Crap Fairy Tales

Spring cleaning is downright frightening around here despite the superpowers of my alter ego, Crap Fairy. Frankly, I’d rather avoid it, but no matter how I slice it, the deep cleaning must be done.

During cleaning season, Crap Fairy sets aside the regular Modus Operandi of sneaking around secretly in the dead of night to commit grim acts of junk-removal and instead, starts viciously attacking crap in broad daylight. This is a dangerous move, I will admit, and I make sure Crap Fairy works hard not to get caught. Because getting caught mid-crap-theft by a preschooler leads to nothing but a fresh form of Perdition that I’d rather not discuss.

Realizing it couldn’t be put off any longer, last week Crap Fairy donned her wings and summoned up her partner in grime. Mr. Diaz acquired some rubber gloves along with multiple garbage bags and we headed out to conquer the large piles of crud that had built up in hidden places of the house over the winter.

You never can tell what has been hiding in the black hole under large pieces of furniture. It could be nothing. Or it could be noxious gas from a half-eaten jelly donut stuffed into a sweat sock that, once unearthed, lets off a smell that could dropkick a llama. We went in prepared for either. With gloves, goggles, brooms and makeshift hazmat suits, we took our stance and readied for battle.

And so it began.

The crusade against crap.

Protectively, Mr. Diaz gripped the broom and pushed me behind him. He slowly got down on hands and knees to peer into the deadly black chasm known as “beneath the couch.” Methodically he swept several piles into the middle of the floor, where we stood back to gawk at them.

“Death on a wheel,” He cried, “What is all this crap?” He had to take off his gas mask to ask this, or he would have sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. Whaan-wan-wha-whan-wahnnn-whan.

We had dislodged several dissected Lego people -brutally dismembered by the pudgy hands of a toddler- a broken stapler, a semi-dried apple that bore a remarkable resemblance to a shrunken head and 3 sippy cups ROLLING ON THEIR OWN from chemical gases caused by bacteria-laden fermented juice.

There were multiple discolored plastic balls, an entire petrified waffle that had to be carefully excavated and examined by a team of archaeologists, 4 mismatched batteries, chewed-up popsicle sticks, a manila envelope filled with toilet paper and lettuce, along with half a pound of dirt.

We unearthed a bottle of dried Tabasco sauce, an unopened box of camouflaged bandaids, OJ’s black leather glove and enough hair to weave a Bieber-inspired toupee for Bruce Willis. Not that Bruce would ever want a second-hand wig weaved from crud infested hair. But if he does, I could hook him up.

Several Sunday school name tags stuck to the back of the loveseat silently proclaiming ownership of a stash of stolen goods. There was a busted Wii remote, the crusted guts of a cantaloupe rotting in a dixie cup, 2 paper dollars of Monopoly money, a few half eaten UNO cards, disfigured paper clips, a red poker chip, 4 dice, a roulette wheel and a small black book containing betting records and code names of an illegal toddler gambling ring.

I will be the first to admit that I’ve always thought my children were bright. But clearly it’s less than brilliant to slap your own Sunday school name tag across the black notepad being used to record unlawful betting as an infant bookie.

The entire morning went like this as we delved deep into the belly buttons of the house, sleuthing for prime Crap Fairy plunder and excavating stacks of dusty rubbish.

Crud. Crust. Carburetors. Crepes.

Trash bags were filled and the furniture repositioned. Young children stood locked-out on the back porch foaming and frothing at the mouth, wailing about their hoard of treasures being discovered and discarded. We smiled and waved and kept shoveling.

By the afternoon we moved on to the garage where we ransacked our own space from floor to ceiling the way gang members dismantle a loaded hot-rod. All our junk was hauled out and piled disorderly into the driveway, like a giant Red-nex-ican Garage Fail.

Neighbors pointed and sneered. Dog-walkers snickered. The mailman hid his eyes.

“Look Marty, the Diazes are having a garage sale for all of their trash!” Bertha said loudly to her Chinese crested rat dog as she walked to the mailbox.

Right. If a garage sale was hosted by vandals in hazmat suits.

We worked tirelessly through the day. The junk was sorted and hauled to Crap Fairy Land. Everything was wiped clean and reorganized. The house and garage were once again breathable and fresh. I snapped off my rubber gloves and goggles and looked around at our hard work. Mr. Diaz breathed a sigh of relief, which also happened to be his first deep breath since removing his gas mask.

And that brings us to the end of this story.

This Crap Fairy Tale has a particularly good ending, monetarily speaking, because I opened an Etsy account to sell Bieber-inspired wigs laboriously crocheted from davenport hairballs.

And business is good.

 

This post is also located at: Mom Resource Blog Party

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You won’t find a mermaid in this lagoon.

Life with many children is filled with wonderful moments. It is also filled with difficult ones. The problem is, you never know which moment you will get.

Quick as a wink, my day can fall completely to pieces. I can be swimming along peacefully, backstroking through a thick fog of tranquility, and the very next instant all hell can break loose. I’m not sure why that happens so swiftly, but I do know this: it catches me off guard every single time.

Take yesterday for example.

Mr. Diaz loaded up our giant van and hauled our oldest children down to the car wash. He didn’t do this because he’s a super awesome dad who wants to spend a few extra moments with our dear offspring. Nor did he do this because our children like sitting in an enclosed space while giant soapy brushes slap and lick the sides of a vehicle that’s roughly the size of a barge.

Nah.

He took them to the car wash because he needed bodies to hold towels over the windows in the back of the van where there are leaks. I can’t blame him for this. What did we have children for anyway if not to do mundane, Red-nex-ican tasks like that one?

Meanwhile, I was back in my kitchen loading the dishwasher and the other five children were occupied and quiet.  Every parent knows “Occupied and Quiet” is a summons for disaster. Sure enough, Squidgy baby began to cry, flailing and wailing while flopping in the jump-a-roo.

Suddenly, a scream pierced the stillness and I immediately knew it was my 2 year old, Chatterbox Toddler. I scurried down the hallway to the playroom and he ran up to my legs and clutched them as tightly as a modish purse snatcher holds onto a Kate Spade.

“Owwww,” he sobbed through his big tears, “Head owwwwwy,” 

Chatterbox Toddler was wet. He had a blossoming red welt where he had conked his noggin. He held onto me and screeched his dysphoria -a cacophony now mixed with the sounds of a wailing baby back in the living room.

I noticed my wood floors were wet too, as if a preschooler spilled a gallon of water and attempted to mop it up by using the least absorbent material on the planet, which in this case was an old baby quilt. Instead of the spill being soaked up, it spread the liquid from one side of the floor clear to the other.

A slight movement from the back of the room caught my eye.

Our resident preschooler, Humdinger, stood there stark naked and frozen in place; one leg lifted up in the air and ready to go into a pair of underwear. He had been quickly trying to change into dry clothes. It didn’t take long to figure out what had happened. Humdinger had masterfully created his very own ‘Slip-n-Slide’. From his pee. And his brother had involuntarily taken the first ride.

I can’t really say what coursed through my mind in the next few moments.

I bear vague memories of solemn, sincere prayers to Jesus Christ and perhaps the thoughts of mild profanity. Three kids were vociferously bawling; the very angry baby back in the living room, the naked preschooler holding one leg up through a pair of faded Batman underpants (who then did a perfect swan dive into a naked flop-tantrum across the cold floor). And, of course, the still-screaming toddler who had just been the first contestant on his brother’s low budget version of “Wipe Out.”

The real tragedy for the toddler was not the loss of dignity after a brief glide in his brother’s tinkle. No. What really upset him was the tragic loss of a beloved banana he had mashed into the floor with his legs as he fell.

Moving quickly, I abandoned the semi-creamed banana, left it bobbing in Urine Lagoon and hauled the toddler up to the bath for a quick rinse.

As is normal in my house, a tranquil afternoon had unraveled in a matter of moments.

A protesting Humdinger was forced against his will to get fully dressed in clean, dry clothing. The baby was forced against her will to wait out her bounteous troubles inside a jumpy manufactured to look like an absurd rain-forest. The toddler was forced against his will to abandon his favorite fruit. And I was rudely forced against my will to get down on tired hands and knees and mop the entire floor before other children ran into the room exclaiming “Hey! A free banana! That looks delicious!”  

45 minutes later, the baby was wiped, changed and dozing peacefully. The preschooler was occupied with a giant floor puzzle that still magically retained all the pieces, and the toddler had been awarded the consolation prize of a few crackers to snack on. With the crisis handled, the chaos of the afternoon slowly faded back down into a lull.

Mr. Diaz returned shortly with several children, wet towels, and a sparkling clean van that had been washed on the inside as well as the outside.

A kid, who heard the van pull up, sprinted into the house from the backyard where he’d been playing. He kicked off his muddy boots, threw down his dirty coat and peed right there on the floor.

It shouldn’t be surprising.

Around here, windows aren’t the only things that leak.

The Emperor has no airplanes!

So here’s how it went down:

It was my Mother-in-law’s idea. “Let’s sit at the airfield and watch all the airplanes.”

We were totally alone as we laid out our bedraggled kept-in-the-trunk-blankets and sat down to observe…uh…whatever we thought was going to happen. When you spontaneously unload seven children out of the van to sit at an airfield, you expect something spectacular. Or at least mildly amusing. I’m sad to inform you that it was neither.

Oh, there were plenty of large jet planes to look at. They just happened to be completely stationary. Unmoving. A grand total of two small planes landed and took off. And if I’m honest, I’m pretty sure it was the exact same plane twice. Nevertheless, the kids waved and yelled and jumped around and clapped their sticky hands, and hollered out their love to the sky. 

Then it happened. 

Because we are a huge (ahem, and loud) group, and because our dear children insist on creating chaotic amounts of fun wherever we go, other people driving by thought something spectacular was happening at the airport. 

And so they pulled over. 

And got out of their cars. 

And walked up the hill and stood eagerly with tripod cameras ready to snap up pictures of something FABULOUS.

Mr. Diaz mumbled “Oh good, we aren’t the only idiots out here.” 

I have to point out that he said this while draped in a blue Aztec patterned towel, which the adults and older children were wearing across their shoulders like shawls because none of us thought to bring coats or jackets. That’s how we roll. We make DO when our spontaneity overrules our common sense.

Several car-loads of expectant onlookers came. 

While our children paraded around laughing and pointing at imaginary flying machines, hopeful observers parked and walked up the hill toward us to watch all the airplanes. “Do you see the emperor’s new clothes?!” they asked one another.

Eventually, someone yelled “The emperor has no clothes!” and half an hour later people clued in that there were NO airplanes either landing or taking off, and with disappointed looks, they sauntered back to their cars with empty cameras and sad hearts. 

As for us, we just kept sitting, (because that’s what you do when you’re old and tired) watching our kids roll down the grassy hills until they smacked face-first into the chain-link fences, and running and jumping and laughing in the fresh air. We stayed until we could safely say all children were exhausted. Then we loaded up the party bus and headed home. 

We brought home all the towels-turned-coats, some memories, and several gnarly grass stains. Thank God for Resolve Stain Remover.

I’m sure we will find ourselves back at the airfield again one day soon. If you ever want to join us, feel free. Just don’t show us up by coming with actual coats. Because if you’re ever in the mood to join our Red-nex-ican ho-down, you’d better arrive as ill-prepared as the rest of us.

I’ll throw several more hideous towels into the back of the van, just for you to wear on such an occasion.

You’re welcome.