Gabe has spent the day upchucking everything from SpongeBob SquarePants yogurt to chocolate ice cream to water. Reminds me of another day spent surrounded by ickiness....
“What’s that?” my husband said as he pointed to the dark red stain splashed across the middle of my summer blue tee. “Did you get shot today?”
“Yes,” I said with a smirk, “by a one-year-old armed with raspberry yogurt, a wicked left arm and a mean streak.”
Stains aren’t a new thing around our home. So I must confess our offspring come by it naturally. We have, after all, trained them well.
Trying to eat a large chalupa stuffed to the brim with tomatoes, cheese, lettuce and beef probably isn’t the most sensible thing to eat while in a car. And doing it while driving down the interstate at a speed best reserved for a NASCAR qualifying race definitely adds to the danger.
“Whoops,” I heard my husband muffle. I looked over to see him, mouth full of artery-clogging goodness, holding the chalupa in one hand and picking bits of tomato from his lap with the other.
I did a quick count of hands (and being the math whiz that I am) discovered that meant he was using the old steer-with-your-knees method to keep our SUV on the road.
I also noticed that tomatoes weren’t the only food overboard. “How’d you manage to get taco sauce there,” I said. “I think that’s considered illegal in eleven states.”
“Hey,” Jon countered as he scooped a glop of gooey beans from the sliver of seat not protected by his legs, “I wasn’t the one who got sour cream on the rear view mirror.”
OK, point taken. I was still a little confused about that myself. But it does illustrate how neatness proves elusive in our home.
Chaser, our golden retriever, once yakked up something so hideous under the dining room table that neither I nor my husband went near it for days.
In my husband’s defense, he thought I had taken care of it. But, in reality, even I was scared of this one.
I gingerly got down on hands and knees, leaned in and looked just close enough to see half of a dark blue crayon and what I could only assume was the business end of what must have been one very slow and unfortunate rabbit.
Gross didn’t even begin to describe it. Comparing it to the creature that popped out of that poor guy’s stomach in “Alien” didn’t even begin to describe it. This thing was in a category of gore all on its own.
I threw a dish towel over it and shut the door. Said a short prayer for Bugs, the not-so-rascally rabbit, and walked away.
No, I’m not proud. But I guarantee it was much better than Plan B, which involved a nuclear warhead and a Snicker’s Bar.
Two days later, while sitting at the kitchen table, Jon sniffed the air and said, “What’s that smell?” He looked around, as if the offending odor was marked with a red neon sign shaped like an arrow blinking Stinky Stuff Here above it.
Uh-oh, I thought, and grimaced behind my newspaper. I glanced down at the perpetrator of the crime, who was currently wrapped around the bottom of my chair and desperately waiting for a portion of my cinnamon roll to drop between her paws.
She panted in the way that makes a golden look like she’s smiling. The end of her black lips turned upwards, long tongue flopping out the side of her mouth. Bless her puppy heart. She was completely oblivious the you-know-what was about to hit the fan.
I decided she might be cute, but I wasn’t quite willing to take a bullet for her…yet. I slowly lowered the newspaper and responded with a distracted-sounding, “Huh? What? Did you say something? Uh, want to go upstairs and…uh…do that one thing you saw on the Internet last week?”
However, my powers of distraction proved less than stellar. Jon was already on his feet, walking around and doing the sniff test.
I had only a few precious seconds before Columbo discovered the source. I knew what must be done. I leaned over, patted Chaser on the head and said, “Good luck, puppy. This one’s yours.”
I reached the backdoor just as I heard Jon yell out, “Holy Shi#!”
Fortunately, I was quicker than the rabbit.
(originally published September 5, 2005)