I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. I love my children. I love my children.
That isn't so much a declaration of maternal love, more of a mantra I've been chanting to keep myself from harming them.
I was feeding the baby a bottle. All was normal. Kids were playing. Then I realized Meaty and Bird were being quiet. All parents are familiar with that "too quiet" quiet. That silence that screams impending doom. I sent Pork Chop to see what they were into. She came back an announced that they were playing with potatoes. No biggie. What harm could they cause with potatoes. The worst thing they could do was take a bite out of them, and since they were destined to be boiled then mashed tomorrow (the potatoes, not the children), I didn't think a missing chunk here or there would make a difference. I continued feeding the baby and didn't give the quiet children another thought. In fact I was a little relieved they had found something so simple and non-messy and quiet to play with.
Or so I though......
As Squeaky was finishing her bottle Meaty wandered into the room. He was unimaginably happy. The kind of happiness that comes from doing something illicit. I'd seen that look before. He had huge clumps of white all over him. A closer look told me they hadn't been playing with potatoes, it was something much worse. They had opened a new tub of VEGETABLE SHORTENING and spread the ENTIRE TUB on themselves, the kitchen, the dining room and most importantly the carpet. I guess shortening clumps do resemble mashed potatoes to a five year old.
When Pork Chop was about Birds age she smeared most of a tub of Vaseline on her head. She had the same smile Meaty was sporting. It took us six weeks and a bottle of dawn to get the grease out of her hair. I didn't think my other children could top that story. But they did.
I've cleaned the children. Their hair is limp but their skin looks fabulous. So smooth and soft and slightly luminous, you know, cause oil makes things shiny. I cleaned the shelves in the kitchen, and my antique cabinet, which is also looking conditioned and shinny. I've cleaned the dining room table and chairs, the toys, and the changing table. So far nothing is worse for wear. But the floors will never be the same.
I've washed the kitchen floor five times now and it is still slick. It looks clean, but don't walk across it in socks. It's slick as can be.
The carpet is ruined. We tried pulling up all the clumps, then blotting, then washing. It's still white. I'm trying cornstarch now to absorb some of the oil, but since the carpet is wet from cleaning I don't know if it will work. I'm afraid it will never be the same, and our deposit on the apartment is as good as gone.
All I can think is Thanksgiving is TOMORROW, didn't they think I had enough to do as it is. I've spent all afternoon either cleaning or researching cleaning methods to restore the house. And since they used all the shortening I can't make pies tonight. I know I'm not a champion pie maker like my Aunt, and her mother before her, but I didn't think it was that bad. There are easier ways to get out of eating my pumpkin praline pie, like saying "no thank you." That's my children. Always going with the big dramatic gestures when a simple "no thank you" will suffice.
And when I called The Greatest to tell him what HIS children had done all he had to say was "Did they get my fish tank." No honey that was on the other side of the room. But I'm thinking of getting his fish tank. Who named this guy The Greatest anyways?