This blog chronicles my life as I try to balance healthy lifestyle habits with my husband's penchant for pizza rolls and my daughter's desire to watch iCarly 8 hours a day. It contains a mostly humorous, kind, and somewhat spiritual look at everyday life and the people who live it.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I crawled through pee for you, you little ingrate!

Yesterday I was driving my daughter and a friend home from school. As the driver of the vehicle I was completely anonymous, invisible, and not worth worrying about so the girls were talking as if they were alone. My daughter was lamenting to her friend how her mother "never plays with me" and "Bethany's mom and dad are so cool because they always play with their kids!" The girls were in agreement that I was useless and cruel, meanwhile I was flashing back to my worst moment in my playful parenting history: the day I crawled through pee.

I had taken my then-4-yr-old daughter to the Museum Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. She wanted to play in an area of the Children's Museum where there are numerous tubes and walkways to climb through and explore, and a very narrow maze of levels that the kids can use to exit the play area. My daughter was too young to go up in the tunnels on her own without getting lost and scared. My husband was too big to fit through many of the child-sized tunnels. I was elected. Now at the time I didn't know that I was mildly claustrophobic, I hadn't had any experience with mazes and tunnels, as I am a product of the 70s when such things didn't exist. I was okay on all the main stairs, large rope tunnels, and even the tinier crawling spaces were fine.

Then we came to the narrow step maze. My daughter went down first and so I was committed: I had to follow her down. I slithered my body down one level and then another. Locked in an 'S' shape I found myself having a difficult time moving down to the third level. I couldn't go down, I couldn't go up. I was stuck. I wriggled and pulled and tugged myself forward and came face to face with a crying child of about 6 who apparently had no doubts as to his claustrophobic state. We eventually manage to pass each other, mostly because I allow the child to step on my hands, stick his butt in my face and use me as the step to the next level. I reach my hand down to pull myself downward again ... and I feel it. A puddle. My hand has landed in a puddle and I know with every fiber of my being that the puddle isn't water. Well, not pure water, that is. I have put my hand in pee and now I am forced to drag my entire body through the pee in order to exit the maze.

I finally exit: shaken, disheveled, and wet. My daughter and husband are waiting impatiently for me at the bottom, acting as if I am deliberately drawing out this experience just to keep them from moving on to the next fun spot. Of course no one is ready to go home. Of course while I have 2 complete changes of clothes in the car for my daughter I have nothing for myself. Of course sympathy has never been Steve's strong point and he laughs at me until he grows bored with my complaining and then tells me to "let it go." Of course I never even thought twice about going back to that torture chamber because OF COURSE that maze became my daughter's favorite place in the entire museum. Of course. I'm a mom. This is what I do. And my daughter's a child. Lack of appreciation. That's what she does.

But just so we're all clear: I crawled through pee for that little ingrate.

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