Playing Possum

Just to keep your day in perspective, I want to share with you a morning I had about five years ago.  I originally wrote this immediately after the event so I wouldn’t forget the details, and so I could offer it to my sons as an example of a “typical day in the life” when they were young.  It is all written as if it happened today, and when I read it over, it seems like it did.  Enjoy!
    I got up this morning with my four little boys who were very grumpy but moving through their routine nicely. After their breakfast prep–I went upstairs to shower and change my clothes.  About two minutes after I undressed for the shower, I hear my oldest son going crazy on the deck, screaming “No, no, no!” I looked through my window to see him wildly waving his arms at our two boxers emerging out of the woods. Not knowing what was going on I ran downstairs half dressed to hear my son yelling “Mommy, the dogs;  they’re eating some sort of ANIMAL”.  “Oh great”, I thought.  This is my first experience as a real land owner with trees, woods and assorted wild things. I shooed the dogs away and sure enough lying on the deck were the freshly picked over tail and spinal column of some dead thing.
     The boxers, Lola and Phoebe were dancing and yipping; I’m sure singing the doggie rendition of “Don’t we smell pretty, look what we brought you”.  So face baths for the dogs in the kitchen sink and the somewhat disgusting task of carrying this, what I determined to be leftovers of a possum, tail and spine to the garbage. Okay, still time to stay on schedule. Dogs go outside, and Jacob’s ride to the chess club arrives. Dogs come running to the strange car that is in the driveway WITH MORE OF THE STUPID POSSUM IN THEIR MOUTHS.  I swear I could hear them singing again “Don’t we smell pretty, look what we brought you”.
     The round of EWWWWS from the boys and the stench of this eyeless possum carcass, which is now only inches away, almost puts me over the top. But I get it.  I must live by the laws of the land. With Jacob protesting he doesn’t want to leave the excitement; the car taking him to chess club pulls away. I now tell the six, the four and the three year old to get the shovel, the rake and the garbage can. I rake the poor possum leftovers onto the shovel, get the boys to open the lid of the garbage can (which already smells from the tail and spine of this little guy), dump the rest of the critter in and give the dogs their SECOND bath before 7:30 in the morning. 
     Hubby calls and I calmly tell him what’s happened. Ten minutes after we hang up, the phone rings again.  It seems hubby has talked to some of the more seasoned dead possum experts in the Pentagon, and by county code I can’t dispose of the remains of my dead possum friend in the garbage, I’m told I need to get the little guy out of the can and into a bag so we can bury it in the backyard. “OHHH NOOOO WAY”–I said, “You come home and bury the whole trash can if you want but I’m not touching that stuff again”.  In his “I wear a suit” sort of way…hubby explains that’s  not the best idea. Okay–It’s nine o’clock now and I’m down to the four and three year old for help. I say to the number three son –“Get the trash can and hold this plastic bag”.  When I open the can the stench is overwhelming. I immediately hear a gagging reflex behind me and the words “wait mom” followed by the sound of little feet scampering to the back of the garage. Well I can’t wait so I dump the can out and scoop up the pieces of dead animal stuff that litter the driveway. Just as I’m tying the plastic bag…I hear “Okay mom–I’m ready” and turn to see my four year old standing there in full scuba gear ready to take on the smelly leftovers of Mr. Possum.
     Now most folks would have called it a day–but noooo–I have a party for 15 at the house that evening. So, I drop the four year old at preschool and head to Food Lion to buy every tacky sort of food you can think of, including one of those big gallon jugs of red wine (it was a Tacky Bunco Party). We get home, open the garage and I swear the stench of the animal remains is so bad my eyes start to water.  My three year old and I let the dogs out of the house, and I start to unload the truck. 
      No sooner do I open the tail of the truck, than the wine jug rolls out and crashes to the floor.  I watch in disbelief as the red wine spreads out like blood from a gunshot wound and then turn to see the dogs taking back off to the woods.  I’m frantic now, yelling to the dogs to come back, trying to avoid broken glass, and telling my son to stay away.  Thankfully, the dogs listen and do come running and, of course, commence to lapping up the red wine. So now I have two drunk boxers, one dead possum, a three year old, broken glass all over the driveway, 15 people coming to the house for a party and I’m down to the three year old for help.  It is now 11:35 a.m.
      So that’s my story and I swear to you every bit of it is true.  Things do get easier as the children get older, but I laugh out loud when I remember that morning and offer it to you as perspective on yours.

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2 responses to “Playing Possum

  1. I’m telling you. I have to remember to write down and copy all these blogs to a separate file since I suspect someday these will all be obsolete. thanks for the post!
    d

  2. Too funny! Definitely puts anyone’s morning in perspective. So glad you wrote this all down when it happened – so very clear, and the boys will die laughing with lingering memories when they read this in 20 years!

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