american ninja parent semifinals

Did someone sign me up for American Ninja Parent and forget to tell me?

Seriously, is today the semifinal?

I walked into the boys' room this morning to find diarrhea on the beds, couches, diaper changing cover, and obviously all over the two boys, who were sitting side-by-side on the bed with a book open across their laps.

It looked like a crime scene. Like a food poisoning crime scene.

You know the old saying, when life gives you lemons, make lemonade? Well, in our house, when life gives Chicken a stomach bug, Buster makes poop cakes.

A bath was in order.

While the boys splashed and chattered I gathered all the poop-caked textiles from the bedroom and started the laundry. I sent up a quick prayer of thanks that the rug had been spared. The laundry machine full and whirring, I checked my boys' nail beds, buttholes, toe cleavage, nostrils, ear caverns, elbow crooks, and belly buttons.  I declared them clean, wrapped them in towels, and said, "OK, let's go back to the bedroom for diaps!"

I guess I need to enunciate with more intention, because Buster heard, "OK, let's run naked into the playroom sans diaps!"

I let him go. Buster wasn't the geyser I most needed to cap. I had just enough time to get Chicken slathered with diaper cream and into a diaper before I heard Buster yell, "PEE!"

Down the hall I ran to the playroom, towel in hand. I had just enough time to throw the towel down on the pee puddle under the dining room table before I heard Chicken, back in the bedroom, yell "Mommy I need SOCKS! And I'm gonna POOP!"

BACK down the hall I ran to the bedroom, Buster tucked under my arm like a 30-pound football. I had just enough time to get a pull-up on Buster and Chicken settled on the potty with a Dr. Seuss book, before I heard Buster crow, "WAWEE!"

BACK down the hall I ran to the kitchen where Buster had held down the fridge door water dispenser until half the kitchen floor shone in a shallow puddle.

I pulled Buster out of the kitchen, where he'd been stomping in the puddle and delighting in the happy smacking sounds of his feet on the wet linoleum. I grabbed two towels (DON'T FREAK OUT DON'T YELL IT'S ONLY 7:40 IN THE MORNING KEEP IT TOGETHER SMALLS IT'S A FUCKING TEACHABLE MOMENT) and handed one to Buster, who looked at it for a blank second like a Duke who's just been handed a toilet brush, like he was thinking "what on EARTH do you expect me to do with this, Bartholomew?" before dropping it behind him as he wandered down the hall calling "Chicken?" (This, by the way, is how so many teachable moments go with your second kid. Most of the time I feel like I'm playing tennis by myself. I have enough juice to get the ball in the air, but not enough to keep it there, and within seconds it rolls, sadly, into that questionable puddle in the corner of the public courts.)

I had just enough time to sop up most of the puddle on my own before I heard, simultaneously:

Chicken: (feet hitting the bathroom floor) I'M DONE! And I still need SOCKS!
Buster: STAMPS!

Down the hall I ran to the bathroom, where I found Buster licking the stamp pad. I had just enough time to yank the pad out of his hands and shove it back into the stamp box (which I'd left out on the bathroom counter because when I say I had just enough time to pull the stamp pad out of his hands I mean literally that he has done this four times in 24 hours and THERE HAS NEVER BEEN ENOUGH TIME TO THEN OPEN THE CLOSET DOOR and put the stamp box away) before I caught Chicken with one foot out the door and had to put him in a half-nelson until I could wipe his butt. Per Chicken's explicit instructions, I wiped him "so GENTLY like a mouse going to sleep on my butthole."

I had just enough time to wash my hands and walk into the boys' bedroom to get Chicken's fucking socks before I heard Buster right behind me, saying in a small voice, "I help?"

I turned around and saw him in the bedroom doorway, golden hair a mess of curls, his mouth blackened with stamp ink like the most adorable Danny DeVito-as-The-Penguin you have ever SEEN. He stood in front of me naked and soaking wet, his arms and chest covered in still-running drops of water. In his hand he held a Pyrex measuring cup full to the brim with, you guessed it, fridge door water.

(Because earlier when I was cleaning up the first fridge door water incident, recall that I had just enough time to towel up the puddle on the floor and NOT enough time to lock the fridge door water spout before I had to go stop Chicken from tracking poop through the house and Buster from actually eating a stamp pad whole.)

I had just enough time to fall madly in love with him again before he upturned the cup and dumped the whole 2 cups on the carpet at his feet.

His voice said, "Uh oh," but his face said, "Fill it up AGAIN," so I had just enough time to grab the cup and another towel (for those of you keeping score at home, that's six towels in 20 minutes this morning), which I had just enough time to drop on the matted, squishy carpet swamp before I ran to grab the stamp pad out of his mouth AGAIN because I STILL didn't have time to put it on a high shelf.

Chicken only had to ask for socks two more times before they finally made it onto his feet.

The rest of the morning we pulled ourselves together and I managed to deflect requests to "paint a beautiful picture," with claims that the paint "went bad," and beaming offers of Nilla Wafers and apple juice. The two boys even worked together to make a Duplo train, and gave me enough time to drink 4 cups of coffee, pee, and move the now poopless sheets et al from the washer to the dryer.

SO if that WAS the Surprise American Ninja Parent semifinals, I'm pulling a Lieutenant Dan, strapping myself to the mast in this shitstorm and hollering "is that all you got?!?"

I'm pretty sure I'll be moving onto the final round. It is, after all, almost lunch time. And then it'll be naps, and after naps it'll only be a couple of hours until Ryan gets home. So really, since it's almost 12:30, most of my day is...

oh that can't be right

the battery must have

oh god
oh god

IT'S ONLY 10:30


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