I like being one of the head soldiers in my family. I wear the battle scars well, and today was no exception. After a day of generally relaxing with the kids and kicking back on a rainy and dreary Monday (after a mind-numbing 4th of July weekend), with a video and a bowl of kettle corn popcorn, I finally kick into cleaning and painting mode.
I have spent the better part of the past three hours doing laundry, vacuuming, painting two coats on the cabinets, giving Nia a bubble bath (to keep her out of everything as I work), dusting, and putting new sheets on the bed.
Oh, did I mention that a Febreezed the WHOLE house while I was at it: carpets, furniture, chair cushions, bedding. You name it, I squirted it cause I'm kinda of tired of the stinky paint smell in the house of late.
After Julian took Nia to the park for the first hour of painting, I thought it only fair that he invite his friend over for a some "boy" time. He's around the girls so much, that sometimes he loses his perspective on what his gender does for downtime.
Well he and his friend figured out plenty in the short period of time they have been together today.
I put Nia in a bubble bath so I could finished up the rest of the chores while Julian and "C" played around outside doing something called an "Airsoft" war. It's definitely a guy thing to run around the backyard and shoot little plastic yellow pellets that feel like bee stings when they hit, and call it fun.
It must be comparable to women undergoing a once a month waxing ritual and calling it fun as well.
Well, when that got to be boring - like 10 minutes later - my son asks for a lighter.
"Why do you need a lighter?", I inquisitively asked him with that semi-crossed look between my brow.
"Oh, it's just like a secret thing we're doing.", he replies with a sheepish grin on his face.
"Oh, then it's like you're not going to touch the lighter then.", I reply with an even cockier look on my face.
"Wellllll. It's because "C" brought over some fireworks and we want to set the rest off.", he finally upchucks the truth.
"You can't do fireworks without an adult present.", I say in my best parental authority voice.
"But they are just those little Jumping Jack things like what we had on the 4th.", he pleads back with puppy dog eyes that generally turn any parent to mush when applied at moments like these.
Since I knew exactly what he was talking about, I hesitantly agreed to hand over the lighter in lieu that I would be watching from the kitchen window. I did want the illusion of "space" so that he and his friend wouldn't be too embarrassed that MOM was hovering over their boyish neanderthal moment.
The boys were outside safely lighting the Jumping Jacks and watching them kind of fizzle and flop on the pavement below their feet. Nothing was too dangerous about what they were doing, so I went in to get Nia out of the tub.
My husband called just before I made it that far to the bathroom. Leave it to the husband to call at one of those times when I SHOULD have just ignored the call and gone about my business, only to call him back later.
Again, I've ignore the screaming intuition inside of me.
Suddenly, my son and his friend are laughing in hysterics just as I hang up the phone with my husband.
"What are you two up to out there?", I yell over the hysterical laughter emitting through the back door into my office.
"We just shot off the smudkdjch bomsnnsf!", Julian tries to say between gasps of air and laughter.
"WHAT!", I shout back cause I didn't understand a damn word he just said.
"WE JUST SHOT OFF THE SMOKE BOMBS!! BAWHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!", he roars with laughter with "C" laughing just as hard as he.
I stand up to go take a look at what all the commotion is about, and to finally get Nia out of the tub, and suddenly I am hit with a combination of "The Fog" meets Howard Stern's "Fartman", right smack in my face.
I immediately begin to gag my lungs out all over the floor. I look up to see that the entire fucking house is engulfed in a thick cloud of white smoke mixed with the smell of ten thousand rotten eggs!
My son and his friend had just set of smoke bombs and FORGOT to shut the back door in the process. With the seabreeze whipping about as it does this time in the afternoon, ALL the damn smoke and smell completely permeated the entire house as they were laughing over their endeavor.
I quickly run to open all windows and doors while knowing that with this amount of smoke and smell, just about every house within a one block radius is gonna be affected by this. I'm sure the house is also looking like, well....... I burnt dinner real bad.
I'm running around with my shirt over my mouth and nose. I run to tell Nia to stay in the tub and don't come out because her brother set off a smoke bomb and blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
"Can't you call the fire department about the bomb mommy?", she asks while showing her own sense of fear by suddenly grabbing a dry towel and throwing it over her body while she sits in the tub.
I guess she thinks the towel is gonna save her; I have no clue about this maneuver.
"No honey - it's not that kind of bomb. Your brother set off some stinky fireworks and didn't close the door.", I calmly reply, but knowing I must have some wild-eyed look on my face cause she pulls the towel up closer around her chin.
"Dad is gonna get him over this one cause THIS HOUSE STINKS!", she poignantly points out to me.
So now I am running back and forth between opening windows, checking on Nia, chastising my son, and dragging our big fan towards the back door in hopes of siphoning out what now looks like little nuclear mushroom clouds forming in the house.
While coughing the remainder of my respiratory system out on the living room floor, I get it plugged in to suck out an noxious decoction that now resembles an overpowering combination of sulphur and a faint dead flower fragrance that I think is from the Febreeze I had previously soaked everything down with before this whole "mishap" occurred.
So what do I do in a moment of panic like this? I grabbed the last half of the bottle of Febreeze and began spraying the absolute shit out of everything all over again. My head is swirling and I' am convinced that I'm a candidate for a brain tumor now as the house and my head is filled with a toxic bouquet of paint fumes, chemically-laden Febreeze droplets, and the remnants of several stink bombs.
All I care about is getting the smell out before my husband gets home. I can die later, but this smell has got to come out of this house NOW! I've slaved cleaning the house once already - I can do this again, just equip me with an oxygen tank this time around. Turn it on full blast and shove that plastic hose up my nose; I'm good to go.
I decide to open up a few pizzas and pop them into the oven as the back door still and all the windows stand wide open. After all, my daughter and the "bomb-squad" does have to eat.
Did I mention I still have the A/C on to boot cause God-forbid the house be smelly AND boiling hot at the same time?
It seems the pizza is doing the job I intended as the putrid egg smell is slowly being replace with pepperoni, cheese, with a hint of Italian sausage. Plus a little garlic - no a lot - for good measure.
I currently have reached the smell level of a pizza parlor mixed with a dead exotic flower shop.
Hopefully, by the time my husband gets home it'll just smell like Julian had a bad case of gas from the pepperoni and Nia got into her sister's body spray.
We'll just call it another day in the trenches.