As a mother and mistress of the household I do my level best to make sure my family is dressed in decently fitting, decent looking clothing. I have definitely become accustomed to stained T-shirts, or having to change some children’s attire before going out in public so that no one eyes the mac ‘n’ cheese that somehow ended up on Trooper’s shoulder, or the spaghetti that found its way onto Princess’ playdress, or the tea that spilled when Dinosaur took a larger sip than planned… you get the picture.
But you see, it’s an uphill battle. Because you know, messes get made. Sometimes Sunshine will drool (or worse) all over my shoulder somewhere and I don’t have a spare shirt for me. Actually, that’s par for the course, because it’s tricky enough remembering all the diapers, toys, therapy aids and comfort objects. But nothing prepared me for Princess being the messiest baby I’d ever had. Bibs were useless on her–she’d mess them up and the outfit underneath. Far less has been handed down to Sunshine than ever the boys passed down to each other.
I wasn’t at all prepared for Dinosaur to decide that his “at-home” summer attire would be 1) pajamas OR 2) just underwear, shorts, and shoes/rainboots. No shirt. But you know, that’s livable. It gets hot down here, he’s only 3. I require him to wear a shirt if we go out or if we have company. That’s fine.
But today… ugh… today was one of those days when the facade drops and the public sees that you are NOT a magazine family, but a real flesh-and-blood family who enjoys life and enjoys Summer. In this case, the “public” was the UPS deliveryman. The kids had been enjoying lunch outside and during the heat of noon I allowed them to have some fun with the hose. Inevitably, water ended up in the crater they’ve been working on for a year and is now called “the mudhole.” Rascal loves to play in the mudhole and always gets messier than we intend. That is why we have the washing machine. I might be less accepting if–like my dear grandmother once did–I had to use a hand cranked washing machine. But fortunately for me, I have a mud setting on the washer.
The afternoon grew hotter and faces were getting flushed so I called the troops in to cool down. I told Rascal to leave his clothes in the laundry room, right off the back door, and change into something dry. Meanwhile, I went about distributing water to the others and put the lunch dishes in the sink. Then, I hear the UPS truck pull up.
“Box truck!” I shout, using the family code word for this particular vehicle. It was coined by Rascal a Christmas or two ago for obvious reasons–this truck has boxes in it. That shout of mine is the cue for the kids to run to the picture window and see the truck before it drives off. I started it a while ago for Trooper, but now everyone else comes too.
I make my way to the front door, wondering how best to keep back Hobbit-dog as the UPS man comes up the drive with box in tow. As my hand touches the doorknob, I suddenly hear Rascal shout from the backyard “BOX TRUCK!” The UPS man stops, then proceeds to go into our carport thinking we’re all out back! I race through the living room, and kitchen and laundry room to find that Rascal is on the back porch, and the UPS man is standing at the picket fence we put up in the back of our carport to keep the backyard fully fenced, and he is trying hard not to laugh.
Because Rascal is standing there only in his underwear.
Yes, I know, it could have been much worse.