The Bearded Iris

A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

Tag: poop (page 2 of 2)

Knock knock. Who’s there? Dead squirrel!

Today’s edition of Just the Tip Tuesday is a triple header!

1.) Always keep your toilet lids closed.

2.) Always look in the bowl before you sit down on the toilet.

3.) A plastic milk jug can be fashioned into a very handy makeshift disposable scoop.

Surely you are now on the edge of your seat, eagerly awaiting more details about how these three tips are related. Just make sure it is not the edge of a toilet seat. Because after you read this, you’re not going to want to hold court on the porcelain throne any longer than necessary. In fact, Uncle John, I am going to just go ahead and prescribe you an extra large dose of daily Benefiber so you can speed up your daily doody time and greatly reduce your risk of having your butt bitten by a panicking squirrel.

Look, I don’t make this stuff up. I swear. It just finds me. And I love it. My life just wouldn’t be the same if I didn’t regularly enjoy email exchanges like this:

Kristen: “Soooooooo….. guess what happened to me today??? Dead animal in my mother fucking toilet. A little squirrel. Stiff. In my terlet. I’m so freaked out…I thought I’d share that with you.”

Iris: “Nuh-uh! How the fuck did it get in there? What did you do? Flush it?!”

Kristen: “I don’t know how it got IN there… I had gone in earlier to make a deposit, and half an hour later Jack went in to pee and found the little fucker…dead and stiff in there. ‘Mom, There’s somfin’ in the toilet, you gotta see it!’ That’s never a good way to start a sentence. But, I made a scoop out of a milk jug, and scooped the fucker out and threw it in the woods… where it hit a tree and bounced into my creek. And then I poured a gallon of bleach in my toilet.”

Iris: “Well there, that sounds like a perfect ‘Just the Tip Tuesday’ column if I ever heard one! ‘How to properly dispose of a dead squirrel in yer terlet.’ – a guest post by Kristen.”

Kristen: “LOL Dude…. now that it’s out of my house, and I’ve had 3 dranks… I can laugh at it. Only I would have an already dead varmint in my terlet.”

image credit: Iris’s son Nature Boy

And so that was the end of that. Or so I thought.

By the way, she wasn’t speaking in code. “Dead squirrel in my toilet” is not a euphemism for poop, like “Chattahoochee Brown Trout” or “Taking the Browns to the Super Bowl.” She was really talking about a squirrel…a real squirrel…dead…in her toilet.

And I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Which lead to more questions.

How in the hell do you get a squirrelly in your swirly?

How did it die?

What would have happened if it wasn’t already dead when her kid went in there to pee?!

And OMG, what is Kristen feeding her kids?

I just had to know more. So I looked it up. I Googled “squirrel in my toilet,” to be exact.

And it turns out it’s not that uncommon.

Kristen honey, don’t feel bad, it’s not only you who gets a varmint in your toilet. Actually, you are lucky he was dead. It could have been way worse.

Check out this 911 call in Oklahoma.

There’s even a collection of short stories by a woman named Rebecca Cooper titled “There’s a Squirrel in My Toilet.”

So how DID Mr. Squirrel get in there? That’s what I want to know!

It’s unlikely that my friend Kristen is feeding her kids squirrel. (That bitch is crazy, but not “Squirrel-Taco-Tuesday-Crazy.”) And even if she is, odds are pretty low that one of the kids could swallow, digest, and poop out a whole squirrel, even a whole baby squirrel.

And the lid was closed, so he didn’t jump in there himself and close the lid, a la “hide and seek, you can’t find me!” style, most likely.

Best I can figure, squirrels get into toilets via the drain-waste-vents (DWV) found on roofs. According to Wikipedia, the purpose of the pipes, sometimes known as stink pipes, or in Kristen’s house: stank pipes, is to release the natural gases that build up in plumbing systems. Unfortunately, it appears as though those pipes don’t usually have a baffle on them to keep out wildlife.

That means the poor little curious baby squirrel was probably frolicking on Kristen’s roof, possibly playing hopscotch and/or singing a verse of Little Bunny Foo-Foo, when he came upon one of the aforementioned stink pipe. “Wow – neato!” may have been the last thought on his juvenile rodent mind when he lost his footing and plummeted three stories down to the bottom of the pipe. Kind of like the squirrel version of Baby Jessica Stuck in the Well. Somehow though, the squirrel managed to maneuver its way through the S-curved pipe at the bottom of that stink pipe and into the toilet bowl.

Good Lord, that poor baby squirrel! Kinda reminds me of that scene in Shawshank Redemption. You know the one:

“Andy crawled to freedom through five hundred yards of shit smelling foulness I can’t even imagine, or maybe I just don’t want to.”

Only poor little Squirrelly didn’t crawl to freedom. Oh no. He crawled to his death by drowning in a closed toilet bowl…a tomb of unspeakable horrors.

Which sucks for him, but works out nicely for us humans who probably don’t want lost, terrified, feces smeared squirrels running amok in our homes. Most of us anyway, unless you’re one of those freaky animal hoarders, in which case, put some nuts on your roof and leave your toilet lids up and maybe you’ll score some extra furry friends.

I’m just glad for Kristen it was a baby squirrel and not a roof rat. Those bastards can swim. Or so I’ve heard.

So keep a lid on it, guys. You never know what’s gonna show up in your can. You know, now that I say it, that’s probably a universal truth. Look for t-shirts and bumper stickers in the near future.

And if something unwanted does make an appearance, try Kristen’s Hand-Crafted Milk Jug Scoop-and-Toss. Wish I had thought of that the day Nature Boy clogged and filled my powder room sink to the rim with regurgitated double cheeseburger and onion ring jamboree. Sheesh.

always an adventure,

-Iris

P.S. – A vote for The Bearded Iris is a vote for squirrel-free toilets everywhere! Please help other fun people find me by casting your vote…for me…The Bearded Iris…at Babble.com’s list of the Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2010. I’m currently hovering around #21. Thank you!


Here’s how we do apple slices…

One of my kids is a picky eater. I hate that about him. I really do. I find it to be a truly vile character trait.

Before kids (B.K.), I was the kind of gal who always said: “If I ever have a kid who won’t eat what I put in front of him, he can just go hungry, dammit!”

Yeah.

What an ass. {me, not the kid}

I also used to judge my friends with kids and think to myself, how can anyone let the inside of their car smell like that?! And, why don’t they just teach their kids to not wipe their boogers on the walls?

What a bitch. {me, not the friends}

So here I am, umpteen years later with three of my very own stinky, booger wiping, picky-eater kids. Serves me right, I say. I truly hope my older friends are enjoying the irony. They’re off playing golf and taking art classes now while their kids are in college, and I’m stuck at home with a 4 year old. And will be for the next, oh, about 14 years. Good times.

I bring this up because as the mother of a picky-eater, I have had some tough choices to make. This kid (Nature Boy, the 11 year old) does not eat most fruits. The ONLY fruit he will touch with a ten foot pole is a Granny Smith apple. Period. And it has to be fresh. No apple sauce, no apple pie, no apple leather.

Some mothers might tell their picky child to stick it. I would, truly I would, but you see, this same child had some pretty awful constipation issues when he was about 4 years old which led to some pretty awful bowel problems for a while there. So I would do anything to get this kid to eat fruit. And if that means preparing his ONE fruit the ONE way he’ll eat it, then by-golly I’ll do it and I’ll do it with a f#cking smile on my face.

And that’s what I’m here to tell you today, this Tuesday, for my weekly Just the Tip Tuesday feature. Today we are talking about apples.

I have a way of cutting an apple, just so, and naturally preserving it so it won’t turn brown and icky by the time my kids are ready for snack or lunch at school.

And no, it’s not lemon juice, although that works too. My tip is much cheaper.

The secret ingredient is salt. Kosher salt, to be exact.

But first, we have to wash the apple.

I am always surprised to learn that some people don’t wash their produce. Even if you buy organic stuff, don’t forget how many hands have probably touched that produce. Dirty hands. Hands with poop on them. Poop, I say.

Now listen, I’m not a germophobe in general. I don’t wear a travel-sized bottle of Purell around my neck or anything. But I am afraid of poop. Poop is gross. I don’t want poop on or near my food. I’m also afraid of pesticides. Ever since Mini-Me started developing breast buds at the tender age of 8, I’ve been extra freaky-deaky about the chemicals in our house.

So I wash my produce. And I don’t just wipe it on my sleeve or run it quickly under water. I actually wash it.

Here’s what I use:

Look at naughty Ike back there cruisin’ for some leftovers. “Oooh, she pulled out the camera. Now’s my chance!”

The Veggie Wash on the left is in a spray bottle. I use that for things like grapes, broccoli, kale, etc. The glass jar on the right is a cheese-shaker filled with baking soda. I sprinkle that on waxy fruit like apples and then rub it with a little water to remove the dirt, wax, and pesticides. Go ahead, call me names. I’m rubber, you’re glue…

Now it’s time to cut the apple.

Do you have certain things you do for your kids that they’ve grown accustomed to and expect? That’s how mine are with apples. They like their apples cut “Mommy’s way.” I have totally ruined them, I know. Here’s what Mommy’s Way looks like:

I make four cuts around the core, giving me four big pieces to work with:

Then I very methodically cut each of those four pieces into 1/4″ slices while muttering things like “I’m an excellent driver,” and “Three minutes ’till Wapner.”

Here’s what it looks like when I’m all done cutting…

I never actually line them up like this… I’m just trying to be fancy for the camera. And yes, I do have one of those stainless steel apple cutters. I hate it. It’s too hard to use and I’m always afraid I’m going to cut off a finger.

Next, I scoop them all up into a bowl and sprinkle a big ol’ pinch of kosher salt on them:

Then I fill the bowl with water and let them soak for a few minutes.

Lastly, I pull the apples out and set them on a clean towel to absorb the extra water.

And that’s it. The apples will taste a little salty, but in a good way. It’s actually a nice sweet/sour/salty combo. We like it!

The salt will naturally preserve the apple slices for the whole day. To be honest, I’ve eaten bags of apple slices found in the bottom of my purse two or three days later and they were totally fine.

One more thing… my friend Mama Cloud talked me into buying a bunch of these Snack Taxis last fall and I’m so glad she did. I love these things!

They come in the cutest patterns and two different sizes for sandwiches and snacks. I bought one big and one small for each person in the family and we all use them everyday! It’s nice to not send so many plastic baggies to the landfill. Group hug!

EPILOGUE:

While I was writing this, Bucket Head came running into my office to tell me that Ike stole his apple slices.

I went to investigate, and this is what I found:

…a wet Snack Taxi, filled with…

…partially masticated salt-preserved apple nibblets. Damn dog.

Well as you can see, it is never a dull moment around here… for me. But you deserve better. You really do. Hey, you know what, bonus points for reading this boring post all the way through. To reward you, I’ll going to send you over to my friend Mid 30’s Life. She wrote the funniest thing today about vaginas. Go read it and tell her The Bearded Iris sent’cha.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

Oh, sh!t.

So I go to take Bucket Head to preschool this morning and as I’m getting into the car, I notice that something is wrong.

Hmmmm. I don’t remember leaving all these plastic baggies in the front seat, I thought to myself. Upon closer inspection, I realized “the baggies” were actually just one baggie that had been shredded into numerous pieces. Near the plastic baggie shreds were also several fruit snack wrappers and granola bar wrappers, also torn to bits.

But the big give away was the torn tissues and napkins. I knew as soon as I saw the white fluffy confetti on the floor of the passenger seat that Ike had made his way into the car sometime in the last 12 hours.

"Who, me?"

What the…? How in the world did he get in there?

Then I remembered getting home from my in-laws’ Super Bowl party and carrying one of the sleeping kids into the house, leaving the van door wide open… which to Ike, is simply an invitation to an all-you-can-eat-buffet, doggie style.

I’m a mom. I drive a mini-van. I transport three children to and from a variety of activities every day. Thus, my van always has a cornucopia of crumbs and snack-stashes and dirty napkins strewn throughout it. For a dog like Ike, it is The Promised Land.

Usually, I don’t mind if he takes a quick tour of the van and sucks up the stray crumbs. But the shredding of the baggie, the wrappers, and the tissues means that he had way too much unsupervised time on his hands last night. My bad. Come on, the Steelers were on!

Scrounging for crumbs in the van isn’t his typical hunting style though. He’s usually much more brazen than that. He’s more of a kitchen-counter dine and dash kind of guy. And he’s not very good at covering his tracks. Like the butter wrapper I found on the kitchen floor this morning after my shower.

Or the toothpaste tubes I used to find under my bed before I got wise and started keeping them out of his reach.

The kids are pretty good about not leaving food around. We watch out for each other if someone needs to leave the table, and it’s not uncommon to hear Bucket Head say to his siblings “Protect my food. I’ll be right back,” because inevitably, Bucket Head always has to get up and go to the bathroom the minute he starts to eat. He is Ike’s favorite source for unattended food.

But Ike’s appetites aren’t limited to food, tissues, and toothpaste. He enjoys a variety of toys and art supplies as well. Usually we can hear him unabashedly chomping away on something suspicious and can save the toy before he swallows it. Some toys, like this vintage Fisher-Price Little People girl, put up a really good fight and are hard to swallow.

But other toys, like the stretchy green skeleton that Bucket Head carried around for weeks after Halloween, go down silently and quickly, only to be horrifyingly encased like Han Solo in the black Carbonite. Lucky for you, dear reader, I just so happened to notice this little gem while we were playing in the yard not too long ago. Poor green stretchy skeleton. We will miss you.

My husband, The Gatekeeper, would like you to know that he does not endorse my apparent affinity for scat photography or dressing the pets in Hanna Andersson pajamas.

© Copyright 2011, The Bearded Iris.

ASSuaging the Guilt

Hold it right there, bub. This is a two parter all about my bodily-fluid-filled Live Nativity experience at church last week. If you haven’t read the first part, click here.

Back so soon? So I can assume that you are up to speed then? You get a gold star, sugar. Let’s continue then, shall we? And now, the riveting conclusion to Urine Angel:

So, as you can see, I was feeling purdy dang guilty about my poor, sweet, six year old daughter Mini-Me shivering in a pool of her own pee pee and tears for possibly 15 minutes or more, alone, uncomfortable, and scared in a church powder room while I was outside learning my part as the Behind The Scenes (BTS) Mom for the Wisemen/King Herod scene. Well, my Mama didn’t raise no quitter, and I’m fixin’ to do the same with my brood. So I took my baby home, peeled her wet costume and multiple layers of clothes off, stuck her in a steamy bubble bath with a mug of hot cocoa, promised her it would all be better in the morning, and smothered her with love until she drifted off to sleep. The next morning I called the director of our Live Nativity, told her why Mini-Me missed the dress rehearsal the night before, and requested that I be reassigned to scene # 8, the big finale to the Live Nativity in which Mini-Me was cast as an angel.

The director was more than happy to recast me so that I could be with my Tinkling Angel in the stable. But apparently that clever crusader for Christ had a hidden agenda, which I learned the hard way a few hours later.

You see, once she got wind of my ability to clean up a messy situation, she knew I’d be the perfect person to supervise the stable scene.

Cue the baby donkey.

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That’s right, people. We had a real live baby donkey in my scene.

I didn’t know much about donkeys before that night, but I do now.

For starters, I now know that donkeys like to kick. Pair that character trait with a stable full of animal loving children and you have yourselves a perfect storm in the making. I pretty much spent half the night keeping the kids from getting their teeth knocked out. I swear, if I had a nickel for every time I said, “Girls… please don’t hug the donkey from behind. She’s gonna kick you in the head,” I’d have at least enough for a Venti Latte.

The other main thing I learned about donkeys that night is that they poop A LOT. Good Lord Almighty… they surely are the most regular mammals I’ve ever encountered up close and personal.

So, in addition to running defense for ass-kicking in the literal sense, I also found myself on perpetual-pooper-scooper duty. You see, donkey poop is very stinky. I’m talkin’ STANK, ya’ll. And that cute little donkey would just lift her tail ever so slightly and let about a dozen or so sugarplum-sized balls of poop fall right out of her ass-ass and then she would stand right there as if nothing ever happened, stepping in it and thereby wafting the fumes everywhere. I was thinking that the donkey might end up kicking one of us at some point, and I didn’t want one of us to get kicked with a donkey-poop-covered-hoof, so I felt like it was the clear course of action. I’d much rather be kicked in the teeth with a clean hoof, than a poopy one, wouldn’t you? I mean really. But also, it was stench management. I just couldn’t have my audience focusing on the donkey stank and not on the message of our joyous scene!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

DOH! Watch your step, Little Angel!

Now, the two teens playing Mary and Joseph were just as cute as can be. Mary especially just captured my heart. She was so sweet and wholesome and good with the little angels. She would get up between scenes and high five the little ones and give them sugar cookies that she had baked at home and brought with her to share. But as cute and sweet and good as she was, there was no way on God’s green earth that she was gonna stop her texting and get anywhere near that beast of burden or his donkey-doody. And Joseph? Fahgetaboutit. He was all, “Uh, excuse me, Miss Iris? The donkey, like, pooped…” and “Uh, like, Miss Iris? The donkey totally, like, pooped again…. ” So clearly, it was me or nobody. And honestly, once you have a few babies, a little donkey poop is nothing. In fact, I’d venture to say that picking up after a donkey was perhaps the least repulsive thing I’d done all day. Yeah, motherhood… those with weak stomachs need not apply.

dsc_0117

But here’s the thing, like most parenting tasks, picking up donkey dung is tricky. I did not want to have MY pearly whites knocked down my throat by this ass while I was doing the dirty work, no-siree-Bob. So, I had to hold the donkey by the head, turn her around, and scoop with one hand while I held her head with the other. That takes skill, I tell ya. Who knew I was such an ass-whisperer? And all of this had to be done quickly, in between scenes, while keeping the little angles from wandering off or spilling hot chocolate all over their white sheets. Oh, did I mention that I did all of this with a kitchen towel on my head and a bathrobe over my coat so I would blend in with the cast and look like a shepherd? Shoot… if my life were any more glamorous, I’d be signing autographs at the Piggly Wiggly.

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My daughter and I were out there for 5 hours, freezing our tails off and bringing joy to the world. Between the tinkle trauma the night before and the mountains of mule mess, it kinda sucked for me, actually. But Mini-Me loved it, and that’s what it’s all about. We totally bonded, we got to experience the thrill of not giving up when things got messy, and we got to learn about the real meaning of Christmas and even more about donkeys. By the way, donkey coats are surprisingly soft. I would have thought that they’d feel kinda wiry or coarse. But no. Soft as a bunny. Just a joy to touch and a nice natural hand warmer too.

My family members who did the guided tour said that our scene was by far the best, and then they swore that they weren’t just saying that because Mini-Me and I were in it. I’m so glad I signed my baby up for this and got to be there with her to see her shine in her little halo and make the audience giggle when she upstaged Mary every time with her enthusiastic singing and improvisational dance moves.  We’ll definitely do it again next year and now that we’ve survived it once, we’ll be even more prepared. Of course, with my luck and skills, they’ll probably throw in a couple of spitting camels and some sheep with irritable bowel syndrome, but that’s fine… it will just make me feel more at home. Bring it on, beeyotch.

I hope ya’ll are having holidays filled with joy and love and the kind of messes that make family time so memorable and funny for years to come! Seasons Greetings to you and yours!

with love,

The Bearded Iris

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