I’ve been doing a photo challenge with a friend for the last few months. Each Monday we take a picture – of whatever we want – and share it with each other on a Flickr site. The goal is mainly to take pictures of things other than our kids, because we already take enough pictures of them. (As the professor likes to say, ours are perhaps the most over-documented children in the world.)
But on Monday I found myself wanting to break the ‘no-kid-rule’. Often.
It was mid-morning and I’d just sat down. All of a sudden I noticed the Hen walking awkwardly while announcing his intention to ‘go potty’. It didn’t take a genius to figure out he’d already ‘gone’. For reasons I’m still not entirely clear about, his foot bore the brunt of the accident. And there was a Hansel and Gretel-esque trail of ‘matter’ in the hallway. A picture of a soiled kid’s foot? Now that would be interesting. Or maybe a nice close-up of the rug…before I scrubbed it?
After naps, I loaded the youngest two in the car-van and headed for Costco. We were driving along Blackfoot Trail when the Hen started nattering about his hands being ‘red’. ‘My hands are red,’ he remarked a couple of times before it occurred to me that I needed to investigate.
‘What do you mean your hands are red?’ I asked as I – quickly – glanced at the backseat to see what he was talking about. I nearly ran the car off the road when I saw that he had a line of blood running from his nose to his chin. He had smeared blood all over his face. And his pants. (Ergo, the ‘red’ hands.) And there was a drop of blood on his white shirt. ‘Do not touch your face again,’ I pleaded, ‘I will fix it in two minutes,’ and I sped into the Costco parking lot and began ‘operation clean up’. Luckily I’d brought along the wipes.
When the Hen looked semi-decent again, I loaded the boys into a cart. I grabbed the diaper bag and locked the van, ready to walk to Costco. ‘I better get my card out now,’ I thought to myself. So as to avoid the inevitable five-minute-frantic-search-through-my-bag at the store entrance. So I reached into the diaper bag to grab my wallet. Except my wallet wasn’t there. My ‘coupon organizer’ was in there. Which looks a lot like a wallet. But isn’t. Maybe my ‘Monday’ photo could be of my kids sitting in the Costco cart, right by the van? With the Hen looking adorable in his blood-stained pants and shirt? And my wallet-less diaper bag beside them?
After the failed Costco expedition, I drove to the Gort’s school for pick-up. ‘Why does my car smell like poop,’ I found myself wondering. The Hen had fallen asleep, and I was doing my best to get him out of the van. A fellow school mom walked up to me as I was standing at the side of the van trying to retrieve the Hen. I didn’t bother trying to explain the wad of bloody wipes lying in the middle of the van. Even though I’m pretty sure she noticed them. How could she not? As we walked towards the school, I determined it was little Percy who smelled ‘less than fresh.’ And I’d used up all my wipes.
Which meant we had to make a pit- stop at the house before going to Costco for the second time. And I had the distinct privilege of taking all three boys to Costco…at 4pm. The baby screamed the entire way home: from the moment I left the Costco parking lot until the moment I pulled up to our red house.
But really, these real-life gems were perhaps too frightening for a photo challenge. So I opted for some benign fall foliage, instead.