There are so many things no one tells you about parenting. I’m talking real news you can use. For instance, not one book or person warns you about the almost impossible task of putting fitted sheets on bunk beds where one side is pushed against a wall. It’s the Rubik cube of housecleaning.
Once you get two corners done you think you’re golden, but then to get the third and fourth corners wrapped around the mattress you have to become Elasti-girl and do the shimmy-shove with your hand to get the blasted thing on. I can’t be the only one who has scrapped skin off their body trying to successfully put clean sheets on their kid’s bed.
Then there’s something called a district wide middle school combined band concert. Where was the parent alert about this dangerous situation? I was trapped in a gym with iffy air quality and perched and/or glued to a sticky bleacher for h-o-u-r-s! It was so horrific I experienced the five stages of grief.
At first I was in denial that a band concert featuring the musical stylings of four different middle schools would be anything but uplifting. You know, “Yay arts in the school!”
Then after the first hour I got angry that the band teachers decided each school would play 12 songs. Did they not do the math? 12 X 4 = 48 songs! That’s not a band concert it’s a musical triathlon.
Soon, after that I began bargaining with myself like if the band played anymore more tunes from The Little Mermaid it was a sign that it would be okay to leave.
Next, was an overwhelming depression that I would die in the gym. I was already feeling woozy and feared I would pass out, hit my head on a bleacher and have an obit that would read, “slain by a middle band school concert.”
Finally, I just accepted my fate and sucked it up. It was almost four hours of sucking it up, but by God I did it.
Another thing no one gives you a heads up about is how much of your precious, sweet time on earth you’ll be spending at your kids extracurricular activities and how some of those activities will come with the plumbing optional plan.
Now, my daughter is a competitive dancer so this means she partakes of her activity inside, on a stage with all the accoutrements being inside brings like water, plumbing and heat. That is until last week when she had a dance competition in a building that featured only a stage and indoor latrines.
There was no running water, no heat and the only way to heed nature’s call was to do the old squat and drop on a chemical toilet. Now, I know you outdoor sports parents are calling me a wuss right now and yes, you would be right. But in my defense dance is an indoor sport and hefty entry fees are paid to cover the basic necessities like plumbing. Usually such events are held at lovely places like performing arts centers so this explains why I was aghast at a facility that had all the charm of a post apocalyptic zombie bunker.
It was so cold in the building the judges were swathed in blankets like they were on the deck of the Titanic, but much worse than being chilled was the yuck factor of his and her Porta Potties located stage right.
The first day of the competition I managed to never venture into the makeshift commode, by limiting my fluid intake and throwing back three Imoduim. But on the second day when the toilets started leaking refuse I was ready to rumble. Something had to be done and a couple of mothers told me I was just the person to do it. Really, I thought, am I the toilet whisper?
Instead of reflecting on that (because who wants to examine why people think you’re the “go to” for anything involving fecal matter) I decided that yes I would handle this situation. I marched over to the “in charge” person and sort of implied that I might be working for the health department and many, many codes were being broken. I even said “I’m going to shut this bad boy down if you don’t get the problem fixed” and then whipped out my cell phone, set my timer and told him he had 30 minutes to “make it right.”
Mr. In Charge, the dance competition organizer, who looked liked he favored a Valencia orange spray tan, whined that it wasn’t his fault. He half heartedly attempted to do one of those round about apologies that are less about begging your forgiveness and more about insulting your intelligence. He even suggested that “it wouldn’t be a big deal AT ALL if the moms would quit complaining and just drive to the Kohl’s down the street and use their restroom.”
I gave him a WTH look and then said “tick tock buddy” while sauntering away with a swagger walk I save for special occasions.
Guess what? In 30 minutes we had fresh, non-leaky toilets with, wait for it, an upgrade to two-ply toilet paper.
Was I proud of myself? Heck yeah. Do I see a future for myself as a toilet whisper? Lord, I hope not, but it just might trump a four-hour band concert.
*Attention Snarky Friends, I have a brand new book out. It’s the second in the Snarky in the Suburbs series – Snarky in the Suburbs Trouble In Texas. You can buy it for your Kindle or in paperback on Amazon. It’s also available for the Nook or you can get it for your Kobo reader. Click on a link and give it a test read. I hope you like it! 🙂