Today I’m reflecting back on the drama of this past weekend and I’ve decided to give you a glimpse into the backstory of our adventure, some of the behind the scenes happenings I don’t normally talk about on the blog.
I guess you could call it the soap opera version of Poppy’s New Adventure. So, welcome to this latest episode of The Days of Our Lives…
First, let me backup to Friday night. Our usual routine is to go to McDonald’s on Friday night and let the kids play at the indoor playground. It’s typically not busy with a lot of other kids on Friday nights, so it’s a good time to go and the kids really look forward to it.
Kaleb didn’t have a good day at school (he got a sad face on his daily behavior report) and I was not inclined to reward his bad behavior with a trip to McDonald’s. But I decided we should go for Kenzie’s sake since she shouldn’t be punished for Kaleb’s bad behavior. Then, she decided not to mind me (unbelievable, I know), so we went on home and I saved the trip to McDonald’s for Saturday.
One of the children’s parents wanted to see them so Saturday morning we met the parent at McDonald’s. The parent and kids played and visited for awhile and then I had a candid discussion with the parent about a matter on which I won’t elaborate on this blog. The discussion resulted in my feelings getting hurt though the parent may not have known, but probably intended it. The parent’s feelings were probably hurt as well.
I know it’s hard to imagine, but I actually do have feelings that can get hurt. And it seems like it’s happening more often these days than it used to. But, guys aren’t supposed to cry when their feelings get hurt, so I get mad.
After McDonald’s we ran an errand, taking the parent with us, and then I took the parent to the parent’s house. I allowed the children to go in for a few minutes to see some of their other relatives at the parent’s house.
While I’m standing out in the front yard waiting for the kids, I started smelling the distinct odor of fresh dog poop. And this sense of dread starts to overtake me.
You know the feeling.
You start looking around on the ground hoping the reason you’re smelling dog poop is because you’re just standing close to a pile of it, when you really know the reason you’re smelling dog poop is because you stepped in it.
Yes, I had stepped in dog poop, large dog doo-doo. And, I had not only stepped in it, but somehow splattered it on my pants. There were chunks of dog poop all over the legs of my pants!
And I had my running shoes on and the poop was compressed into every crevice tatooed in the soles of my shoes as well as encasing the heels of the shoes. And, Kaleb had stepped in it as well.
It was like adding insult to injury. Not only were my feelings hurt from what the parent had said to me at McDonald’s, but now I had dog doo-doo all over me, Kaleb, and possibly the car.
Now, I was really steamed and had good reason to be, don’t you think? After all, the parent had just said those hurtful things to me and now I have dog doo-doo from that parent’s house heaped upon my emotional wounds. Seems somewhat ironic, doesn’t it?
But the car was my biggest concern at the moment. We had to get in and drive miles to our house and I feared getting dog poop in my car, my SUV, my precious SUV, and smelling it up. The vehicle would never be the same again if that happened!
I had a partial package of Boogie Wipes in the car. (I always have Boogie Wipes and I use them to clean up just about everything, including snotty noses. Now I’m adding “cleaning doo-doo off shoes” to the list of uses for Boogie Wipes.) I used what was left in the package to clean the doo-doo from my pants and partly clean off the bottom of my shoes and Kaleb’s.
So, I wiped and rubbed and gagged, and grew angrier.
By the time we got in the car and started driving home, my hurt feelings had transmuted into sheer outrage. I had been insulted and imposed upon twice already and I was just trying to be a nice guy!
Have you ever noticed that problems come in three’s? Why can’t just one bad thing happen so you can deal with it before the next bad thing happens? No, it seems that troubles arrive in triplicate. I suspect, though, that the subsequent problems may occur because of our bad response or overreaction to the initial problem.
But, maybe the rest of my story will provide an answer for that question…
Still fuming, I got the kids home and jumped out of the car and threw the shoes and any car mats that might have come into contact with the poop-soiled shoes out of the car. I didn’t pull the vehicle into the garage, but rather left it and the shoes and the car mats outside in the driveway overnight to dry out and air out.
The next day was Sunday and I had the kids ready to leave for church, uncharacteristically, on time. They were dressed stylishly and I had done a pretty good job of fixing their hair, especially Sissy’s. That’s because an article had been published in the Sunday newspaper featuring our family and I wanted the children looking particularly cute as we made our entrance into church that morning. It was our one day of fame and I wanted to make the most of it!
I went to grab the car keys and couldn’t find them in their usual spot. I hurriedly began to search all the other spots in the house where I sometimes drop them. I told the kids to start searching as well because I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make a grand entrance into the church.
I soon surmised that in my haste and frustration of the previous day, I might have left the keys out in the car. I went out to the car to look for the keys and found them–in the ignition. I reached over to turn the ignition switch and start the car and to my horror the ignition was turned to On!
Yep, the third difficulty in my trifecta of troubles had happened! I had left the keys in the ignition with it turned to the On position overnight and the battery was run down. I mean, it was dead, totally, completely dead. Looking on the bright side, I suppose I should be thankful that no one stole the vehicle.
My first thought was that one of the kids, probably Kaleb, saw the keys laying in the car and put them in the ignition and turned it to On as he attempted to start the car. (Don’t worry, they aren’t big enough to step on the brakes while turning the ignition, so they can’t start the car even if they have the keys.)
Then I remembered that when I decided to leave the car out on the driveway overnight, rather than pulling it into the garage, I had turned the ignition to On so I could crack the windows open. Apparently, with my hurt feelings and outrage and all, I had left the keys in the ignition and the ignition turned to On!
I suddenly realized why I shouldn’t have sold my wife’s car two years ago to help pay for our SUV. We were stranded. At our own house. No second vehicle because we can’t afford one with the SUV. And now nobody will get to notice us coming into church!
Once I accepted the fact that we probably weren’t going to make it to church in time to be noticed, I began to wonder how to resolve our predicament. I watched the street for a neighbor driving by, but it was Sunday morning and not much was happening out on the street.
In desperation I sent the kids over to knock on the door of the nearest neighbor in case they weren’t up and out of bed yet (yes, I use the kids to do things like that, but only when I’m desperate). Fortunately the neighbors were up and came over and gave me a jump and our car started.
By this time, though, it was too late to try to go to church. Nobody at church that day got to notice how cute the children were. Nobody got to tell me what a wonderful (grand)parent I was.
Our day of fame went down in infamy…
So, that’s the story of our drama-filled weekend. It’s the story of my life. It’s One Life to Live and As The World Turns with All My Children!
And, in case you’re wondering, are my feelings still hurt? Yes!
Am I still angry? No!
Do I feel foolish? Certainly!
Did the dog doo-doo ruin the car forever? I must admit that was a bit melodramatic, but we’re not getting a dog any time soon!
So, what’s the moral of this story? Sometimes I just wish we could move far, far away and not tell anybody where we lived. Not really, but when the doo-doo gets too deep around here, I just want to keep the children away so they don’t step in it.