Thursday, September 10, 2020

The Day of the Flying Popcorn


See, Kid #2 (age 10), having seen a lunch box on the counter, tossed it into his backpack without knowing there already was a lunch box in there. Kid #2 had just boarded the bus — to sit with the other five masked passengers  — and headed to elementary school, which meant I needed to reunite the absconded lunch box with the correct kid, who happened to be Kid #3 (age 5), who was having a fit on the floor because he couldn't get his mask on without help. 

Kid #3 also had ripped his school-supplied name tag off his backpack, and I was frantically trying to find it.

Chuck had lazed in bed an extra hour because he hadn't slept well. As I'd raced around the house making breakfasts, making school lunches, making coffee, corralling school papers, yelling at the kids for leaving their socks lying around, scrambling for clean masks, listening to work emails ping my phone, and feeding the dog, I'd been cursing him — and everyone else — under my breath. 

Kid #1 (age 13), who is remote, part-time learning for middle school, stumbled downstairs and asked where the dog was.

"Oh no," I said. The dog was still outside. 

When I opened the door, there she was on the stoop, with poop smeared into her neck. 

"CHUCK!" I screamed. "I could use some damn help."

Kid #3 stopped his meltdown and calmly said, "Don't say damn, it's a bad word."

Chuck stumbled downstairs and sniffed the air. "It smells."

"The dog rolled in poop. You're welcome to give her a bath," I said. 

"I have a Zoom call," he said — without an ounce of regret, I might add. 

"I guess I'll just do it," I said. "I guess I'll just do EVERYTHING."

That's when I threw the popcorn across the room.

Chuck, Kid #1 and Kid #3 watched the bag hit the window and fall to the ground. 

"I'll do it after my call," Chuck said quickly.

"I'll help," Kid #1 said. 

"I'm sorry," I said. "I'm not having a very good morning."

No one moved to pick up the popcorn.

I finally got Kid #3 into the car. When I sat down in the driver's seat, I sat in a pool of water. Lovely. It had rained the night before and we'd forgotten to close the sunroof. The entire front row of the car, and now my ass, was drenched. 

I dropped Kid #3 off at school, covering my wet ass — which probably looked like I'd peed my pants — as best I could while handing my kid off to the teacher. I explained I'd be back in 20 with his lunch. 

I drove to Kid #2's school and picked up the lunch — while covering my ass — then drove it back to Kid #3's school and left it at the front desk. 

It was 9 a.m.

That left a glorious 5 hours to change my pants, get some work done and maybe, just maybe, sit down and drink my coffee.

Then, at 10:30 a.m. my phone rang. It was the nurse at Kid #2's school.

"He's looking a little green," she said. "He would like to come home."

"Can you get Kid #2 at school?" I asked Chuck.

"Didn't he just get there?"

"He's sick to his stomach."

"I have a Teams call," he said.

"Really?" I asked.

"Really!" he said.

I got back into the car, forgetting about the damp seat and once again enjoying wet ass, and drove to the school. Kid #2 was sitting outside on a bench, looking white as a sheet.

"He thinks he's bus sick?" the nurse said.

"It happens," I said. Back into the car we went.

As we started to drive home, I joked with him, "You had to take two lunches today, huh? Two sandwiches!"

"Don't mention food," he begged.

"Two bags of chips! Two apples!"

"Open the door!" he cried.

But it was too late. He projectile vomited against the car door, his lap and feet.

"I don't think I can take the bus anymore," he moaned.

When we pulled into the driveway, the dog was waiting on the steps, poop and all.

"I feel better," he said. "Should I go back to school?"

"Absolutely not. Go inside and get some clean clothes on. Then please bring me the dog shampoo and dish soap."

I got the hose and called the dog over. I soaked her, scrubbing her neck clean. Chuck rapped on the window and gave me a "what are you doing I said I'd do that" gesture. I shrugged. I opened the car and sprayed down what I could, dousing the door with soap. A long, satisfying trail of soapy water ran down the driveway, catching fallen leaves on its way. The dog shook herself then found a spot in the sun and sat down. 

I turned off the hose. I was soaking wet, from head to toe. I went inside to change. Again. 

When I went back downstairs, the bag of popcorn was still on the floor. 

It still is today.


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The Day of the Flying Popcorn

  See, Kid #2 (age 10), having seen a lunch box on the counter, tossed it into his backpack without knowing there already was a lunch box i...