Tuesday, August 21, 2007

CRAP ...

I had it all worked out. I have been working on it for some weeks now, and I was going to post it all on Monday. I was going to do a review of the summer which is passing all too quickly. I was going to write about completing 4th grade … turning ten … camp 2007 … even more health challenges in the family … teenagers moving out of the house … romantic weddings … ring bearers … first week away from home … cruising … stuff, stuff and more stuff. Stuff that makes me think global speeding is as much to be concerned about as warming … too much humans-doing rather than humans-being … and then, Monday happened.

DDTF is away until Thursday. With all the time he is spending in Buffalo, I am considering changing his name to Bill. By the time he returns he will have visited with the family in Toronto as well which gives meaning to his time away from home.

Ross and I had planned a number of possibilities for the day. As it was raining on and off all day, we decided to spend a chilled day together – summer reading for school 2007/8 needs attention, there’s a movie we wanted to watch and we had some cooking activity planned too. Once we had done all this, I was very much in the mood to sit down and bring this page back to life with the stories as listed above.

We enjoyed a yummy lunch and curled up together on my chair to watch that movie. It is quite interesting to see how we have mastered this. It is really a case of necessity being the mother of invention. When DDTF is away, my lift chair becomes my bed – so when Ross and I want to lie in bed and watch TV – it’s squeeze on to the chair or not at all. Pingy decided she didn’t want to be left out. There are special doggie stairs for her to get up on to the bed and then she jumps from the bed on to, as in this case, our laps. The three of us were shnoogled up on the chair. Could it be any cosier?

About ten minutes after Pingy settled in, she hopped back over on to the bed and promptly threw up all over it. Ross and I started unfolding ourselves off my chair. It is important to note that these situations are not done at the speed my brain knows they should be done at. In my brain, I am up and off my chair in seconds, dashing up the hall to the kitchen for kitchen towel, back in the room, lunging across the bed to the middle and furiously mopping up the dog’s insides before they seep through the duvet cover on to the duvet. If only! The reality is that while Ross charges up the hall to the kitchen, I am shouting instructions like, “Bring the whole roll of kitchen towel, not just some sheets, and bring the disinfectant wipes, and Ross, also bring an empty shopping bag and also bring my picking up thing.” 'Picking up thing' is one of those amazing pieces of equipment that allow me to pick something as small as a paper clip up off the floor as well as reaching for things off shelves that I can’t climb up to.

This is where Ross shines. “Ok Mom, got it, getting it, found it, where is it, oh I see it, I’m coming!” gets yelled back down the hall at me. However preceding that on his way up the hall to the kitchen were gasps of, “Mom, there’s poo everywhere, and lots of other throwing up. There’s some in the hall, oh and more in the living room. Mom, come see it is in the dining room and even in your office.” While I am picturing the scenes of the chain-vomit-demon-crapper-from-outer-space-dog activity that awaits me in the rest of the house, I am trying to calm Pingy down as she continues to produce more of the same in my bedroom.

So the big clean up, wipe up, wash up, fold up, roll up and pop into the empty shopping bag (were you trying to work out what that might be for?) began. This went on, without exaggeration for well over an hour. At one point though, Ross made a spontaneous decision to put two sheets of the kitchen towel into his bathroom loo. As I heard him flushing it, I cautioned him about the dangers of clogging the loo with kitchen towel. “Too late, Mom” he replied – the toilet is blocked.

I made my way into the bathroom and I will spare you the details other than to say Ross and I stood there screaming, “Oh no, it’s going to over flow.” As I stood in utter disbelief and overcome with fear, I started shouting, “Ross, there is no way that is dog poo. Oh my goodness move back this toilet looks like it is going to frigging explode!” Fortunately, the water stopped just at the rim of the bowl. Ross was insisting on finding the plunger and I have to admit that as amazing as he was being, I was shouting at him that he had no prior experience with plunging a blocked loo and making a mistake with this particular process would present a hazardous outcome. While Ross steps up to the plate for me with a maturity far beyond his years, he weighs somewhere close to 53 pounds. There are just some boy jobs I can’t picture him doing yet. Today however was clearly a day full of surprises.

I take no shame in admitting to being happy I was born a girl. I would hate to have to do those things that I emphatically categorize as ‘boy things’ and a blocked loo is one of those things. I also admit to knowing how ludicrous it is to reach for the phone and to call my husband when he is literally in another state, but I do when these things happen. I had DDTF on speaker phone so Ross could hear him tell me that we should go out of the bathroom and come back in about half an hour. By that time he predicted the water will have drained and we should be able to successfully flush the loo. I had told DDTF that I had already dragged the kitchen towel and what seemed liked various other reams of paper out of the clogged loo already and that there was no visible signs of any more paper. When Ross interjected that the kitchen towel in the loo was his mistake, I felt so bad for him as I could see he was feeling dreadful about having made this mistake. Noticing this sort of acted as a slap in the face to a hysterical person and it washed a sense of calm over me. I hung up the phone, ran the picking up thing under very hot water, set it aside and put my arm around my little warrior. I told him not to feel bad, that he had been doing a totally awesome job and flusing the paper in the loo was a logical spontaneous thing to do under these circumstances.

I forgot to mention that when we were still in the bedroom wiping and washing, etc. we had to remove the duvet cover. Again, this is a task that most Moms would complete in seconds. For me however, it is physically demanding and I don’t have the strength and agility to do it in the speedy, sweeping movement that it requires. Instead, Ross goes to one side of the bed, I am at the opposite side and as quickly as we can (which is really not that quick at all) we remove the cover. Ross then run off downstairs to the laundry to dump it in the washer.

As I was assuring Ross that he needn’t feel bad about the loo, I realized it we should go check on Pingy. I confess that I was thinking to myself that if I was going to find any more disgusting froth and/or poo that needs wiping, Pingy and I might find ourselves in our first real bad space in 14 years.

To our relief Pingy was lying in her basket and we agreed she must be feeling like shit. Ross stroked her and we assured her everything would be ok and that we do actually still love her. I said to Ross this would be a good time to go downstairs and get the washer going. Off we go and I discover that he has dumped the duvet cover into the washer on top of a wet load of laundry. I won’t extend the length of this story with a detailed outline of how Ross climbs up on to the dryer next to the washer to haul out the cover and then the wet items which are in the after effects of the spin cycle – i.e. way down deep in the bottom of the washer, half their size and a pain in the ass to get out. Again, with combined effort we haul the stuff out, dump it in the dryer and get the cycle going on the washer.

We proceed back upstairs, do a ‘there better not be more crap upstairs for us to clean up’ check, and everything seems ok. We decide between us that Pingy must have eaten something that upset her tummy and that now her body had rid itself of it, she would be ok. The required 30 minutes had passed so we ventured back to the bathroom. I decided that as a token of appreciation and acknowledgement I was going to let Ross have his attempt at plunging the loo. He really wanted to do this and had been successful in his adamant search for le plunger. If ever we needed the theme from Rocky or Chariots of Fire playing in the background, it was in that moment. My hero loosened his neck like any boxer would before entering the ring and shook his legs like all runners do before they assume the ‘on your mark’ position, and down he went on his haunches. He plunged that loo like it was a scene from The Lion King’s Loo and then flushed it. I think the first words out of my mouth were, “You are going straight into the shower!” and as I stood there looking down at this disgusting loo again filling up and stopping just before the top, I realized that I had reached my limit for the day. I cleaned the plunger under boiling hot water, put it away, put my arm around my plunging warrior, told him to close the lid on the loo and we walked out the bathroom closing the door behind us.

“Mom, what are we going to do?” he asked me.
“Ross, when Daddy is away, there are some things I am just not prepared to deal with. Fortunately we have another bathroom. We are closing the door, and tomorrow morning I will call the plumber. Sometimes it is really easier for me to fix things with my check book.” (To clarify that I did not lose my shit completely in the bathroom, that is how we spell cheque book in the USA).

Thereafter, everything and the dog calmed down and a sense of normalcy returned. Ross and I called DDTF and told him we felt we had earned the right to eat the last Flake in the drawer. (Flake being a delicious chocolate that DDTF’s cousin had recently sent him a supply of from the UK). We shared it and re-assumed the position on the chair. For the remainder of the night, the doggie steps were removed from next to the bed and Pingy would have to spend this night in her own bed … just incase.

I am writing this post at 4am on Tuesday morning so if my tenses are disjointed in relaying this story - forgive me. I slept a few hours but as often happens when DDTF is away, I don’t sleep very well. When I got up from my chair and stood over Ross and watched him sleeping, curled up in his duvet on my bed – I extended thanks and adoration over him.

As a person who firmly believes nothing happens for nothing – that there is a lesson in everything – a blessing in the worst of situations and that our thoughts become things, I urged myself to put this down to nothing more than a blue Monday. I assured myself that there really was no subliminal message here and that my life is not on a downward spiral to shitdom, that this was just a really bad day.

I reminded myself how much I really do love Pingy and Ross kept reminding her all evening how much he loves her. The pic below was taken on the first day of summer camp while waiting for the bus.

If you are wondering about the new look blog from thee most technically challenged blogger, I am almost reluctant to make mention of it in this post because it seems disrespectful to do so at the tail/tale end of this particular title (no pun intended) – but I had nothing to do with it. It is all thanks to my oh so clever and oh so kind budvolina down in South Africa – angel – you can make your way over to her place by clicking on her homepage link in the previous comments section – because yip – I still haven’t worked out how to get all those icons back on to my posting template that would allow me to link by saying, click here. She gets all the credit and thanks! (And with that in mind, I will click on PUBLISH POST soon and hope for the best as to how this will present itself on the page.)

I will continue to work toward getting that post up with all the wonderful and some not so wonderful things I mentioned earlier. I thought this would be a great way to sign off for tonight. This great pic that Ross took at my nephew’s wedding rehearsal dinner last weekend. Let Tuesday shine as a bright, fresh new day and more than anything, let it bring me a punctual plumber.

Thank you, Ross for delivering beyond the call of duty and for being the coolest ten-year-old photographer. DDTF – come home!