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Dear Oprah,

You are not the only one with a lot on her plate.  I have tried to write a blog post a couple of times in the past month, but it goes nowhere really fast.   This one might, too…we’ll see…

It’s like you have only so much creative energy to expend at a given time.  Writing, right now, as much as I love it, is really hard.  My energy has been spent making other people’s homes and furniture pretty—and thinking up creative ways to not be a neglectful parent.

It has been about three weeks, so I think I have sufficiently recovered enough to tell this story.  It started with what appeared to be brilliant luck on a warm Friday afternoon.  Jenna, my design partner and friend decided to hang out at our house for the evening so we took the boys on a walk to the duck pond.

She brought her fancy camera to take pictures of Pierce and Mikey, however their cooperation was not guaranteed or given without a guilt trip and some hollering on my part.  Gee, the duck pond has provided us with such wonderful memories.

After feeding the ducks and watching somebody walk their pet bunny with a giant butterfly net in case it hopped away faster than its owner could walk, the mood improved and we walked a little further to another little lake, where I decided to look for a four-leaf clover in a giant patch of weeds on the bank.  I found one immediately!  Jenna said she could never find one, so I gave it to her.  Being the lucky Irish(wo)man who I am–surely, I could find dozens more.  Things were looking up on this warm breezy day!  Jenna snapped photos and I kept looking for clovers—thankfully, she will delete them (I hope), but I have a feeling she has some shots of my giant hind end saluting the sky in my pursuits for more Irish luck.

Then it happened…our luck began to run out.  We were getting ready to walk back home, when Jenna realized that she LOST THE FOUR LEAF CLOVER I GAVE HER!  We looked in the grass, and everywhere around where she was sitting.  It was gone…Call me superstitious, but that cannot be a good sign.

The next day Greg and I planned to take Mikey and Pierce to the beach for the day, and then come home and get them ready for a sleepover and Grammy and Papa’s while we met some friends for dinner.

The beach was amazing!  Where we go, you don’t find a lot of seashells totally intact unless they are teeny.  The surf must just be too hard.  We got there when the tide was going out, so there were sandbars and tidal pools to play in.  As I walked along, I saw part of a sand dollar sticking out from the sand in about a foot of water.  Surely it couldn’t be a whole one.  It was!  Then I found two more!  I was rich!  Definitely need to play the power ball between the four-leaf clover, (never mind that Jenna lost it!) and the treasure trove of sand dollars.

After sufficiently baking in the sun and sea, we arrived home.  Showers and baths for all, and then a quick nap for me.    At about 5 pm, I made chicken for the boys and Mikey had a left over piece of pizza while playing his new Transformers video game.  Greg and I were getting ready for our evening out.  About 10 minutes before we were supposed to leave, I was ironing, when I saw Mikey walk into my room out of the corner of my eye.  I thought he was taking a drink from my water-glass on my nightstand, because it sounded like he spilled some.  Then he walks around the foot of the bed where I am, and says “Mommy-“  and throws up everywhere!  EVERYWHERE!  ON OFF WHITE CARPETING!  That’s also the noise that I heard when he was over by my nightstand.  I am in shock at rust colored, smelly vomit all over my carpet and everything within 3 feet, and he DOES IT AGAIN!  OH. MY. GOD. IN. HEAVEN. GREEEEEGGGGGGGGGGGGG!  I practically dislocated Mikey’s arm steering him to my bathroom, ordering him in a panicked lack of motherly sympathy to throw up in the toilet, which he did…sort of.

He wouldn’t get down on his knees and drive it like the porcelain bus should be driven.  He stood over it expecting his projectile to take perfect aim.  It didn’t.  It covered the toilet and the floor in a two foot radius around the base of it.  GOOD GOD!  How can one 60 lb. boy have this much in him?  The physics of fitting that much stuff into that narrow little torso—well the speculation about a hollow leg must actually be true.

Once he had also defiled my bathroom, he told me he felt much better.  I didn’t know what to do or say (let alone how to get this mess out of the carpet without adding to it myself.)  We didn’t know if he picked something up at the beach or what.  Was he done?  Would there be more—oh please, god, no.

I made him get back in the bath before I found vomit tracked in places I didn’t feel like cleaning.  Then I called my parents to say date night was off.  The last thing I wanted was for him to be sick over there.  Kids need mom when they feel crummy.

Then the really fun part—Greg and I set out to get the carpet clean.  I don’t know how we did it, but somehow our combination chemicals, scrub brushes, and towels have removed all evidence except for a faint discoloration only I could find.  That sweet man even went in and cleaned up the bathroom at the very same moment I was thinking that I might not be able to manage the smell that was increasing in the heat of the bathroom lighting.

Poor Mike spent the next four hours throwing up every 20-30 minutes.  Naturally there wasn’t much left, but to watch the poor kid go rigid with the convulsive retching that racked his little body was heart breaking.  He even tried to wait it out and threw up in his bed causing me to have to wash all of his bedding including the mattress pad of which I don’t have any extra ones.  This was after I had to do all of my own bedding because of the spatter from his initial performance in my bedroom.

For all of the parents who deal with children that have terminal illnesses, forgive my comment, but this was the worst parenting experience to date!  I guess I should be grateful for that and hope it remains at the top of my bad parenting experiences.

By the way, I blame Jenna.  Losing the four-leaf clover brought the terrible, terrible wrath of bad luck down on me.

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