“What’s wrong, Mama?” he asks as he climbs onto my lap, a spindly bundle of arms and legs that always manage to sucker-punch an internal organ.
“Oh, I’m just sad,” I tell him, running my fingers through his long dark hair, knowing there are some things that cannot be explained to a five-year-old.
“Did someone hurt your feelings?” he asks, as he stares intently at my face, his wide brown eyes boring holes into the back of my skull.
“No, baby, no one hurt my feelings,” I reply, the truth.
“Did a bad guy come?” he asks, quite seriously as his eyes attempt to puzzle out my expressions.
“No, baby, there are no bad guys here,” I laugh a bit, the tears still pooling in my eyes.
His sister wanders in to notice us on the couch together, and, seeing an opportunity in which she should be occupying the space on my lap, climbs up with a grace I didn’t know could come from my genetics.
“You have a boo-boo, Mama?” she asks, her long lashes open and shut as she, too, studies my face with a stunning intensity.
“Sort of,” I tell her as I kiss her, then her brother, on the forehead. “Sort of.”
“Can I kiss it and make it better?” he asks, looking for any open wounds to put his mouth on.
Before I can respond, she climbs down and runs off. She returns holding a box of Hello Kitty Bandaids.
“Here, Mama,” she says, “I got you a Bandaid – a HELLO KITTY Bandaid – for your boo-boo,” proudly she hands me a single bandaid from her precious collection.
“Thanks, Mimi-Girl,” I say, the tears, once again, falling from my eyes, this time, however, from the incredible sweetness of my children. “A Hello Kitty Bandaid will fix it.”
I allow them both to cover me with Bandaids – every mole, every bump, every scrape now carefully protected from the outside world.
“‘Dere, Mama,” she says proudly. “You’re all better.” She scampers off to find her Lego guys to play with.
My son, however, stays sitting upon my lap, twirling a piece of my hair absentmindedly as he thinks.
“Some boo-boos,” he finally says, “they can’t be fixed with a Bandaid.” He speaks with a wisdom far beyond his years.
“You’re right, my boy,” I say, the tears dotting his hair. “Some boo-boos are in secret spots. Hidden spots.”
“Where you can’t see them, right, Mama?” he asks, without really expecting an answer.
“Yep,” I say. “Some boo-boos are on the heart.”
He looks at me thoughtfully before scampering off to a drawer, where I can hear him rummaging around, looking for something. I turn back to my game of Tiny Tower in the vain hope that my broken heart will soon feel whole again.
He whirls back into the room, a mess of elbows and knees, and clamors back onto my lap, where he elbows me in the sternum, leaving me momentarily breathless.
“Here,” he thrusts a piece of paper into my hands happily. “It’s for you.” He then hugs me so tightly I feel like I might burst and watch as he climbs down off the couch and off to find his sister.
I look down at the paper, curious as to what he would have given me.
Painstakingly, he’d sketched a heart in the center of the page and signed his name in a loopy, scrawling way that only a five-year old can. The tears begin again, but this time, they are happy tears.
He rushes back into the room, his sister and their Lego people in hand.
“See, Mimi? I fixed Mama’s heart.”
And I marvel at them, as they dogpile on top of me, at how I ever got to be so lucky.
Hey Auntie B!
How ya’ doing dollface? Since I gather you are as OCD as me, I wondered what you do to de-clutter the house when the sheer amount of shit you have makes it look filthy? (Of course, I already know the throw-away-one-thing-for-a-year thing, but hubster out-voted me on doing that.)
Hey, did you get that monkey butler yet? If so, I SO want him to deal with my shit! Can I borrow him?
Thanks for the advice! I’ll let you get back to cussing out your whore pants!
Buried under a mountain of shit (not literally)
If you were to visit my home – especially today – you’d say to yourself, “Now THERE is someone who needs to watch Hoarders more often,” and you’d be right. Except there are no more episodes on Netflix which means that I switched to a show called “Obsessed” where (in different episodes) someone was:
a) afraid of an El Camino, yelling, “Oh FUCK! An El Camino” whenever he sees one. This has caused The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly scream “El Camino” while the other two cower in “terror.”
b) afraid of eating her own poo*. THIS has lead to The Guy On My Couch, The Daver and I to randomly step out of the bathroom and say, “WHEW, thank GOD I didn’t eat it. It was a close call, though.”
Mental illness, who says it can’t be entertaining?
(not me, and I’ve got a doozy of a case of PTSD)
This is how I clean my house:
Step One: Cut A Hole In The Box
Step One: Look around the house angrily and wonder how three children plus three grownups can amass so much crap.
Step Two: Watch a video about snails.
Step Three: Grab 2 garbage bags and begin to either throw away or donate the shit on the floor and/or anywhere else it’s not supposed to be.
Step Four: Wait for someone to notice.
Step Five: Keep waiting.
Step Six: Continue waiting.
Step Seven: *hum the Jeopardy song*
Step Eight: Watch a video about dancing frogs and/or hamsters (time depending)
Step Nine: Realize no one, in fact, cares about the shit I’m dumping, so begin a massive purging of the home, until I have at least two garbage bags full of stuff to donate.
Step Ten: Allow sufficient bags to accumulate in the garage until Daver drives them over to Goodwill, where they remark, “HOLY FUCK” as he unloads the bags.
And when I’m trying to decide whether or not I should keep an item, I go through these Choose Your Own Adventure Style Questions:
Is it useful? If yes, go on to Question 2.
Is it useful to ME? If yes, go on to Question 3.
Is it REALLY useful? If yes, go on to Question 4.
You’re not crafty. If still yes, go on to Quest 5.
Place item in DONATE bag.
What IS this? If you know the answer, go on to Question 2.
Will they notice if I dump it? If yes, place passive-aggressively on pillow. If no, go on to Question 3.
Do I care if they notice it? If no, go on to Question 4. If yes, place passive aggressively on toilet seat.
Place item at BOTTOM of DONATE bag, then feign ignorance and/or discuss the whereabouts of robot monkey butler Mr. Pinchey until person whose item is now gone is so annoyed that he stalks off, ready to leave the toilet seat up in retaliation.
Plus, I try to get rid of ONE thing each day. It doesn’t always work when short people bring home rocks and sticks that they claim to love, adore, and cherish…until Max and Ruby is on. Then I wander off singing “Max and Poopy” under my breath, while I figure out a way in which I can murder a cartoon bunny rabbit for being so. fucking. annoying.
Also, Prankster, I’m planning to get a Roomba and label him (with my label maker!) Mr. Pinchey. It’s not as awesome as my imaginary camel named Mr. Stompy and it’s not as cool as a REAL monkey butler, but Daver tells me that PETA will throw fake dead fetuses** at my door if I get, then train, a monkey to be my butler. EVEN IF, I was sad to note, I bought him a wee tux.
Damn PETA, holding me back from living mah life.
*Coprophobia, I think.