Here's an interesting equation for you:
Boys + dump trucks + unattended potted plants + company coming = one bad idea and one unhappy mama
Oh, how naïve I was back in the day. My boys were the curious (i.e., mischievous) young ages of 18 months and 2 years old and I should have been awarded that Darwin Award for thinking it would be okay for me to use the restroom and leave them downstairs. What was I thinking?! Obviously, the need to pee had overridden my common sense at the moment. Add to this scene the fact that I had just moved some potted plants off our deck and into the front porch (that was also a little play area for the kids) and had just cleaned the entire house top to bottom as we were expecting company any moment, and this scene had bad idea written all over it. Or, if you’re under three feet tall with some lonely, giant dump trucks, it was a GREAT idea.
I thought it seemed strangely quiet as I hurried (with my newborn baby) back downstairs and pushed open the door leading into the dining room. The scene that awaited me made my smile melt into a horrified, mouth-gaping and wide-eyed face. My son Judah, that was previously white was now black from head-to-toe. He stood in a mound of dirt surrounded by dirt tracks that marked his journey from the porch and through our entire home. He gave me a sweet, innocent grin and where his teeth should have been, an avalanche of potting soil fell out instead.
His older brother who hadn't been the brains behind the operation had nonetheless been an eager accomplice and was no where to be seen. He was found later, hiding under the bed and pleading the fifth amendment.
We are so blessed to have crème carpet in our living room (was already that color when we moved in, I would have chosen something more boy-friendly) so close your eyes a moment to imagine three large potted plants, now empty, and how all those contents would look on light carpet and furniture. Then imagine how the perpetrators of this crime might look after every last bit of dirt was dispersed in creative ways throughout the house. The dump trucks (which I was now thinking were terrible birthday gifts) were parked nearby with a full load, seemingly ready to dump in a clean location but since no such area could be found, they were parked in an early retirement.
Still in my pajamas, I looked at the clock and realized our company would be arriving in under ten minutes. I was ready to collapse and it was only 9 am. Good morning, Mom!
I remember thinking as I gave those two very dirty (and happy) rascals a good scrubbing in the bathtub that I doubted I could ever laugh about this. I had this same thought as I quickly swept, vacuumed and scrubbed floors with a baby strapped on my back.
But when two little Underwear-Men wrapped their tiny arms around me as I was cleaning and said, “We soh-wy, Mama.” (even though I knew they would probably do it again in a heartbeat as they had such joy during that dirt and dump truck party), I stopped being a grown-up for just a minute and looked at life as a kid.
They won’t always want to play. They won’t always make huge messes. One day they’ll be grown up and these memories will be the joy and laughter of my old age. This huge mess that I want to cry over today will one day bring tears of nostalgia to my eyes as I see a strapping young man drive away to college or wait at the end of an aisle for his new bride. I have such a short time with my children, what’s a little mess now and then?
Then the doorbell rang and I thought, “Oh, crap…look at this mess!”
But here I am, just two years later, and I am laughing at that memory. Finally.