Dear Emmy Jo,
“Lord have mercy” is a phrase I adopted recently in an effort to replace the under-my breathe cussing that I sometimes almost always do. I’m not sure when I started swearing (actually I know exactly when I started swearing…it coincides perfectly when I became outnumbered by little people with big attitudes who do things like play hide and seek with baby wipes and use my coffee cup for mouth retainer holders). Let it be known I never whip out any of the big kahunas, but considering that I’m the chief principle of Toscano institute for higher learning and all, I’m trying to grow in the virtue of appropriate language around children, most especially after stubbing my toe(s) or stepping on cheerios. So “Lord have Mercy” it is. I like to say it really dramatically, and I like to emphasize the words while dragging out all of the syllables: “LLLLLLooooord havvvvve Merrrrr SEEEEEEEE.” This sounds ridiculous, because it is. But as I’m saying it I am actually thinking:
“Lord please have mercy on me before I go absolutely bat sh*t crazy. Please save me from the eternal fires of this kitchen with 100 cheerios on the floor all crunching beneath my feet making noises worse than finger nails on a chalk board. Please sweet baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph sitting in heaven peacefully without any breakfast cereal on the floor, may these children please be my escape-from-purgatory ticket and my admit one directly to heaven pass. Lord please have mercy on me and all of the mothers everywhere picking Legos out of the hypodermis and connective tissues of their feet. Amen.”
But sweet little Joe, all 30 lbs of you, most of it in your cheeks, I would just like to say that last week you *almost* made me lose the actual marbles of my mother bleeping mind. You see last Saturday, at around 3 pm, I asked your sister to run upstairs and get you out of your crib from your afternoon nap. And so she did. But when you came downstairs, I noticed that you were without a diaper and it appeared that you had mud on your feet. When the neurons of my brain finally fired appropriately, the smell pointed to the foul and fecal truth. You had actual crap stuck and smeared all over your feet. I spent the next hour of my life cleaning up your brown footsteps that were tracked throughout the house. Do you know what the worst part was, Joe? The fact that you walked down the front steps of the house which still have red carpet on them. Something magical happens when brown fecal matter ends up on burgundy red carpet: it becomes so hard to see that it actually DISSAPEARS. So you know what I had to do, sweet Joe? I had to crawl on my hands and knees and sniff the red carpet to find out where to clean. Let me just repeat that so it does not get lost in translation: your mother crawled on her hands and knees throughout the house sniffing the ground looking for the scent of your poop. Like a dog, sweet Josephine, just like a dog.
After following your trail, it was evident that you took off your diaper in your crib, stepped on it (multiple times for good measure and optimum surface area ) and then went into the bathroom, climbed up on the stool, got down, walked into your brother’s room, went down the back staircase that leads into the kitchen, changed your mind, walked back up the stairs into your brother’s room, back into the bathroom, back down the front staircase, down the hallway, into the dining room, through the kitchen and then finally into the breakfast nook and outside. If you ever question my love for you, Emmy Jo, please re-read this last paragraph and consider the size of the farmhouse.
While I was crawling across all 4.5 miles of carpet you better believe I was practicing my new cussing coping method and the conversation in my head went something like this:
“Lord have mercy on me, sweet Jesus, sitting in heaven where there are no carpets for sh*t like this to happen to. Emmy Joe is such a legitimate pain in my a$$, I can’t believe I am cleaning up her sh*t spread across a 15 mile radius and how the h*ll did I end up here? Wasn’t I just 16 yesterday? God Bless her Jesus, that sweet and chubby girl so full of life and love. May I never blink, but if I do, may I live long enough to see her raise her own sweet and chubby babies. She is so bad, but she’s absolutely so, so good. I love her to actual hell and back, just like all of her siblings. May everyone everywhere be so blessed to experience, just once, the miracle that is a mother’s love in spite of all the red carpet coated with brown sh*t that they had to sniff.
Forever and Always,
Lord have Mercy on Me.