Living in Texas, especially just north of Houston as I do, one can try to be a koi in a pond full of catfish but, at some point, you're going to find it necessary to trade your golden spots for some whiskers - if only for a moment. So, yes, there are times when I find myself being just a little bit Redneck. This past weekend just happened to be one of those times. How I kept my sanity is still a mystery to me. I'm thankful (for not having a bald head, that is) but surprised all the same.

I have to digress a moment to set the stage. As you all know, Shaggy is 14 and Doodlebug is 8. Lately, Doodlebug has been making mighty gestures towards following in his brother's footsteps with certain things. Because Shaggy is the Golden God of Older Brother Example (I shudder writing that). Thus, my little Doodlebug came to me a few weeks back claiming that he needed to use deodorant like his brother.

I scoffed. And then he shoved his little hairless armpit in my face. Five minutes later, when I came to, aided by the frantic fanning of clean oxygen, I added deodorant to my grocery list. Apparently, the wee spawnling is coming into his hormones a tad bit earlier than his brother did (who only started using deodorant this past year).

Then, in the past week, I have become aware of a strange new odor in our house. I have named it Eau de Summer Roadkill. Indeed, it smells like dead animal left on the highway after a few hot, humid Texas summer days. In other words - GROSS. I have searched high and low for the culprit, only to be convinced it is in my head.

Me: I smell something dead. Do you smell something dead? Seriously, something has DIED in our house.
Mr. Clean (sniffing): I smell nothing. Are you sure those people in your head aren't playing jokes on you?
Me: Ha. Ha. No, the smell is Real and it is DEAD. In. My. House. Please! Find the dead thing!
Mr. Clean (after searching): There is nothing dead in the house. Spray some Febreeze or something.

I sprayed Febreeze (and body spray, and lit candles!) and the smell disappeared. But! During a late night drive home, I smelled it again. I gagged, then covered my nose and mouth and screeched (through my fingers) to Mr. Clean: "Oh My Dog, that is one Ripe dead animal we just passed. It's smells like a giant COW kicked it! Roll up the window!! Roll up the window!!"

He shot me a look that said, "You are Certifiably Crazy" and said, "We are on a raised highway. I don't know how a cow would get up here. And I don't smell anything." But, he rolled up the window because he knows me (and what would happen if he didn't).

I dropped my hand and then slapped it back to my face. "Something DIED in the truck! It's in the truck. With. Us!"

Mr. Clean took a whiff and turned green. "Oh my God, you're right!" He rolled down the front two windows again.

We turned to look in the back seat. Shaggy was sleeping against his window, his arm over his face. Doodlebug... was taking off his other shoe.

Me (glaring at Mr. Clean): All in my head?? My people playing jokes on me... wasn't that what you said?
Mr. Clean: *crickets chirping*
Me: Uh huh. That's what I thought.

The culprit found, we set out on Sunday to buy new shoes. First on the list were a new pair of flip-flops so the spawnling's feet can Breathe fresh clean air. Second, a new pair of sneakers - as the first pair were chunked out the window into the bed of the truck until we got home, where they were immediately removed to the trash can. The only problem? There were no shoes for him to wear in order to buy new ones.

We decided Doodlebug needed to travel barefoot and we'd find the nearest Payless for flip-flops. Then, we could either find sneakers there as well or move on to the mall (where I needed to visit the bookstore in order to retain the last tiny threads of my sanity).

We could not find a Payless on the way to the mall, which was open, leaving only the one at the mall.

So. I found myself having a Redneck moment - convincing my 8 year old spawn wearing Abercrombie and no shoes that he had to enter the mall (in The Woodlands! - i.e. Yuppy Central), Barefoot, and riding on his Daddy's shoulders (as you could fry eggs on the pavement and ewww.... dirty!). Folks - he did not like this idea (and, trust me, I was on his side). He whined, stomped, cajoled, and finally capitulated when I bribed him with the forbidden Tangerine Starbucks. Mr. Clean and I dithered over which end of the mall housed the Payless store (as I will not pay high $ on shoes for a kid who grows constantly). He said the Dilliards end. I said, No... the Foley's, definitely. He insisted. I finally agreed after he brought up how directionally challenged and memory deficient I am.

Except... I was right and he was oh so very wrong. So we ended up walking through the Entire length of the mall carrying a barefoot child who is most definitely Too Big to be carried. I have no clue why this bothered me so much, but it did.

Still, having a gorgeous pair of flip-flops for a spawnling's feet that smell like death reincarnated (once sweaty, in socks and shoes which have undoubtedly been worn barefoot and wet)... umm, Worth. It.

The Tangerine Starbucks bribery? They might as well name it Kid Crack. Like I said before... I'm lucky I still have my hair.

I do, however, have three new books for our drive to Kentucky:
Every Which Way But Dead - Kim Harrison
California Demon - Julie Kenner
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold

Then, BabySis, psychically knowing that I needed Many Books To Keep My Sanity, dropped off her copy of Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi. Honestly, she thought it was my book until I called and pointed out that it wasn't mine... but I had been on the phone with her when she bought it.

Mr. Clean purchased:
Her Majesty's Dragon - Naomi Novik
Kushiel's Dart & Kushiel's Chosen - Jacqueline Carey

Shaggy got another Clive Cussler (no clue which one). And Doodlebug - well, he got shoes and still has a pile of books to be read. We're going to be reading fiends but when you're facing a 16 hour drive... Seriously. Can you blame us?

Okay. I'm off to watch Treasure Hunters (I'm addicted to this show... it has PUZZLES!). Forgive any typos. No editing today.
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1 Response
  1. Farm Girl Says:

    Oh, smelly, smelly boys. It sounds like you have never been priveledged enough to smell dirty hockey equipment. It's most unpleasant.