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The Visitors

Another banner day yesterday at the Kid Zoo I call home. Will had been coughing horribly the day before and was already scheduled to see the pediatrician that AM. But he woke up coughing so badly, I hurried everyone through breakfast, dropped his brothers off at school a few minutes early and sprinted to the Dr.’s office by 9:15 in hopes of getting seen at least one time slot ahead of our appointment. Two time slots AFTER our appointment we learned that Will had a “mild” case of croup and needed a short run of steroids and the really good cough syrup (i.e. there’s codeine in it, and when the boys see the bottle, they all start feigning coughs.) to get him through it.

This accomplished, our day just happened to intersect with Jason’s and we all met at the doughnut shop for a snack so Will could take his first dose of medicine. All in all, not a bad morning. I accomplished all I meant to, got Will on the road to wellness, and even managed to squeeze in some quality time with Jason.

But when I picked the other boys up from school it started to go downhill. Everyone was mildly grouchy and tired (including me) so I put everyone to bed and lay down with a fussy Will in my bed. As he and I napped obliviously, the other three culprits decided to get up and play havoc throughout the upstairs. It’s amazing how much damage can be done in 30 minutes.

Groggy, grouchy and completely disinclined to move, I decided grilled cheese sandwiches were a great dinner idea, and waited until the last second to begin preparing them…only to realize we were out of cheese. I then made the ill-fated decision to attempt a “quick” (ha!) seafood pasta using frozen shrimp and scallops. Long story short: the pasta sauce came out yucky, the seafood smelled off (as in polluted the entire house with the scent of rotten fish), and everyone in the house declared they’d rather have cereal. Perfect.

About this time the doorbell rings. Did I mention I’m in my pajamas from the nap earlier? Did I happen to tell you that I’d cried really hard while chopping the onion for the crummy pasta sauce and unknowingly caused mascara to run half-way down to my chin. No? Well then it’s no wonder I forgot to remember that the Visitation Committee from our new-found church had called to tell me they were stopping by this evening. And that on that Visitation Committee is Bill Bolen, probably THE most recognizable local t.v personality in Birmingham. Awe. Some.

So as I hid in the kitchen with a clingy, whiny, croupy Will. Jason tried to make chit chat while Sam, Tom and Jack verbally (and perhaps physically) assaulted the newcomers.

“Is that your belt?” Tommy asked, poking in the general vicinity of Mr. Bolen’s waistline (Note that I say general vicinity. I mentioned the physical assault part, right?).

“Why yes! Yes, it is!” our visitor said with a smile, edging imperceptibly out of Tom’s reach.

“That keeps your pants from falling down?” Tommy asked doggedly.

“OOOOkaaay! Why don’t you go play cars with your brother?” Jason said with a hearty (and obviously fake) chuckle.

From the kitchen, I closed my eyes and prayed that the Visitation Committee would be struck blind to the dog hair tumbleweeds under the recliner and the bright yellow Play-Doh recently applied to the hearth. I prayed that their noses would fail to detect the pervasive smell of long-dead shellfish or if that was impossible that the pitiful plug-in air freshener near the front door would suddenly gain the strength of 100 air fresheners and bring down that foul odor like Samson and the temple. I felt sweat prickle on my scalp and tried to calm myself down enough to at least go say hello instead of hiding in the kitchen like some kind of weirdo.

In the interim, Tommy has time to regroup and begins a shuffling jig. Fingers pointed skyward, he sing-songs, “I go poo poo in the potty for quarters!”

At this point, I decide to hang it all and come sailing out of the kitchen, with Will clutched to my chest almost like a shield (okay EXACTLY like a shield because it just so happens I don’t usually wear a bra with my pjs, so there!). I smiled. I chatted. I batted lashes devoid of mascara over cheeks covered in it and generally hoped the force of my personality would somehow erase the memory of the sights, sounds and smells pummeling our visitors from every direction.

They left soon after. I’m pretty sure they think I’m manic. I’m certain they think I decorate with rotten sardines. But, on the bright side, we’ve found a lovely church with kind people who actually managed to pretend they enjoyed this horrible visit. But I wouldn’t blame them if theyy took an extra shower once they got home.

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Posted in Family & Relationships, Kids, Parenting, Uncategorized.


5 Responses

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  1. Bells says

    oh we’ve all had days like that. Ah who am I kidding. I’ve never had a day like that in my entire life and I’m not having one now, sitting here in a silent afternoon-sunlit house with a cup of tea and the lap top.

    Wow. You survived though, right? You must have because you’re here telling the tale. And I wanna know if you get any comments from those people later on about what a funny visit they had!

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