Let me present Crime Scene Evidence, Exhibit A.
Blame it on the moon, which will be full tonight.
The mess that my day became started in the middle of the night with choppy sleep. Hubby woke in the dark for his business trip, our middle child came into the room and I had weird dreams. I got up before six, when my youngest woke up. The morning was harder than most, since Hubby wasn’t there to help get everyone dressed. With him gone, I’d be bringing all three as I took my oldest to school by eight. Not impossible but not easy. We got through the morning scramble.
But then things unraveled. We walked to preschool and the baby’s blanket kept slipping off the stroller, getting caught in the wheels, which annoyed me to no end. I was mid-rant about it when a neighbor and her daughter caught up to us, on their way to school. She must have thought I was nuts but sometimes you just can’t put on a happy face. She asked if I was okay and I told her the truth, a vehement “No!” I told her I’d already had quite a day—nothing catastrophic but as my friend Sandy says, death by 1000 paper cuts. Finally we made it to school. Two kids taken care of, only one left.
In the parking lot, I reached under the stroller to get something to quiet the baby. Everything was covered in red goo. It looked like blood. What had my kids put under the stroller? I moved to the edge of the parking lot and began tossing items out of the stroller onto the parking lot. Everything seemed to have at least some red goo on it. With each messy item my frustration rose, especially since I couldn’t even figure out what the goo was. My kids’ hats had goo on them. A diaper with goo. Random stuff had goo. I managed to empty my full purse into the stroller’s lower storage area. Of course. Literally a hundred items now into the mysterious red goo. Began crying. Just so frustrated. (Some people would rather die than cry in public but sometimes, you just can't take it any more and you have to let it out. It was theraputic!) My friend arrived like a fairy godmother, to help. A teacher brought plastic bags so I could get the clean(ish) stuff away from the goo, which was pooled at the bottom of the under-stroller storage area. Finally figured out the source of the mess: a Tupperware container I’d put into the stroller this morning and forgotten. It had some frozen raspberries in it, and as they thawed they oozed some juice, which oozed out of the container too, EVEN THOUGH THE LID WAS ON AS TIGHTLY AS POSSIBLE. My friend and the teacher helped, and eventually I began laughing a little. I dried my eyes on the juice-spattered diaper, and turned down the offer for a tissue (after all, diapers are much more absorbent). What was it about today? It was only 9:10am and I’d already had a tough day. If, as the saying goes, tragedy plus time equals comedy—well, I’d need a few weeks before I could laugh about today.
Later, as I took the stroller out of my car, I managed to spill the remaining contents (all juice-saturated) out of the bottom of it onto the ground. My baby bit me on the same nipple twice within ten minutes. Serious pain. Today just seemed to be a tough one: spills in the car, fights between the kids, random small frustrations clustered into a day. On a happier note, my sweet friend Roxie left me a potted plant outside my door, with a note of encouragement attached. She’d been the one to scrape me up off the parking lot earlier, and I’m so grateful for her support. (Thanks, Rox.)
It’s been eight hours since the red goo began oozing, and I’m less annoyed. Even laughed a little as I described it to a friend. But I tell you, maybe next month I’ll block off on my calendar the day of the full moon, and as a public service to my city, maybe I won’t even try to leave the house that day!