Saturday, May 12, 2012


It’s a given that most of us never get around to starting or finishing projects around the house until we find out we’re moving and need to sell our house.  And then once those projects are done we wonder why we hadn’t finished them a long time ago so WE could be the ones to enjoy them, not the people who buy our house.  Now that Leslie and Ryan have found themselves a part of that procrastinating group we all belong to, we have been spending a lot of our time the last couple of weeks helping them paint, tile, pack, clean and finish all those other little projects they knew they had years and years to complete because they were never going to move.


And, since we are also planning to move in a couple of years, when we haven’t been helping out at their house, we have been staining the woodwork we hadn’t managed to get around to for four and a half years ...

... because we were never going to move either. 

We’ve all been in pretty high gear for days but recently all of our engines have begun to misfire.  Our gears have been grinding and sometimes we can barely get from first gear to second.  It became obvious we needed to idle a bit.  So today Leslie and Ryan left to spend a night in Denver and enjoy a concert they’d gotten tickets for way before they knew their life would be crazy at this moment in time.  We are keeping the kids while they're gone because Ryan’s parents were busy and we couldn’t think fast enough to come up with a reason to get out of it.  Juuuuust kidding.  If it wasn’t for those kids I wouldn’t be entertaining you with this blog post.  I’d be sitting out on the deck … in my glider, drinking a gin and tonic … listening to the birds sing … waiting for Dean to feed me dinner.   Instead I’m at the computer, drinking a gin and tonic …waiting for three kids to fall asleep ... so I can too.

So……the kids arrived at 9:40 a.m. this morning all geared up in hiking boots, hats, jeans, long sleeves and carrying their special nature bags.  Off we went to the grocery store to buy our nutritious Lunchables and Crackerjacks.  As everyone was choosing between slimy fake turkey, oily cheese and crackers, or slimy fake beef, oily cheese and crackers or slimy fake ham, oily cheese and crackers, I realized  that I had forgotten to bring any washcloths so I went searching for some kind of hand wipes.  But since I never buy hand wipes, and we were in a store I don't normally shop in, I couldn’t find them.  I could have asked somebody but I just didn't feel like it so I decided we’d be fine just wiping our hands on our jeans.  We were going hiking and rock hunting after all.  We weren’t going to an afternoon tea at the Governor’s Mansion.  I had no idea what serious ramifications that seemingly innocent decision would wreak upon me a few short hours later.

Loaded with two small coolers filled with our nutritious lunches, two backpacks filled with extra jackets, water, sunscreen, camera, and water bottles, and three special nature bags, we headed out of town to our destination.  All went well.  We scrambled over rocks, 

discovered amazing fossils, 

helped speed up the natural process,

 and had an awesome lunch of slimy meat, oily cheese and Crackerjacks. 

Near the end of our adventure Myra got a panicked look in her eyes and said she had “to poop.”  I hadn’t factored pooping into my equation when I chose not to pursue searching out the wipes.  All I had was half a kleenex in my pocket.  Once Myra made sure it wasn’t “full of boogers” she accepted it.  I found her a place near a bush which was nice and flat, had no cactus in sight and left her.  “Be sure to bring the Kleenex back,” I said.  “We can’t leave it out here.”

When I got back to where Pierce was waiting he had the same panicked look in his eyes and I caught a whiff in the air that had definitely not come from the few wildflowers we’d seen blooming.   I took Pierce’s hand and we headed to another “bathroom.”  Myra handed off the half a kleenex to me as she headed back the other way.   As Pierce and I walked I was trying to remember how I’d done this with my own girls years and years ago.  Did I just brace them as they squatted or did I make a triangle of my arms with their little butts pointing through the opening?   I found another nice flat spot, cactus free, and I pulled down Pierce’s jeans and underwear, still not quite sure of my role in this pooping matter.  Then I looked down and realized the whiff had been much more than just a spurt of gas.  Think underwear filled with gooey wallpaper paste.  Only brown. That tiny square of already-used kleenex was not going to cut it.

Squatting was definitely not an option now.  I quickly made a triangle of my arms and lifted him up hoping to contain the thick paste globbed onto his cheeks.  I knew immediately that I needed reinforcements.  As I held him up, jeans and overflowing underwear bunched up around his ankles, brown butt pointing through the opening in my triangle arms, I yelled “I need help!  I need help!  I need help!”  Emerson came running.  “I need a plastic bag or a coat or a shirt or, or, or, anything!”  She opened the two backpacks and I saw coats and shirts flying.  One backpack held plastic bags but they were filled with the remnants of our oily cheese and slimy meat lunches.  I wasn’t really desperate enough (yet) to use a bright yellow shirt as toilet paper so I said, “tell Papa I need help!”  She yelled.  “Papa!  Nada needs help!  She needs help!”  In the meantime I looked down at the ground and discovered Pierce had been hard at work and on the ground was, well, more wallpaper paste.  As he was calmly propped in my triangle arms, tiny brown butt hovering over the ground, his pants leg dangling dangerously close to everything he’d eaten in the last 12 hours, I continued to yell for help, Emerson continued to yell for help, and Dean hollered back, “Nada can take care of it.”  (Later he told me I “didn’t sound desperate”)

I couldn’t let Pierce stand up because the “paste” would plop down his legs onto his pants.  I needed to get those pants and the overloaded underwear off but I couldn't get them off without taking off his hiking boots first and I couldn’t take off his hiking boots while he was nestled in my triangle arms.   Pierce was completely at ease but my arms were becoming tired and Dean was 50 yards away nonchalantly gathering the coolers and water bottles we’d left when we went exploring after lunch.  Finally Emerson convinced him my situation was becoming desperate and he arrived with two nearly full water bottles.   Dean carefully got Pierce’s boots, socks, jeans and underwear off, and then I tipped Pierce’s butt up as Dean began pouring water and I wiped the brown sticky paste from his little butt with my hand.   Yes.  My hand.  Because a few short hours earlier I hadn’t thought we would need wipes. 

So there we were; Pierce was in my triangle arms, tipped up so his little skinny butt was nearly facing the sky, Dean was pouring water on him, I was smearing the “paste” around and hopefully off of him, while girls and Pierce are all laughing.  At least we were in the middle of nowhere.  Two quarts of water later he was clean (enough) and we decided it was time to call it a day.  Other than Myra running into some cactus (which required some miniscule needle extractions), a tree branch (which resulted in a few tears), and a rock, (a few more tears), the walk back to the car was uneventful.  We stopped for ice cream on our way home and nobody even wrinkled their noses when we walked in to the shop. 

It was a day of learning.  The kids learned about rocks and fossils

 and what “going commando” means.   

 I learned never to go anywhere without hand wipes.



Jerry said...

Now I know why "OLD" people don't have kids.

Art Elser said...

I had a similar experience, except it was with my 90-year-old mother in a restaurant back in NY. A disaster as it unfolds and giggles in retrospect. Got her as cleaned up as I could--you should have seen the look on the woman's face who came in as I was trying to clean Mom up--so I could take her back to the rest home she was in. Some day, you'll perhaps pay Pierce back? ;-)))

That first picture of your granddaughter climbing on the rocks could be you. She is lucky to look so much like her Nada. Lucky kid.

Except for the poopastrophe, the day looked like fun. Is Dean teaching them to lick rocks?

Abby said...

Eeeewww!! I like how Dad just conveniently ignored you for awhile. But it the end it was a group effort :-)

Heidrun Khokhar said...

Yup! I know the feeling of that brown just coming by surprise. But hey it's life! the outing was still a huge hit. the pictures prove that.