There are moments when it's hard for me to think of myself as a adult. Even with car payments, doctors' visits, a mortgage, and work, the feeling doesn't always sink in. But, two events within the last 72 hours have smacked my husband and I upside the head...well, nose really...in such a way that we've had no choice but to embrace adulthood. And, I've gotta tell you, this time it stinks.
It all began on Friday evening, at my in-laws' house in Pennsylvania. We had just gotten into town and were settling in for the evening...by about 11:30, Bubby and Zeyda (Meredith's grandparents) had gotten a sufficient number of hugs to allow her to go to bed for the evening, and Greg and I were exhausted. I took Mer upstairs to get jammies on and begin the bedtime routine while Greg let Ruffy out into the backyard one more time before bed. This is crucial. Ruffy, being a townhome dweller, is not used to the freedom that comes with backyards, and my in-laws' backyard offers the additional perk of housing bunnies in the bushes and under the storage sheds. Though Ruffy is a well-trained sleep-through-the-night-and-even-sleep-late-on-weekends dog, if he is not allowed enough "outside time" in Pennsylvania, he will wake us up multiple times during the middle of the night, begging to be let outside to chase the bunnies.
Friday evening, however, Ruffy did not find bunnies in the bushes.
He found a skunk.
And the skunk found him.
This is how, at midnight Friday night, as some people were anticipating the end of the world, Greg and I stood on his parents' porch, scrubbing the skunk smell off our dog.
Skip ahead to this evening...Monday. Exhausted from traveling this weekend. Observation this morning. Faculty meeting this afternoon. Stressing as I duck out early to go to swim lessons with Meredith. I'm walking in the doors of UREC, ready to race into the locker room, change into my suit, and meet Greg and Mer for lessons in the pool when my phone starts ringing.
"Turn your butt around," he says. "We have had major CDF. No swimming tonight."
As it turns out, swimmy diapers and no poops from Meredith this weekend have combined with a game-changing result...catastrophic diaper failure. As Meredith babbles into the mirror and plays with her toys in her carseat, she is slowly ensuring that poop has touched the surface of everything within her reach.
The process that ensures when we get home is eerily similar to which occured Friday night, except that we allow Meredith the modesty of getting hosed down in the tub instead of on the porch.
The thing, besides the smell, that sticks with me after these events is the calm, matter-of-fact, yet immediate way we deal with these situations. I must say, I believe we deserve a pat on the back. There is no panic, no arguing, not even any attempt to delay the inevitable in the vain hope that some magical little fairies will come take care of the really messy parts for us.
Baths must happen.
Laundry must be done.
Situations must be handled no matter how tired you are. And smiles and a little good-natured teasing help smooth things along.
Sure, there are bigger, more serious, more critical moments in which people come of age. But there are also these moments, littler things that happen in the daily business of life, which reinforce the message.
This is what being a grown-up is...growing stronger and growing together.