And although one is eight-and-a-half going on 30, the other is a mere 21 months old.
Over a span of 8.5 years of parenting, I experienced something for the first time last night. Something no man, woman, or child should ever have to be witness to in their entire lives. I don't even think I'd punish criminals this hard.
My 21-month-old son pooped in the bathtub.
Look. I know a lot of you are thinking, "You are a mom. You have the natural ability and instinct to deal with that type of stuff." I'm here to tell you that is wrong. My husband was a Master Plumber, and even he did not volunteer to clean up that nightmare. He gagged and then ran out of the bathroom laughing, secretly high-fiving the 8 year old when I wasn't looking.
(I can't swear to that, I can only go off gut instinct.)
So I cleaned it.
The image is now stuck in my head for probably the rest of my life, and again I'm struck by how horribly-made children are, because the baby would've had no qualms about continuing his bath. He was actually mad when I made him get out of the tub.
What world do these little Neandrathals come from again? Please remind me. Please tell me in what capacity is it ever acceptable to poop in the bath water and then continue to play in it? I have to know this. They seriously don't come equipped with any sort of "right and wrong" gauge. At all. How bizarre is that? Even newborn puppies paddle their feet when you hold them over water, yet these--our children--the ones that are supposedly the highest on the food chain--they don't care about poop or germs or running out into oncoming traffic or anything.
I woke up this morning thinking about the little girl from the Poltergeist movies. Apropos, considering it is Halloween, but what I thought of specifically was little Carol Anne, framed by the light of the television, turning around and letting us know, "They're heeeere," in that no question about it kind of tone.
But this morning, rather than poltergeists and spooks and ghouls, I was thinking about 300,000 writers counting down the hours until November 1st like some kind of spiritual awakening: The remaining 24 hours until the start of National Novel Writing Month.
"They're heeere," and they're writing novels, dammit.
And this is my year, poop aside.
Today, I will brew pot after pot of delicious, steaming coffee. I will "get organized." I might "make an outline." I might do a little pre-writing or something equally tasty. I think I will Organize My Writing Area. I will try to forget all about last night's bathtub episode, and how I gagged and cursed my family and The Gods, wondering how we ever evolved into human beings, and what it really means if we are still born so completely clueless about our own bodily functions. And then I'll wait. And wait. And wait. Until the clock strikes midnight.
And then, my friends, we write.
Until then, there's probably something somewhere that needs to be picked up or washed. Cherstin, out.