Friday, April 04, 2008

Paging Mike Rowe

Gather 'round, friends, 'cause I've got a story...

I'm just about to call the guy from Dirty Jobs to come to our house. I don't know if this day can get much dirtier, and it's not even dinner time yet...

I've documented before how my daughter is an Agent of Chaos. And let me tell you, she is miffed that I didn't acknowlegde Autism Awareness Day yesterday. Believe it or not, I wasn't aware. I guess I'm not the only one. I don't refer to or think of Amelia as "my autistic kid" in the same way I don't refer to or think of her and her brother as "the twins." They're just who they are, every day.

Anyway, I guess Amelia must have gotten wind of the big day yesterday, and is apparently upset that we didn't get her a present or something. Never mind the fact that she's never been officially diagnosed with autism. (Or anything more specific than "developmentally delayed," for that matter.) Or that she doesn't understand more than a handful of words. She was ticked off and decided to show it.

Her usual chaotic ways were not enough today. Oh sure, she still took all the cookbooks off the shelf to agressively flip the pages, in her quest to gradually make them unusable... despite being told "Those aren't your books!" for the twentieth time since breakfast, and being led to her very own collection of out-of-date encyclopedias, almanacs, dated hairstyling guides, trashy novels, and anything else that seems suitable for her destructive needs. And of course, she dropped and or spilled snacks that didn't meet her very high quality guidelines. And she naturally dumped folded laundry on the floor as she always does if you leave it for more than a moment.

No, this was a step beyond.

First she found a way to get her hands on a full container of soy sauce. Not those wimpy little jars you usually see either - this was a big, honkin' 1.25 quart jug of the stuff. Then, she found a way to get the cap off. And after that, she found a way to turn that combination into a joyous fountain of reddish-brown, briney, Asian goodness.

Her reward for this creative play was to get a bath. As is so often the case for her, gaint mess = bath. Did I ever tell you about the time she ahd her brother made flour angels on the kitchen floor? Probably not, since that was back in the pre-blog days. Allow me to illustrate:

Ok, so back to today. She's in the bathtub, squealing and splashing away. I come down and get out an old towel to sop up the mess. Then I mop up what's left. As long as I have the mop, I figure I'll mop up our 20+ year old cat's new favorite place to pee. (Hint: It's not in his litterbox. And don't leave your shoes by the front door if you come to visit.) And his favorite place to barf. Well, I take that back. He has a whole top-ten list of favorite places to barf.

Anyway, since Amelia's still happily occupied, and since Lori's still being sucked dry by the Incredible Growing Baby (almost 2 lbs gained in under 2 weeks), I thought I'd take the little guy for a bit to give Mom a much-needed break. I rock Baby O to sleep, eventually, while Lori tries to sneak in a nap.

He finally sacks out. Now it's time to go check on Amelia. It's never a good idea to leave her unattended in the bath tub for any length of time. No, there's no fear of drowning. She just tends to spill water on the floor. Like so much water that the glass light fixture on the ceiling below the bathroom once filled up with about a cup of water before I unscrewed it and got a free shower.

She also likes to throw her bath toys across the room. And if you don't give her any, she'll reach out of the tub to get them from the basket, so she can throw them anyway.

Oh, and she likes to poop in the bath.

Yes she does. And this isn't some cute little baby poo either. She's almost five, eats a disaster of a diet, and she can really drop a disgusting load.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I walked up the stairs, not knowing what I might find.

A tell-tale smell made me wince. And hesitate for just a moment.

But as I rounded the corner, I was surprised to find no unsavory surprises in the tub. The bath mat was wet, and the toys were scattered everywhere, but not as bad as I feared.

I walked up to the tub to pull the drain plug out, feeling relieved. And as I stepped up to the tub, I felt an odd sensation on the bottom of my foot.

Did you ever walk in that thick kind of mud that just builds up on your shoes? With each step, more mud cakes on, and your feet get bigger and more unweildy?

Yeah, it was kind of like that. Stuck to the bottom of my foot was a giant clay-like, squishy, smelly clod of poo.

That's right. She crapped in the tub, found it offensive, and so picked it up and threw it on the floor.

Now I've stepped in a lot of poo: Horse poo, goat poo, donkey poo, dog poo, cat poo, pig poo, alpaca poo... but somehow Amelia poo is far grosser to me right now.

Especially in bare feet.

Amelia, Lori and the baby are all asleep right now. And e5 is at his grandparents' house.

And I am in the fetal position, in the darkest corner of the darkest closet, rocking slowly and humming happy melodies to myself as I type this.

Anybody know a good therapist?


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At 4/04/2008 6:45 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

OMG! I feel for you, man! I used to work in an autism clinic while in college and those kids are "creative" to say the least!

I prescribe some chocolate, a nap, and don't come out of the corner until Amelia is asleep!

At 4/04/2008 7:56 PM, Blogger e4 said...

Lisa - I think my spouse would veto that plan under current circumstances. But it sure does sound good to me. I'll at least try Step #1. Though come to think of it, chocolate doesn't sound all that appealing at this particular moment... Hmm.

At 4/04/2008 8:57 PM, Blogger Robbyn said...

LOL, hang in there!!! (handing you a bottle of bleach...)

At 4/05/2008 8:33 AM, Blogger Wendy said...

Oh, man! That's one of those very-funny-not-funny-at-all situations, where you have to laugh, or literally curl up in a ball.

I hope you were able to enjoy some peace while everyone was asleep ;).

At 4/05/2008 8:34 PM, Blogger JBTW said...

I'm really sorry to say this... but your story made me laugh. Several times. I'm sorry to laugh at your pain.

At 4/05/2008 9:04 PM, Blogger e4 said...

One thing that helped make up for the trauma was when my wife read it and laughed out loud. I was hoping the funny side would come through. :)

At 4/06/2008 8:57 AM, Blogger jewishfarmer said...

Edson, this made me laugh so hard I almost spit my tea on the monitor. But not because I don't identify - I found it hysterical because I do, oh, too well (about the annoying cat, too ;-)).

Eli does not, thankfully, poop in the tub anymore, but it isn't like I don't remember it (remember, he's older than Amelia). But he does not like to wear a pull up after pooping, and has been known to remove it and then go snuggle into his bed, the couch or (gah!) your lap.

You have all my sympathies - and perfect empathy ;-). And thank you for the wonderful laugh - I think it is easy not to reveal these things, in the goal of making it seem like you've got it together, but it really helps to know you are not the only one.


At 4/06/2008 9:52 AM, Blogger barefoot gardener said...

Oh, you poor man. Things will settle eventually, I promise.

At 4/07/2008 5:54 PM, Blogger Morgan said...

I so needed a good laugh!

At 4/10/2008 12:43 PM, Blogger network_weasel said...

I sympathize with stepping in unpleasant things, as one of our cats was sick recently and in a single morning managed to leave surprises that got both my wife and I. And on rugs no less.

At 4/15/2008 11:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lol -- That's nasty, sadistic laughter because someone seems to be having a worse day than I did.

Sharon's post remined me that at one point it seems that my younger dd's sizure aura (so to speak) was hiding a dirty diaper somewhere at school. She come home with naked bum, and I'd waking in the night to find her shaking beside me...(happened 2 times, so I don't think it counts as a pattern.) The teachers and I couldn't figure out how she did it becuase the children were so closely supervised.

Happy days,


At 4/21/2008 9:22 AM, Blogger Suzer said...

Oh e4, I can so sympathizeabout Amelia, and empathize about the cat. I can't even count how many hairballs I've stepped on in the middle of the night in bare feet. I can only imagine that people poo is a billion times worse. *Gack* I love the pics of the flour angels. My neighbors son did that with a large bottle of baby powder (but he was 4 and definately knew better!)


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