So when the phone rang six years ago and she was dry heaving into the line because my nephew had "an accident" the night before, I was totally ready to field that call. I knew exactly what I wanted to say to him, I wasn't nervous about it, I was ready. He was 11, it was time. It was my job, my part of the bargain, and I was prepared. Turns out, he wasn't, and his step-father eventually had to handle it.
But isn't it funny how when it's not your kid, it's just no big deal.
And now I have entered the dangerously deep waters of blogging, where there are things I am not at liberty to discuss anymore. All this time, my kids experiences have also been my experiences. Their stories are my stories. Our lives have been intertwined the way children's and parent's lives are supposed to be. But now I have this kid who is just about 11 years old, and his life is just that. HIS. Some things are just not mine to share anymore.
Unless, of course, it involves the laundry, which is my job. Then he's just screwed.
He was asleep on the couch when I came down the other day. When he woke, I casually asked why and he casually replied that he'd had an accident. I nonchalantly reminded him that I peed in his dad's bed once when we were dating, that it happens to the best of us, and we both had a good laugh over the whole thing. As I walked into the kitchen I mumbled over my shoulder, "Don't worry, dude; I'll have your sheets washed before you get ho...."
And that's about when I started dry heaving.
After all, he will be turning 11 soon. He is getting zits. He does smell like the bottom of a horse's foot. It's time, right? Not right. Not time for my baby, nuh uh. So, I'm grinding the coffee beans thinking, "Oh god, what do I DO here? Do I go look? Do I even know what I'm looking for? Do I ask him? Do I smell his sheets? ARGH." While the coffee got to brewing he came in the kitchen for a glass of water, and I, not brave enough to risk the mental image that would be burned into my brain for eternity, put on my therapy grin and just asked him.
"So, are you sure it was pee?"
"Dude, you're almost 11. It could not be pee. Your cousin thought it was pee the first time, too."
"So, you're certain that it's pee?"
I asked his father to check things out for me, because yeah, eww. Also, no. Either I forgot to check back in with his father or his father forgot to check in the first place, but after a few hours spent in astonishingly impressive denial I had to go do some laundry downstairs. Whatever, I grab the basket and I get almost all the way down when I see sheets all over the floor.
This cannot still be happening. God save me from this, please. PLEASE.
I gave God the length of time it took me to switch loads, but little did I know that God can hold a grudge for a really long time. The sheets remained crumpled on the floor, and I was left to view the carnage. Alone.
I lifted, with a lightsaber. I poked, with a shoe. I sniffed, from a distance. I looked, through one squinted eye. Friends, the jury is still out. I just don't know what exactly I was looking for, you know? And I am more than happy to call it peepee and get on with my fake plastic life anyway. Now pass the Reader's Digest and let's get on with it.
Not entirely true. I'm kind of a prude, actually. Don't tell anyone.