Thursday, December 3, 2009
Since I know some of you (like me) are observers, I will start with a little explanation of the elements of the photo.
Yes, that's my sewing machine on the kitchen island.
Yes, I keep my collection of thread spools in a box Caelan's tennis shoes came in when he was 3 years old.
Yes, that is some of the new fabulous Heather Bailey felt on my sewing machine.
Yes, I have a Fiskars project going on my cutting mat behind my sewing machine.
Yes, I have a box of Velveeta on my table and it has nothing to do with what I'm serving. That is the location of things-to-give-to-people. You know, that one place things collect into a giant pile until it drives you batty? Mine is the end of my dining room table.
That other container on the table is Cayenne pepper for those who want their burritos spicier.
Yes, I'm a fan of paper plates. And no, I don't believe man made global warming is real so yes, we burn those paper plates.
The glass of yellow fluid on the table? Funny you should ask! Now that we have all your other questions answered, we can focus on the story about the glass.
I often talk about what it's like to be the only girl living in a house of boys. I don't mind it at all. It makes life interesting. It's made me less sensitive to teasing. It makes me feel protected and cared for. And it makes for some really awesome laughter. But it also makes some of my odd tendencies a challenge to keep in check. In check for my own good.
I have a propensity to smell things. It's not as bad as my younger sister's urge. The key difference is she lives in a house full of girls so she lives a life of pleasant smells wafting across her nostrils, things like hair products and perfumes. If she decides to pick up her daughter's pencil and smell it, there's a good chance it will smell like strawberries. I don't pick up pencils in my house and smell them. There's no real odds of anything good resulting from that in a house of boys. Boys don't have any interest in buying scented pencils. Your odds of a bad smell are pretty much 100%.
Unfortunately, if the odds are anywhere above 50% that the smell of something will not be offensive, my natural instinct to smell it takes hold. One of Shawn's favorite stories to share about me is the result of my poor luck at the 50/50 game.
Before severe arthritis took hold, Shawn used to be a runner. He ran or worked out every single day. Shawn is also a very neat and tidy person. So one day when I came into our bedroom and saw a pair of his running shorts on the floor, my automatic reaction was to think they were clean. I must have dropped them when I was doing laundry. The best way to tell? Smell them. Yes, I did. After all, my odds were 50/50. And no, they weren't clean. And yes, he walked into the room at the precise moment I lifted them to my nose and inhaled. And no, he hasn't stopped laughing about it since it happened over 10 years ago.
I could share other stories with similar results, stories such as it didn't really matter if it was chocolate or poop, it didn't belong on the floor. 50/50 didn't lean in my favor that day either.
Normally those moments just leave me wishing I had someone monitoring me to use better judgement. Someone like me when I watch CSI. I like to believe that if I were a CSI, I wouldn't walk on to a crime scene and ever have hopes of 50/50 leaning in my favor. So when I watch CSI, I yell at them. "DON'T smell that!" Then I look at Shawn and say, "WHY do they SMELL things?" The running shorts have been mentioned more than once when I ask that question.
Something that happened Tuesday left me in a bit of a predicament. Not only do I have an urge to sniff things, I also have the uncontrollable urge to tell on myself. I once had a boss who laughed at me one day and said, "I've never seen anyone who tells on themself like you do. I never have to worry that something you've done wrong in your job is going to suprise me and come back to bite me because you will have already told me about it." So it's typically viewed as a good quality. But when you're the person who has done the wrong (or less-than-intelligent) thing, it just adds to the growing list of things to entertain others. So Tuesday, when I was in the shower and saw the bottle Will plays with and it was full of yellow fluid, my thought process went like this:
What IS that?
I have boys. That's PEE!
It looks like pineapple juice.
But it's not pineapple juice.
The bottle is clear but it's also green. Maybe my eyes are playing tricks.
Pick up the bottle and look down in the opening.
No, don't sniff it! It's not pineapple juice.
Sniff it. It's pee but you have to be SURE it's pee.
There's a LOT in the bottle. If it's pee, he must have peed in it several days in a row.
Just get it over with and sniff it.
I sniffed. 50/50 was against me again. And I was unable to resist the urge to tell Shawn about it. I didn't get past telling him that I noticed the bottle was full of something yellow. He started laughing and said, "You smelled it! Didn't you?"
Expecting to be the source of laughter for the rest of the night, I was surprised when, instead, Shawn said, "Let's play a joke on him!" My survival instincts took precedence over my protective mothering instincts. I was in.
I went in the kitchen and mixed up a container of pineapple juice and making sure I chose a clear class instead of the little blue plastic one he normally uses, I poured a glass for Will and set it at his place at the table. When he came to the table, he said, "Mmmm! Juice!" and he took a big drink.
Shawn said, "Yeah, Mom found some strange water in the shower yesterday and used it. How did that happen, Mom?"
I said, "I was taking a shower and I saw that green bottle you play with. It was full of pinapple juice and it didn't really belong in the shower so I brought it in here and thought you might want to have it with your dinner."
This further reinforced my belief that I could be a good CSI. Trick the suspect and get them to confess. As long as I can leave the room or find a convincing reason to turn my back before I start laughing (I ruin a lot of practical jokes), I'm your man.
This photo is Will's reaction. But he didn't confess. Instead he sat for a minute trying to keep his composure. Then he got up and started pacing and crying.
A little more pressure on the suspect got him to break down and confess that it, in fact, was not pineapple juice. It was pee. The tears really started flowing and he ran for the bathroom saying, "I need to rinse my mouth out!!"
Being the awesomely nurturing parents we are, we were roaring with laughter as we called him back to let him know we had played a trick on him. Along with it was a gentle mention that collecting your pee in containers in the shower is not, as we're quite certain he already knew judging from his reluctance to fess up, acceptable.
And I do believe we should be involved in the criminal justice system. Between my nasal identification skills and Shawn's ruthless methods of mental torture, I'm quite confident we nipped the covert peeing-in-the-shower operation in the bud, even if we did introduce a life-long suspicion of yellow beverages.
I love living in a house of boys.