Thumping around the house with one black heel on, I was on a quest to find its missing mate. I had five minutes to throw myself together and head out the door. After giving up on the search, I opted for a different pair of shoes and realized I had one minute to spare.
Throwing my laptop case over my shoulder, I simultaneously reached into my purse to feel around for my keys. Women have an amazing way of sensing items with our hands. It’s as if we have a pair of eyes on our fingertips. Lipstick, eyeliner, pack of gum ... I moved to the other pocket.
Suddenly, I felt something foreign, and I instantly knew a serious breach had occurred. The object was soggy, and I recognized a gridlike pattern. Then I felt a cold substance. No, no way. It couldn’t be what my sleuthing fingers were telling me. Immediately I had flashbacks of what we had for dinner the previous night. It was Wednesday, which meant it was our "breakfast for dinner" night. I closed my eyes, took a deep breath and confronted the inevitable.
I slowly lifted from my new white leather Coach handbag a syrup-soaked, half-eaten Aunt Jemima buttermilk waffle. A sound escaped from my throat, not unlike a wild animal's warning cry to its prey. Snapping back to reality, I glared at my son (I saw him shudder), tossed the sticky mess into the trash, gave my hands and keys a quick rinse, and ran out the door. I would deal with this later.
Over the years, my furniture and personal items have been magnets for everything that doesn’t belong there. I’ve had the pleasure of excavating dirty socks, chewed gum, a melted (previously frozen) chocolate-covered banana, baby teeth, Legos, dog biscuits, action figures, pizza crusts and a plethora of other unexpected things from the crevices of my couch cushions, purses, appliances and automobiles.
I have found missing music CDs in the freezer, uneaten sandwiches in the washing machine, toy cars in the toilet (that one cost $200 to fix) and a bag of birdseed in a silverware drawer. We don’t even have a pet bird. Seriously, what is wrong with my children?
Dr. Seuss warned me that I may find a Wocket in My Pocket, but a waffle in my purse? I throw my hands up to the universe on that one. However, my co-worker once discovered the family hamster was in her bag when she got to work, so no comment.
There are times when I swear my kids were born to me via compliments of karma, and this is my retribution. Sigh. They have conjured up several stunts over the years, some making me laugh to tears and others driving me to near insanity. I have found hundreds of rubber spiders in my shower, fake dog poop on my pillow, booby traps set upon entering their rooms and dead bugs preserved in my ice cube trays. (Want to get your kids out of the house this summer? It's not too late to sign up for summer camps.)
Mixed in with scaring me nearly to death, testing my patience and putting me in situations I couldn’t imagine (my son threw up at YAYA's on three occasions, and I will never show my face there again), kids do and say the cutest things that make it all worth it.
From writing the Tooth Fairy a letter explaining that the price per tooth has increased due to inflation, to putting bandages on a tree that was oozing sap, to smacking my rear in the middle of the cereal aisle while shouting “Who’s your daddy?” (my ex thought that would be hysterical), my kids always manage to make me laugh.
But one particular precious moment remains one of my favorites. My son was infatuated with lighthouses when he was about 6 years old, and I took him to St. Augustine. When he saw the old lighthouse, he pointed, gasped and said with utter amazement, “Oh my God, that’s where the president lives!”