh no, dearies. Oh no. There is something far worse that threatens my precious white carpets, and I never had an inkling what catastrophe awaited me.
I have not been in contact with my friends much since we moved a week ago. So when my good friend K called today, I was STARVING for adult conversation that did not revolve around finances or budgets. In fact I was so starving I broke "The Code" of Mommy friends. I missed her call and called her back during nap time. You just don't do that unless there is a serious emergency However I considered this an emergency as I needed to hear another adults voice, another friends voice... so badly I didn't even finish listening to her entire voicemail to me saying she was putting her kids down to nap (code phrase meaning do not call for the next 2 hours). I owe her big time for breaking "The Code".
Fortunately she was kind enough to forgive me, probably hearing the starvation in my voice as we chattered away. You know you have an amazing friend if you break "The Code" and your friend doesn't rip you a new one. And as we chatted and caught up, vented, reassured, etc, Ashe came up to me, interrupting my desperately needed connection to the Outside World. Now I know, 2 minutes ago he was happily playing with Xaviers DS, and therefore should have been ok for at least an hour. However he came up to me and tugged on my shirt:
"Mommy is on the phone."
"Hang on a moment, K... What?"
"MOMMY I HAVE TO GO POTTY."
"OK... go potty. You can do it on your own."
"OK MOMMY" and off he scampers to the bathroom. I turn away knowing that he shall be ok as he has gone potty on his own for several months. I continue my conversation.
I wander the house, phone glued to my ear as K and I discuss a multitude of parenting things (K has 3 children of her own) when I notice Ashe is sitting on the floor, wearing only a shirt and 1 sock. I look at him curious, but think little of it as Ashe has a tendency to strip. I sit down on the floor as Soren tries to use my legs to stand. Soon I am interrupted again.
"Mommy is on the phone."
"MOMMY WASH MY SOCKS."
"Wash your what??? No, your socks are fine and I'm on the phone!"
"MOMMY MY SOCKS ARE DIRTY."
"(K, can you hang on?) Why are your socks dirty?"
"CAUSE I PUT MY SOCKS IN MY BUM MOMMY."
..... (I mentally turn to K and whisper "Did you just hear that? Did I hear right? Ashe just said he put his socks in his bum...") As she cracks up, I look over and I notice a very dirty sock that was not dirty before (back on his foot) and then I notice something else. A dirty bum. And... little brown spots nearby on my white carpet.
On. My. White. Carpet.
FOR ALL THAT IS SACRED NOT MY WHITE CARPET!!!!!!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO
My first reaction is that seriously, there is no way I heard right. I mean, what kid uses a sock for toilet paper when there are rolls and rolls of them right in front of his little face and he knows what they are for as he has used them many many MANY times!!! And then I begin to wonder, what was he thinking to not only use his sock, but to then PUT IT ON AGAIN AFTER????
As these frantic thoughts race through my mind I jump into action! I jump up, leaving poor Soren to lose grasp of my jeans, falling to the floor with a screech of outrage. I ask K to hang on as I grab Ashes sock (careful not to touch the dirty part) and whip it off. Then, ear to phone in order not to lose it, I pick Ashe up and race to the bathroom. In the toilet bowl I notice POO. And his sock had not done a thorough job of cleaning his bum.
ACK! EWW! GROSS GROSS GROSS! NOOOO! My carpets!!! My brand new white carpets!!!!
Now then, let me take a moment out of my story to offer you one bit of advice. If you ever find a friend who can stay on the phone with you while you both wipe a 3 yr olds bum while venting about it, and while you clean said POO off the floor, without laughing at you, or hanging up ASAP and never calling back... that, my friends, is a true blue friend. And if you ever find a friend like that, you thank your lucky stars, and your friend for being so awesome. K was kind enough to not only stay on the phone as I muttered words under my breath no human should even know, but she let me know she's BTDT.
K, if you're reading this, thank you. You saved my sanity today.
With quick action, a lot of cleaners, enough swearing (quietly so the kids wouldn't hear) under my breath that would put a sailor to shame, I cleaned both Ashes bum and the carpet. The. White. Carpet. You can't tell it's been soiled. There is no scent, no stains... no evidence that it even happened. Except for this blog. And that resonating feeling inside of me that realized that while I may have 3 children, there are always surprises left in store for me, waiting for the right moment when I'm starting to feel too cocky again.
I'm seriously reconsidering that house with the giant mud ditch now.
If you liked this story, please check out Brittany's personal blog about life as a mom at http://suburbanrebelmom.