Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Aurora, CO

What a tragedy.  I can't imagine what friends, family, strangers are going through in the aftermath of this senseless violence.  But you know what I can imagine?

Living there.  This town has shown me more about what all towns should be like in pictures and interviews and random filming.  This is what I've learned from the people of Aurora:

Help others - I'd like to say this would happen everywhere.  You grab the person next to you and hurry them out.  You think of others before yourself.  But how many 13 year old kids do you know that would think to stay in the theater and try to help her 6 year old friend?  How many 17 year old kids would think to put a hand over her friend's spurting neck wound and help get her to safety?  How many strangers would help grab someone's kids to help them get out of the theater alive?   I can't say that I would have the mindset to do that.  And that shames me. 

Love others - I know its naive to think, but racism seems dead in Aurora.  Everybody was hugging and comforting everyone else, regardless of age, creed, gender, and race. I thrilled to see interviews of a young black man standing vigil outside of his friend's hospital room.  The love felt in the pictures and video was evident.  Not just love for friends, but for each person. 

Pray - Oh my goodness!  How the people of Aurora lean on God!  It is an inspiration.  Since 9/11 I have not seen so much openness and lack of fear to pray like I have in Aurora!  Thank the Lord that some communities are still open and actively seeking Him!  

So to the people of Aurora, my most sincere sympathies and prayers stay with you these coming weeks and months as the city tries to process the actions of a madman.  But also a resounding thank you, for standing steadfast and being such an amazing example of community and togetherness for this country.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Poop Chronicles, Continued

In all fairness to the girl, I need to keep the stories equal and post one of my favorite stories about the boy from the archives.  This happened about 2 and a half years ago, but still just as funny as the day it occurred.

So, here it is:

I brought the kids to work with me due to a snow day.  In the late afternoon, both of my children need to go to the bathroom, so like any good mother who drags her two kids to work I told them where it was and let them go off on their own.

About 4 minutes later, the girl comes running back to the office.  She can't open the door and I hear my friend Nikki, who's sitting at the front desk, directing her through the door.  'You need to turn THEN push.'  Nikki, bless her heart, realizing she was not going to get the concept, walked to the door and let her in.  The girl looked up at Nikki and said, "Johnny needs help wiping."  Without missing a beat, Nikki tells her to 'go tell your mom'.

The girl comes running back to give me the dreaded news.  I go to the restrooms and see how I can assist my 5 year old.  I get to the door and knock.  I hear some shuffling and the door opens a crack.

Once he sees its me, he opens the door and lets me in.  I walk in and my jaw drops.  Here's the boy with his pants around his ankles and poop smeared down his leg, on his underwear and his sock, looking at me like the world might end.  I just start laughing.  I can't help it!  What else could a mom do at work with no change of clothes for her poop-covered boy?!

I ask, "What happened?!"

He looked at me so innocently and said, "I was peeing and thought I had to fart, but I pooped instead."

I cannot stop laughing.  I thought I was going to have the next accident!  This is one of those moments where you take a step back, and try to make a game plan for the best approach.  Commando? Um...yes - definitely. No socks? No brainer.

I clean him up the best I can, while telling him a lot of guys have the same problem and he wasn't the only one to do this.

Hoping the others couldn't smell the boy, I ushered my kids back into the office, quick sent an email about taking a personal day and shooed my kids out the door and home so the boy could take a bath.

All in a day here The Poop Chronicles.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Poop Chronicles

The music is blasting, I've got tube socks on up to my elbows covered in stain; I am busy refinishing all the kitchen cabinets at the new house when I hear the dreaded call from the bathroom.

"Mom!!!  I need help wiping!"

Really?  You JUST went.  I walk into the bathroom with my hands in the air like a surgeon who just got done prepping for surgery.  

It's a blowout.  How does a 6 year old have a blowout?!  There's poop everywhere!  She looks at me in a panic.  Because I haven't slept more than 4 hours each night for the last 3 nights, I am in no mood to deal with poop.  Especially in the middle of a time crunch.  Now the logical thing to do is take off the gloves and tube socks and help her.  My brain on vapors is not logical.  My hands are still up in the air as I try to walk her through how to clean this up.  

First of all, this girl is my clogger.  She can clog a toilet like a hungover frat boy.  So I give her a lesson in courtesy flushing.  

"When you have this much going on, its polite to turn around and flush the toilet.  It helps get rid of the smell and makes room for the clean up."  

"But it will get my butt wet!" 

"Um - how much worse is a wet butt than what you have going on here?!"

She does what I ask and slides off the toilet, leaving a trail.  At this point, I'm really glad for the vapors from the stain.  They have put a damper on the effects of what I'm looking at.

"Now you need to clean yourself up."  I leave her to wipe and go back to staining.

Three minutes later... "Mom!  It's not coming off!"  I yell back, "How does this even happen?"  Meant to be rhetorical of course, but she yells back "I think I ate too much and it pushed my poop out".  

Our windows and doors are open.  In a new neighborhood. With people who don't know us yet.  And we're talking about poop.  From three rooms away.  Of course, it STILL doesn't dawn on me to take my gloves off and help or to even walk into the bathroom to have this conversation.  That's what sleep deprivation does to you.   

Let me mention at this point, the first time she was in the bathroom, she was screaming for toilet paper in that blood-curling high pitch yell as I was introducing myself to the new neighbors.  I had to apologize and excuse myself to bring her a roll.

The thought to turn down the music and have this conversation in the same room finally creeps into the foggy grey mass in my head.  Yup.  The caffeine has done its job.  Emma looks up at me.  "The toilet's stuck."  What?  I look.  Sure enough.  The girl has christened the toilet.  It wouldn't be a home if she can't managed to clog it.  

Of course we don't have a plunger.  While that thought is slowly rolling around in my noggin, she interrupts and points her butt in my direction.  I'm still dirty.  WHOA.  You're telling me!  Plan B - since toilet paper isn't doing the job (and since we have none left thanks to Ms. Smears-a-lot), get in the tub.  With my hands in the air still, being careful not to touch anything.  I direct her to put the plug down.  Wait - that'd be nasty.  Put the plug back up.  We want the water to drain out.   Now turn on the water.  If its too hot, turn that knob.  No!  Not that one.  That's how you turn it on and off.  Yup, that one....No...the other way, towards the blue.  There you go.  Now turn around and put your booty in it.  

I glance at the progress.  The water isn't doing its job.  Dang it.  Ok - you're going to have to use your hands to help.   She looks at me HORRIFIED!  What?  I have to touch poop?!  Well, little one.  Shit happens.  (No, I didn't say that...I don't even think I thought that. )  I said, it will be ok - I do have soap here.  

Which triggers another thought.  Yes, we have soap, but no towels.  Not even paper towels.  Awesome.  I turn back to her.  Um...yeah - You're going to have to drip dry.  When the booty is clean, hop out of the tub and get dressed.  I go back to staining.

I hear her turn the water off.  "MOM?!"  

"Yes, dear?"  "Do I have to put my poopy underwear back on?"

"No.  Just put your pants on.  No one will know."

(Still yelling 3 rooms away with the windows open.)  "Don't tell anyone, ok? I don't want the other kids knowing."