Conversation with John . . .

Gross-ology, Part Deux

Let's talk about gross stuff, man!

Karl had physical therapy this morning. We missed last week because I was in Boston, but I'm getting ahead of myself. Two weeks ago, which was the last time we were at therapy, I treated myself to Starbucks.

And here's why . . .

I was sitting in the waiting room of the pediatrician's office where Karl receives his therapy. There were the usual comings and goings of sick and well kids and parents but I typically park myself in a corner with a book and tune out everything else. That Thursday was no exception. Until . . .

"Oh my gosh! Emily! Why did you do that?!!!!!" came the frantic cry of a mother in the waiting room.

I looked up and quickly figured out that this mother had two little girls - one who looked to be about 4 years old and the other, Emily, who was only around 2. The 4-year-old was running around saying "We've got to get the doctor! We've got to get the doctor!" while the mom scooped up Emily and headed for the sign-in desk.

"I'm sorry, but we've made a mess," she said to the lady behind the counter, clearly embarrassed.

Everyone's eyes tracked with the mom's like a Wimbledon tennis match and came to rest in the middle of the waiting room where the dreaded evidence was. My brain neurons were firing back and forth as I quickly assessed the situation.

Clue #1: Emily's pants were around her ankles.

Clue #2: Emily looked to be about a pound lighter.

Clue #3: The mom looked like she wanted to crawl under a rock and die.

The waiting room has carpeting, by the way.

You could have heard a pin drop as everyone stared at the steaming pile. OK, it wasn't steaming, but in the cartoon version it would have been.

Now here I have to applaud the composure of the front desk employee. I'm not sure what her position is, how long she's done it, or how well she is paid, but she needs a raise. She immediately assumed a calming, reassuring air of nonchalance and said (I am not kidding):

"Don't worry, ma'am. It happens all the time."

LIAR!! The mom didn't look particularly reassured as a couple of other employees arrived with paper towels. She was flustered, apologetic, trying to calm the 4-year-old who was still running around calling for the doctor, and holding a messy 2-year-old who seemed very content, come to think of it. Someone went in search of wet wipes, the mom looked like she was going to lose it, and this was my cue to exit.

I initially tried to return to my book and thereby convince the mother that I hadn't witnessed any of this, but one glance at her burning cheeks and teary eyes convinced me that the most humane response was to go next door for Starbucks. So I did. It was a delicious latte.

When I returned the mom and girls were elsewhere - probably back with the doctor as the 4-year-old told him all about the mess her sister had made and the mother stewed about how this was all her husband's fault for knocking her up in the first place and whatever possessed her to give up her career as a financial planner to be a stay-at-home mom anyway?! She could be in Hawaii right now sipping a Mai Tai and closing a deal via e-mail as she sat poolside, dammit! Oh he's going to HEAR ABOUT THIS!!!!! If he asks "What's for dinner" she'll throw a frying pan at his big, fat, smug head and ask hysterically if any of his colleagues pooped on the floor that day!!!!

But I'm just guessing.

Back in the waiting room the mess had been cleaned up and there was a faint smell of disinfectant. Two chairs, with signs that said "Do not Use" covered the scene, as though preserving it for the CSI's or at least a janitor with a steam cleaner.

I'm fairly certain that *if* the mother scrapbooks she will *not* be preserving this particular memory.

Or maybe she will. After some time has passed. And her husband buys her flowers. And takes her to Hawaii. And Emily spends another few months in pull-ups for good measure. And they find a new pediatrician. And her husband buys her flowers. Heh

Oh, and to my friend who e-mailed me this morning . . . that story's for you, babe!

Speaking of friends, I have to just give another shout-out to the wonderful folks at The Scrapbook Cupboard. It was a joy to spend three days there. Bev and her staff are some of the nicest nuttiest kookaburra's that I've ever had the pleasure to meet. Especially EggsBacon (aka Michelle) and Jeanne "My dream room is better than yours and ask me about the time I used a paper piercer to clean out my eyelet setter" Machine. The owner, Bev, will be happy to read my Starbucks story, seeing as how her blood vessels are actually full of coffee (cream, no sugar) and to Kim, KerriAnn, Donna, Karen, Sue and the rest - MWAH! Let me come back.

EggsBacon made iron-on shirts with my face on the front for my final day. They said "Karen Burniston thinks The Scrapbook Cupboard ROCKS" on the back. True Dat! Here we are  (Bev, me, EggsBacon) showing off our shirts (I only wore mine for the photo):


And here I am with Jeanne. This may be the last time we see a smile from Jeanne once she hears the horrible, horrendous, nightmarish news that was reported in the Living section of our newspaper yesterday. Yes, Jeanne, it's true . . .Jeanne_and_me


I know, I know. Just take a deep breath. Put down the paper piercer!

Before heading to the boat taxi that would take me to the airport, I was treated to a lobster dinner with Bev and Sherry. (er, Cheryl) Mmmmm. I wore the bib and everything, and I think Cheryl has photographic evidence, which really should make me cautious about sharing this next story, but I think she's still on vaca, so there's that! Heh.

Cheryl hung out with me on the dock while waiting for the ferry. A lady offered to take our picture:Me_and_cheryl

Now you really can't tell here, but I'm chewing gum. It's this new gum called Stride or something like that. It has a big S on the package and the flavor lasts much longer than you actually want to chew the gum, so I highly recommend the brand, but only if you have access to a trash can.

Which I did not.

So I was chewing away, no trash can in sight, no ferry in sight, and my poor jaws were just aching and aching. But the peppermint flavor was fabulous. I'm not kidding about the flavor, folks. Go buy some! And this is just awful to admit, but I was truly at my wit's end.

I tossed the gum into the water. Yes, I did. It was not one of my finer moments. I'm not a litterer, I promise, but it was an emergency. I just HAD to get rid of that gum!

Cheryl was aghast. She said, and, again, I'm not kidding:

"What if some poor fish gets that caught in his beak?!"

And here we have to just decide if the damage done to the environment by my gum-tossed-into-the-drink was worse than my untimely demise. Because, you see, if that gum had still been in my mouth I would have choked on it while we were laughing so hard. I don't know if Cheryl knows the Heimlich maneuver, but based on her knowledge of fish anatomy, my guess would be probably not. And then I would have died, right there on that dock, big ship in the background, gum lodged in my throat while I choked out my last peppermint-scented breath. (Because, truly, the flavor lasts forever!)

I guess we'll never know if any fish beaks were gummed up by my litter. Hopefully their hooves were OK as well. And of course if you milked the udders of the fish that ate my gum I have to wonder if it would taste like peppermint . . .

Now I'm just being silly.

Cheryl, I love ya! I love to know ya even when I didn't know ya! And to your awesome son Jon - next time, we meet!

Next place for fun and merriment - Lasting Memories in the Seattle area, November 1st. All three classes will be offered in one power day of teaching. Would love to meet some new friends - how about it, West Coast? Can you beat the fun of the East Coast? Hee.

RMQOTD (You're gonna need a bigger boat!)