Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ring Around the Port-a-Potty & the Emergency Waterboarding Station

This might sound terribly anti-American of us, but this was the first year we took the kids to see fireworks. It's not that we hate our country (::cue God Bless the USA::), it's just that taking kids to fireworks seems as logical as taking bunnies to a pop music concert (everyone knows bunnies are prog-rockers). I mean, the eldest is not even five and always had this aversion to LOOOUUUD NOOIISES. Plus, these things typically start at, what, 9:30? 10:00? If my children are ever awake at that hour, it's typically because they've found themselves sleeping in a bed of urine and have no idea how that happened. Or because they're simply protesting bedtime because "Where Froggy go?" and I'm like, WHO THE HELL IS FROGGY. That happens, too.

Anyway, this year we went to see some fireworks with a few friends, and it was really fantastic. Neither child fretted about the insane possibility of sustaining heat stroke in the 100 degree heat or lamented that the fireworks were taking for-EVERRRR to get here or plugged up his ears at the BOOM of those little-white-annoyingly-loud fireworks or protested the stinging-oh-my-god-the-burning bugs or flinched at the WARNING: ALLIGATORS signs or scoffed at the port-a-potties. Which is why I protested each of those things, of course, because they're under five and don't know shit about appropriate times to be freaking-the-fuck out.

It started when when we first chose a spot for prime firework viewing. After everyone had set down their chairs and unraveled their blankets, my husband pointed out this ant...colony? I feel like "evil empire" is more fitting, but whatever. The point is that there were hundreds climbing in and out of this hole in the ground which was the size of a golf ball, and the ants were...large. But when it was deemed that they weren't actually trekking over in our direction, we decided to stay put. Or, everyone else did and I secretly watched ants out of the corner of my eye for five hours. Just. In. Case. This paranoia worked to both mine and my son's benefit when the toddler made a spontaneous and unwarranted leap onto the ant pile to perform some sort of ancient dance routine. It was as if he were possessed by some tribal firewalker, with the crouching and the jumping and the shrieking. Okay, I was the one shrieking, but still. I saved him from the ants. Well...the one ant. The one that was on his shoe and didn't at all bite him. (A scene may have been caused.)

Then there was a lesson in how running-toward-the-water's-edge-with-wild-abandon gives momma heart palpitations and alligators aren't really as friendly as that idiot (Dora the Explorer) might suggest, young son. Teachable moments, 'n everything.

Next, after "gently encouraging" my youngest to guzzle roughly 62 ounces of water in about 15 minutes, possibly in combination with mini-lessons about heat stroke and the importance of hydration, and just stop running for five seconds because YOU'RE THE VERY COLOR OF FIRE ITSELF, I took the youngest child to find a bathroom. Within a few moments, I realized we were going to have to use a port-a-potty. But I could do this! T9 is small enough! I have hand sanitizer! Space shouldn't be a problem! I can breathe through my nose! Hell, it's practically a childhood milestone! Of sorts! PULL OUT THE EVERLOVING SCRAPBOOK!

I'm sure you see where this is going.

Okay, you stand here, kiddo...
::tries to peel off toddler's sweat-drenched shorts::
"Scoot this way, bud."
::ass bumps door open::
::continuing to try to unclothe the child::
::knock on port-a-potty door::
"Ah, we're in here...just a [yanking at shorts]...just a [sing-song-y] god-damn se-cond!"
::flashbacks of recent port-a-potty peeper headlines::
::peers into toilet hole::


After all that, he "Can't do it, Mama!" in the port-a-potty and I may have wiped down his entire body with a germ-X wipe anyway. Then, in true Texas-mocks-you fashion, the non-existent clouds parted and the sun shone down on an actual bathroom, to which we instantly marched and peed in successfully. Along the way, we ran into "It's WALL-E!", and there began an evening's worth of obsession.

Hours later, the each boom of a firework was echoed by "Where Wall-E go? Where he go?"

Just as I thought the catastrophe was winding down, that evening and the following morning were peppered with inexplicable stomach pangs for each child--the kind that cause frantic is-he-going-to-shit-his-pants-?-! scenarios to play in the minds of mothers such as myself. Then, back in the comfort of our air-conditioned home, Plus One tried to revive a dying glow stick by cracking it again, except this time it cracked OPEN and squirted instant-cancer-liquid-stuff directly into his eyeball.


What followed was a sequence of events that included flashbacks to my 9th grade broken emergency eye-wash station (and perhaps the memory of my first ever panic attack!), shrieking (of the child, me, probably even of the cats and any nearby armadillos), the physical wrestling of a 50 pound four-foot tall 4 year-old to get him into the bathtub and flush his eye out, and what may or may not have been some accidental waterboarding of my flailing child. His eye is fine and I can now add "torture" to my resume in case Guantanamo is ever hiring.

My god, it was a weekend, I say.

Late the other night, as our children lay in bed dreaming of portable light towers and eyeball transplants, I sat collapsed on the couch, and looked around at the wreckage that lay in the kitchen, dining room, and... entire house. Then I turned to my husband and said, "You's a good think I'm not paid to be a housewife, 'cuz I'd've certainly been fired based on this weekend's performance."

My husband then surveyed the wreckage himself and gave me a Roman thumbs down. (I hereby plea for mercy from the audience.)

But the boys really liked the fireworks is the moral of this story. I think.

If you'd like further evidence of my domesticity (read: ability to keep my children alive and my house off the show Hoarders), check out my post today at The Mouthy Housewives. Because I share cleaning tips. It might involve taking a swig of a bottle of Lysol. (And by "might" I mean, of COURSE it fucking does.)