Monday, February 4, 2013

Curled toes

It's part of our family tradition at dinner to go around the table, sharing what the worst part and best part of our day was.  The kids have become pretty good at starting the discussion themselves, and it's adorable (and sometimes thought-provoking) to hear what it is they're holding onto in their memory banks.

In conjunction with this tradition, they've also become a bit of a fan of my 'stories'.  It never fails that I have some sort of experience at the store (or other errand-style place) that I find necessary to share/vent/laugh/complain about when I return home, or back to the truck where Randy is waiting with the kids.  I don't think it's because my life is 'so unfortunate' that I encounter these types of strange occurrences (most of which are involve a person who is rude/oblivious/awkward/etc), but because 'I think like a writer', I happen to take note of the world around me in a way that results in having a story to tell.

Anyhow...the kids, especially Gavin, have become accustomed to asking me if I have a story to share, and then wait with baited breath as I describe the events as they unfold.

Here is today's story:

Raegan is in the midst of self-potty training.  I'm encouraging, but all the while keeping my realistic mindset that she isn't quite 2, and she's got a very distinct '2 year old personality'.  (translation: I'm not really sold on the idea of this potty training thing panning out until at least summer)  <deeper translation: I'm still changing diapers with the same frequency I was before, only now I'm peppering in some additional cleaning as she piddles on carpets, the couch, tile floors, and the comfy leather chair in which I am currently sitting>

Today, I was changing a diaper that required to be immediately disposed of in the outside trash receptacle.  A crazy Texas storm rolled through earlier, so the grass was damp.  Randy's slides not only kept my tootsies dry, but offered 'protection' from any worms, roly poly bugs, or other creepy crawlies that might inhabit my backyard, basking in the damp humidity of a Texas afternoon.  They did not, however, provide any sort of repose from the creature I was about to encounter.

As I opened the back door to head back in the house after I jogged back from the garbage can (you never know just what Raegan could have gotten into in that short period of time!), my eyes were drawn to the red doormat at the threshold meant to serve as a 'catchall' for wet/dirty doggie paws and kid feet.

Not today.  Today, the red rug apparently decided to play the role of a 'red carpet', rolled out for a most particularly unwanted guest in our home.

ignore the dog-hair laden doormat--at least it's doing its job! 

Monday is vacuuming day...however after the events of this afternoon, we're pushing it to tomorrow!

Just seeing these pictures again is giving me a relapse of the response I had when I first saw this little *friend* earlier.  

I screamed.  I made a sound similar to what I would assume a donkey dying in a most tragic and painful way would sound like.  I instantaneously tucked my toes, like a turtle retreating into his shell when threatened.  I blurted several obscenities that I'll most likely need to de-program Raegan of at a later date.  And, I peed a little.  

Yeah, I know that last bit might be something I could have easily 'kept to myself'...but everyone has something in this world that can conjure up the same response I had to 'Mr. Freaksmethehellout'.

At this point, I didn't quite care what Raegan was getting into, my number one priority was to get this little guy the hell out of my kitchen, out of my house, out of my back yard, and (in an ideal world), out of my memory.  

My eyes never left him, even though the sight of him made me shudder, wince, and whimper.  There was no way he was getting into my house one creepy toe more than he already had intruded, so I thought fast and in my bravest voice possible called out (in a loud whisper), "Brynn...canyoubringmommythebroom?"  It took her like an hour to go to the pantry and locate the GIANT GREEN HANDLED BROOM (seriously, what the hell?  They can play with that damn thing all the time, scattering rogue dog hairs all around my freshly mopped floors, but in a time of life and death <maybe not really...but still...>, she suddenly becomes aloof and has no recollection of what color it is, let alone what the hell a broom is!!?!?)

*Finally* the broom arrives, but rather than sticking the handle out horizontally, to prevent me from having to put on foot closer to this nasty guest, she opts for a vertical pass which means with her short arms I had to step a foot onto the threshold, thus threatening my 'friend' and causing him to squirm a few more inches into the house.  

I snatched the broom and began sweeping him toward the door, but in a strategic fashion because I was in the doorway and wanted no parts of his scaly self coming toward me.  It was obvious at this point I was a geometry failure, because my angles were all wrong and the little bugger escaped my broom bristles and scurried his ass into my kitchen, under the table and then under my coffee bar.  He stopped.  He stared.  I screamed (more).  I swept the broom to the right, in an attempt to guide him out and closer to the door, when he came out and began CLIMBING THE LEG OF THE CHAIR.  I wigged.  No way was this little creature climbing onto the table where I fed my family!  Frantically sweeping downward, Mr. Scales fell to the floor and headed for the dog bowl, where he ran through the dog's water, behind their food bowl, and followed the molding around the breakfast nook toward the back door.  I continued sweeping and squealing, squealing and sweeping until he was outside.  Inside.  Outside. did he come back inside if I was in the house, and the door most likely closed, you ask?  Oh, that's simple.  Our previous homeowners installed a storm door on the back door, and since we've moved in, we keep telling each other how much we hate it and how we need to replace it.  It's on our list of home adjustments, however we haven't gotten to it just yet.  Anyhow, their 'awesome installation job' left an ridiculous gap that just last night, Randy was joking could allow a squirrel to enter the house.  (Oh lord, if a squirrel got into the house!)

note: the ridiculous gap.
(side note: my turtle-esque toes.  they've been in that position since seeing the lizard)

Now that the little bugger was (thankfully) outside, I was determined to remove him from the yard entirely, however in my spastic response to 'only a little lizard' (according to my husband), I swept Mr. Camouflage into the grass, where, you guessed it...he camouflaged.  

I stared, and stared, and stared at the grass.  Finally, after what felt like another hour, I spied the little bugger and began my frantic sweeping once more.  Only this time, instead of making progress, I was just making him wiggle down into the grass for protection from the lunatic wielding the broom.  

Eventually, I mustered up the courage to sweep him onto the dustpan.  This took all of the courage I had left (what if he climbed out of the pan and up my arm?!?!).  I compressed the bristles of the broom against the dustpan (not too hard...the thought of squishing him to death was nearly as pee-inducing as watching him squiggle in my house), and ran nearly as fast as he could to the fence.  I hurled everything over the fence...broom, dustpan, and the (most likely terrified) lizard.  Several squeals, full body shudders, and even curlier' toe curls later, I decided to go retrieve my broom and dustpan, for fear that one of the lizard's friends was waiting in the wings to take advantage of the door gap, and I'd need my trusty broom.  I mustered up this tiny shred of courage that apparently was out to lunch earlier, and clicked the gate open.  I stood on my curled tip toes (ballerinas would have been jealous), and made my way to the resting place of my weapon of choice.  A quick, but thorough once-over and I realized it was lizard-free.  I considered searching for the lizard, but a quick recall of the amount of time I spent staring at grass earlier changed my tune, so I grabbed my dustpan and broom and my feet barely hit the ground as I bolted back inside (making sure to scan the threshold as I entered).  

My heart was pounding, palms sweating, toes still curled, and body involuntarily shuddering.  Only then, did I become aware that I was scarcely breathing, and so I took a minute to stand (far away from the door), and *try* to calm myself down.

Where were the girls during this fiasco?  They were watching as best they could from the safety of the living room window.  Raegan was repeatedly asking "is it?  is it?", while Brynn couldn't decide if she should be scared, or think it was cool that there was a lizard in the house.  I think the jury's still out, because she didn't seem to have the innate fear I did...her's was more forced, in what I think was an attempt to make me feel like less of a complete and total moron for reacting the way I did.  Just what I wanted from my 4 year old.  Pity. goes without saying that I will not be traipsing around the backyard sans footwear anytime soon, because if that little bugger can trigger such response without touching me, you can imagine what would happen if he skittered across my bare feet.  I told Randy I'm contemplating one of those 'I've fallen and I can't get up' medic response necklaces should such instance ever occur.  And I'm not being a smartass.  I would literally become immobilized, and need to see medical attention for some sort of cardiac distress.  

Now...if you'll excuse me, I need to use the restroom and then ice my sore (and still-curled) toes.

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