Let’s face it, as a mom (or a dad, I guess – she types begrudgingly) you get inundated with all these things your kids say and do. And a lot of the time you live in fear. Ok, a lot of the time I live in fear (you need to meet my youngest to fully understand). Fear that they will say or do something stupid. Fear about whether or not they are a “good kid”. Fear about whether or not they wipe their little butts while in the bathroom at school or … dear god in heaven, wash their hands after (I’m going to pretend that my boys do even though we all know the truth). And we all know who’s job it is to make them “good kids”. And we all know who gets a big, fat F when said kid or kids screws up.
So when the opposite happens and you have these rare moments of success … well, I don’t know about you, but I cherish them like a squirrel cherishes a nut (I know, I was going for something funny there and it didn’t pan out … you can’t win ’em all).
Here is a story from many years ago that, to this day, I recall as one of my proudest moments as a mother. I mean, there are so few …
It was the dead middle of summer. You know the DEAD middle – where you’re done being happy that you don’t have to get up for the bus anymore and you’re starting to phase into “why is school not year round?? we are not a farm based society anymore!!” (you’re, also, scarily starting to say this to random strangers at the park). We began hearing reports about pools having to shut down because of “contamination” – the really gross kind (are there any other kinds?). Ya know, like, the fecal kind. Like … oh, you got it? Ok. My kids were at a pool camp that week. Naturally. Where else would they be during a pool contamination epidemic? So I waited for the diarrhea to start flowing. And flow it did from my middle child, AD.
I won’t go into the drama of obtaining that fecal sample. It’s a shame many of us have to live with and I don’t want anyone to go into full blown hysteria while reading this – kind of like I did while I was getting it. I don’t know who was screaming louder – me, AD, or the toilet, but the sound was deafening. Let me just say this, I will never be the same person again. Ever. I’m pretty sure I scrubbed off several layers of skin in the days after and I couldn’t look at myself in the mirror for a good week.
Test results: POSITIVE!! Because, hell!, we don’t do anything easy here!! Or half ass for that matter. Congratulations! – you’ve contracted NOROVIRUS. This fun disease will rip through your child’s intestines, leaving you with hours and hours of bleaching and rebleaching the house on top of having to lather your poor kid up with diaper rash ointment every 7 minutes.
Ahhh, the memories …
Fast forward a couple weeks. AD is on the mend and finally able to enjoy his last little tidbit of summer (poor guy). I’m milling around the house one day (I frequently “mill” – which really means lying on the couch eating Reese’s peanut butter cups and less actual grinding of grains) when the phone rings. The caller ID says it’s our state’s CDC. Um, what?? Naturally my first reaction is, “what did the youngest do now?”, but, alas, it was just a woman calling to check on AD and to find out how he had “obtained” the norovirus (spoiler alert: he swallowed some other kid’s poop at our local pool). I was probably on the phone with her for about 10 minutes when this exchange happened … the pinnacle of my motherhood career:
Her: So after AD, who then caught the virus in your household?
Me: No one.
Her: I’m sorry? Maybe you’re misunderstanding. AD was the first, but then who else caught it – you or your husband or your other children?
Me: (trying to figure out who’s the moron here – her or me) Um, the only person in this house that got it was AD.
Her: Wow! That’s amazing. This thing spreads like wild fire! I haven’t spoken to a person yet that hasn’t had several people in the family with it. It’s almost impossible to contain.
I’m almost embarrassed by the amount of pride I felt. Holy crap! I did something right!! I kept this house so clean that no one else caught this deadly virus (fyi, it’s not deadly). I mean, I deserve an award, right??
Meanwhile, I probably only have 6 months to live from all the bleach and toxics I inhaled while scrubbing the house clean that week. And the skin is just now starting to grow back on my hands, but HELL! I bet that lady told everyone what a great mom I am! I mean, come on!, how many of you can say you had the norovirus in your house and no one else caught it??
Oh? A bunch of you?
Ok, well … anyway.
Please admire this picture of the norovirus … whose ass I royally kicked! (taking my bow now even if no one is home or cares … except the dog … who just sniffed my crotch).