I found my power as a mother yesterday. In an unexpected place.
We had to take new puppy’s fresh poop sample in for giardia testing. He had giardia (some nasty intestinal thing you get when you eat yours/some other creature’s poop. Or just living here in CO will do it to you as well). He had antibiotics. Then we test again after a period of time to make sure all the giardia eggs/spores/whatever are gone – thus the need for the fresh poop sample.
This poop sample due date dovetailed with the start of Spring Break for Sissy and Sonny (which will be a STAYcation for us this year since I – uh – don’t HAVE A JOB. Thanks for bringing it up), so they were home when the fresh poop appeared and the sample was swooped up and bottled. And this is where my power began (mwa ha ha – evil laugh).
You see, you can pretty much make your kids do ANYTHING you want when you’re holding a fresh poop sample. Especially when the poop container is most likely tightly closed, but might still be leaking scent. And the warm poop has begun to fog up the container’s interior.
“Get in the car! We’re going!!” Rustle, rustle, scramble. The kids are in the car, buckled, waiting for me by the time I arrive. Fastest getting-in-the-car process in the history of our family. Ever. [hmmmm…interesting]
Because the ride is all of 10 minutes, naturally they have to get the “bugging each other” portion of the event started right away – which consists of poking and swiping at each other from buckled positions. This starts as soon as we pull out of the driveway.
“Stop TOUCHING each other! It’s gonna go bad soon and then you’ll be in trouble and Spring Break just STARTED!” I say (in a shout-y sort of way. Lenten Promise Mom left a long time ago. Her work here was done). I swing the hand holding the poop sample around to the back seat. Both kids pull back from the container like zombies recoiling from a flaming torch. [hmmmm…VERY interesting…POWER!!!]
Simultaneous to the poop container slash flaming torch scenario, the kids are also talking about wanting to see the new movie that’s out. As they describe it, it sounds fairly dumb. It’s animated and it’s the kind of movie that uses the phrase “filled with pratfalls and hi-jinks” to describe itself. And we all know that any movie that uses “pratfalls” and “hi-jinks” to describe itself is pretty much GUARANTEED to blow chunks.
My “we’ll see if we can fit that in next week” doesn’t inspire confidence so they move on to another topic. Sissy has gotten the brilliant idea to come up with as many alternative words for poop as possible:
Sissy: “Poop. Poo. BM. Pies.”
Sonny: “No! PIES?!”
Me: “Yes, I suppose. As in cow pies.” [why am I even PARTICIPATING IN THIS?]
Me: “NO! Not even close. Stop it.”
Sonny: “Diarrhea. Bowl winder. Toilet snake. Poop bridge.”
Me: “Ok. I’m not sure those are actual terms anyone uses. How about ‘stool’?” [WHY AM I PARTICIPATING IN THIS???!]
Sonny: “What?! Stool?? Mom, that’s dumb.”
Sissy: “Hey! I know!! Let’s come up with other names for throw-up!” [variations-on-a-theme I see.] “How about puke, toss-your-cookies, vomit and throw-up. Well, that’s about it.” [Ok, I’m for sure NOT participating in THIS conversation. Otherwise I’d add “blow chunks” to the list.]
Me: “Look! We’re here at the vet. Sissy, can you please run this in??” (Sissy wants to be a veterinarian. Which means I can make her do just about any dog-related activity I want if I use the phrase “well, you’ll need to get used to doing this if you want to be a vet.” At which point she promptly complies. Even to the point of taking up “the torch” in the form of the poop sample container.)
While she’s gone, Sonny – who remains intrigued with the way our vet tested the new puppy’s ears for infection BY SMELLING THEM. THOROUGHLY AND REPEATEDLY – poses the question, “what if vets had to test for giardia by putting the poop in their mouth??” He then promptly descends into maniacal laughter.
Sissy is back shortly and a round of the “do-your-hands-smell?” game ensues. (You know that game, right? You pretend YOUR hands smell and then you ask the other person – ohhhh, say for example someone who’s been holding a poop sample container – if THEIR hands smell. When they go to smell their hands, you smash their hand into their nose. That’s a fun game, right??) Except in THIS version, we’ve skipped the making-the-other-person-smack-herself and we’ve just gone straight to smacking her directly.
And alas. I turned in my “power” at the vet’s office. So I don’t even try to intervene. But it occurs to me during the ride home that this Spring Break STAYcation is going to be FILLED with “pratfalls and hi-jinks.” I’m going to need a LOT of poop sample containers to get me through.