Long Drapes, Lunch Dates and Barf

I have been sitting here at the computer for a sweet forever, and all I can say is, “I have no ideas on an introductory sentence tonight.”

(I’ve taken enough English and grammar and literature and composition classes to know that without a solid, attention-snagging opener, you’ll lose your audience.  Never mind that three sentences in, you pledge to deliver gold bars to anyone who’s still reading.  If that very first sentence isn’t a show-stopper, no one will hang around for the second one, which means NO GOLD PAYOUT.)

In the midst of my beginning sentence issue, I’ve just spent thirty entire minutes looking at Pinterest, because Pinterest is the biggest black hole known to professional time wasters.  Tonight I learned how to fill in nail holes in my wall with a bar of soap, how to make homemade pasta noodles, and how to hide things behind drapes and curtains.

Listen.  I’ll never make homemade noodles.  I don’t have a lick of Italian in my DNA, and I’d honestly hate to put someone named Mama Lombardi, who works nineteen hours a day in a factory that makes spaghetti for distribution to grocery stores nationwide, out of work.

But do you know what caught my eye?

HIDING THINGS BEHIND CURTAINS, because… well… Can I put the enormous pile of junk mail from my dining room table there?  And what about this pile of cracker crumbs on my kitchen floor that’s truly big enough to bread a blue whale fillet with?  Can it be swept behind the curtains, too?  The post certainly snagged my interest, because it would be so handy to hear the doorbell ring and yell, “Shove the entire dining room table behind those curtains over there, so that the guests don’t think we live like packrats with a three-story nest full of treasures!”

As it turned out, the article was utterly useless to me, because it was all about how one woman chose to hide her broom, mop and upright vacuum cleaner behind her dining room drapes, since she didn’t have a closet to store them in.  There was no paragraph about how you can shove three weeks’ worth of newspapers behind a Roman shade, in six easy steps.


Do you know what I did today?

I had a grown-up lunch, that’s what.  Jodi and Kim and I herded all seven of our children into Jodi’s house.  We threw in some microwavable macaroni and cheese and some applesauce cups, and we LEFT, because 7th graders are LEGAL BABYSITTERS.  We went to lunch at a restaurant that doesn’t sell hamburgers in little cardboard boxes.  We didn’t have to say things like, “Sit up here and eat,” or “Quit throwing your green beans on the floor,” or “Leave the salt shaker alone,” or “You’ve already made four trips to the bathroom; you don’t need to go again,” or “Stop pestering your brother.”

Honesty, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to eat without getting up out of my seat fourteen times to fetch napkins and refill sippy cups and get more ketchup for someone.

We girls covered three-point-nine million conversation topics, ranging from TEENAGE ATTITUDES to IT’S NOON AND YOU’RE STILL IN YOUR PAJAMAS IN FRONT OF THE TV SO SCHOOL CANNOT START SOON ENOUGH.

No one put their hands in our food.  No one stole the croutons off of our salads.  No one pooped his pants while we were eating.

I felt refreshed and renewed.

We picked up the kiddos from Jodi’s house, and the seven of them had spent a marvelous two-and-a-half hours together.  The boy even changed Thing 2’s HORRIBLY UGLY DIAPER, because Ciara (age 12) cringed and said, “He’s your brother.”  Thing 2 had learned to climb the ladder on Blaine’s bunkbed.  He demonstrated his new climbing skill to me by going up and down sixteen times before we left.  The kids had a ball together, and even they were refreshed and renewed.

And then I came home, and Thing 2 showed me LOOK, MA!  I CAN SHOVE MY WHOLE HAND DOWN MY THROAT, AND I GAG, AND I KIND OF LIKE GAGGING!  The first time he did it this afternoon, I hollered, “Stop!  You’re gagging so hard, you’ll barf!”  Thing 2 just grinned from ear to ear and shoved his entire hand back down his throat.

And then he barfed all over himself and the floor.

Barfing made him laugh.

In fact, he threw back his head and howled with ALL THE FUNNY at barfing.

I cleaned up the mess, which was rather substantial.

Twenty minutes later, I looked at him, and his hand was down his throat again.  He was grinning at me.  I yanked his arm out of his mouth.  He spun around, shoved his hand back in, gagged like a bobcat about to dislodge a grapefruit-sized hairball, and puked all over the rug in my home office.

And did I think the first puke was substantial?  Yes.  Yes, I did.  But apparently it wasn’t, because Phase II was STINKING SUBSTANTIAL.  And IT WAS ON THE RUG, PEOPLE!  Thing 2 hopped up and down and giggled like a hyena at comedy night.

He sat in his crib for a couple of minutes.

After I released him from Time Out, he grinned enormously at me.  He patted my shoulder and said, “Mama.”  MELT.  MY.  HEART.  And then he shoved his hand down his throat and started gagging again.

He’s seventeen months old and apparently bulimic now.

Jodi and Kim and I did not discuss WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOUR BABY THINKS IT’S FUNNY TO GAG HIMSELF AND BARF at the lunch table.  I had no reference point for how to handle this one.

And let’s not forget that Thing 2 learned to open the dishwasher yesterday.  Do you know how convenient it is to have your baby yank the dishwasher open?  And help you out by unloading all of the clean dishes onto the floor?

I may need a Big Girl Luncheon tomorrow, too.  And while I’m there, sitting at the restaurant table, I’ll confess that I put an empty cereal box and an empty Goldfish crackers box behind my dining room drapes.

They’re sitting right next to the watermelon rind and the pile of cat hair.

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