Monday, May 3, 2010
Cleanup on Aisle 9
Being a parent is amazing. You experience a love you’ve never known before, you laugh and cry with new depths, and you wonder at creation and your place in it. Children are great teachers for their parents. Katie has taught me to look at the world with a child’s eye, to see the beauty in everything and everyone. Davis also taught me a new concept this weekend: revenge urination.
For all five of you who read my blog (Hi, Mom, yes, I’ll call), you know we’ve done some renovation in the house. Scott and I also tend to think “hey, while the house is destroyed, let’s take care of all the other little things we’ve wanted to do.” So we tackled the pantry, which had hideous wire shelving and was an awful shade of brown. It also smelled like dog food, despite the fact that the house was vacant a year prior to our buying it and we do not own a dog. No offense to dog lovers, but think of this: if you don’t own a baby, chances are that the smell of baby food doesn’t get you that fired up. But I digress.
We painted the pantry to match the rest of the kitchen. We went to Lowe’s for the shelves. What follows is roughly the conversation I had with the kids prior to getting out of the car at Lowe’s:
Me: Kids, we have to make some very important shelving decisions in here.
Katie: Can shelving decisions be important?
Me: Yes, very.
Katie: We’re talking about a room nobody sees and it still smells like dog food.
Me: Very important!! Look, kids, I need you both to sit quietly in the cart and let Mom and Dad pick out shelving.
Davis: I want to watch Toy Story.
Me: Focus, people. I need you to be good.
Davis and Katie: OK, we’ll be good.
Me: No causing scenes, just being quiet.
Davis: But I have to go potty.
No problem. We went into the store, I steered Scott toward the shelving aisle, and I took Davis to the potty. Remember this plot point – it will be important soon.
When we got back to the shelves, Scott and I began the long, drawn-out, terribly earth-shattering decision of what type of material and what color the pantry shelves should be. After all, this is where the instant grits and the Prego will go, so we can’t make this decision lightly. Davis began to get restless. He began to pout. He began to make threats. Scott and I were so busy, we weren’t really listening. We just did the “yes, dear” thing that parents do when they aren’t paying attention. Davis announced that he was bored and wanted to leave. We told him we were close to picking something out and he could wait. Then he stood up in the cart. “Daddy, we’re going to have to wash my shorts when we get home,” he said. As Scott and I turned to see what he was talking about, he stood up and URINATED. IN AISLE 9. In front of a dad with some small kids and a couple who went home and bought a lifetime supply of birth control.
Scott immediately whirled the cart around and left the store with Davis, leaving a trail of what was certainly not bread crumbs. While I was relieved (oops, sorry) that I wasn’t going to be the one to deal with him, I was left with another matter: the large lake of Davis’s anger. Should I run? The security cameras surely had all of this on tape. So I did what any mother who is past any capability of embarrassment would do. I stood there, straddling the puddle, helpfully guiding other home improvement shoppers:
“Hi there! My son just revenge-peed and my husband has taken him to the car to explain appropriate behavior to him. Or beat him, I’m not sure which one. Anyway, I’m standing watch until someone with a mop rescues me. Would you like me to reach the shelving bins for you? Do you like green or yellow? A wicker look is also nice. Yes, I also think the pink is inappropriate in a kitchen. Good to chat with you. ‘Bye, now!”
At which point the 5% of people in Knoxville who do not think I am certifiably insane crossed over to the other side. Canada is looking better all of the time. Moose don’t judge, right?