The good book states that God created the universe in six days. However, Monday was the start day of the Almighty’s party. Mondays are epic, in the best and worst ways. There’s a reason way doctors say more heart attacks hit on Mondays. Monday is boots on the ground day. Time to put up or sit your ass down day, pardon my s’il vous plaît.
For me, Mondays serve as the positive start to my week.
Monday is the only day the nanny takes Julia to school. Monday is the one day where I can count on a luxury of time to organize my closet, sort my books, and maybe even, work on my personal writing before heading off to work. I’m talking a whooping an hour and fifteen minutes of free time within the confines of home. Alone. In single mommy land, that is a gold mine of time.
A few Monday’s back, I had plans, big plans. At 8:15 as Angie entered the house, I’d strap on my sneakers and exit. Then loop the Central Park reservoir and hit my lobby by 9:00. Shower, dress (apply my make-up in the subway like every other female gangster fashionista in New York City, and have my butt in my office chair by 10 am.
Well, best laid plans, of women, mice and men. For that Monday, 15th of May ,started with a plague in my home; a reign of destruction that arrived with a George Bush style shock and awe.
Plagues pretty much serve as plot twist in the bible: locusts, floods, and the much promised, fire next time. Of late
America has experienced its share of plague-woes. News reports in the past weeks have made testament to citizens caught in wild hell fires in the west, devastating floods in the Midwest, and the whirling funnel of death that cuts through the nations’ midsection, thought homes, churches, schools, and lives. Plagues hit and they hit hard.
And so it was with me. Dressed in my running tights, sweat wicking tee-shirt, and a smile I opened Julia’s door with a big ”Good Morning!” Then choked on the fumes.
“Mommy, I poo-pooed,” Julia said sitting in the middle of the floor surrounded by a thousand white islands made from baby wipes.
Julia had pulled tee-shirts and undies from their drawers, to enlist in the clean up effort. Soiled piles rose in small hills across the floor, too. Further back, the potty seat liner was ajar. And at first glance, I swear, green Ghostbusters like fumes were waffling out from the top.
“Julia, when did you poo-poo?” Trying to determine when the poopnado touched down.
“This morning, and I cleaned my body,” she said.
And she had, in manner of speaking.
Julia had done her part; it was just that the poopnado covered a wide area of her room: the potty seat, and the surrounding low line areas of clothes, even the rug. And while Julia had made a deposit in the potty, devastation still lay in her pull up, across the once white islands of wet naps, and swath that ran up her back.
Much like the great Johnstown Flood of 1929, it was a poopnado of the likes I’d never seen.
And so did what any good parent does, I put my head down and put my back into cleaning up. I made adjustments for a new Monday. Like Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, I accepted what was instead of what might have been. I tossed Julia into a hot bath, got down to job of sanitizing her room’s surfaces, then gathered the soiled clothes and dumped them into the washer and started the machine. Then I returned to the room and broke out the cans. A fog of Lysol and Febreze clouded the air like napalm. Lastly, after a good soaking I scrubbed Julia down, took her from the bath, dried her off, dressed her, and fed her. With two minutes to spare the doorbell rang.
“Buenos dias,” I said swing the door open.
Angie spoke on a delayed timer. She always studied my face not the tone of my voice upon arrival, to see how things are going in the Holmes household.
“Come sta?” She asked as she moved across the threshold.
“We had massive a poop,” I said,
“Yes,” she said wrinkling up her little nose, “I can still smell it.”
I bid them good-bye, and said adios to the thought of running, too worn out by the poopnando, but not to the idea of a bit of yoga.
The air calmed. Outside, through the windows, golden sunlight danced through dark green leaves. And it was on move six, after downward dog, after I’d placed the flat of my feet together and straightened my spine, and closed my eyes that an odor flared up my nose. An odor that was out of place in my psychic happy place. I cracked open an eye. And glanced down. And there on my right heel, caked over the smooth tan skin, I discovered a thick crust of ca-ca.
I sat at the crossroads.
Do go the way of the ca-ca? Do I allow the poopnando to carve a path through the rest of my Monday? Or do I set a new path.
The French, I recently read in a book, seem to accept that “life is messy,” especially when you have four-year-old; a truth for single and coupled baby mamas and papas, a like.
“Having a two-year-old is like having a blender that you don’t have the top for,” Jerry Seinfeld once said. Make that a double with a four-year- old.
So, I went forward with more downward dog, keeping the ca-ca as far from sight, and nose as possible. I knew that a good scrubbing would take care of everything. I knew Julia had got off the school smelling like rose. I knew my Monday was still mine. My spiritual intent held its ground. The poopnando had claimed nothing.