Behind Closed Doors
Pink Tomato, our little girl, and The Yelp, our littlest boy (pet names, but that’s another story) were new to our family, but very much belonged already. We had adopted PT at almost three years of age and TY at 17 months (at the same time but there’s yet another story, or three). They joined my husband and I and our four-year old son to complete our family.
Almost a year later, their older brother was at preschool and I, their idiotic mother, was on the phone doing volunteer work. There’s your first clue.
During the phone conversation, I realized that the door to the large bedroom shared by the boys was closed. There’s your second clue.
Did I interrupt the Very Important Phone Call? I imagine you can answer that without a third clue. Of course, NOT!
Eventually, I concluded business and went to check on BUSINESS. I’m still not at the point where I can laugh at what I saw when I opened that door, though I no longer want to fling my body down the stairs head first onto the ceramic tile.
PT and TY were thoroughly enjoying and entertaining themselves with a Sam’s sized jar of creamy peanut butter. By that I mean: hands dipped to the wrists in the jar, were flinging fingers full of peanut butter onto bedcovers, walls, window coverings and toys in a hand jive that would have intimidated Danny, Sandy and every other soul at the Rydell High School Dance.
When the amount of peanut butter left on their hands was no longer enough to effectively fling, the residue was wiped on the carpet and pillows. T-ball trophies, treasured by their older brother, and tinker toys were dipped directly into the jar, then the hand jive began again.
I am so very proud to say that I silently placed each child in a separate bath, had a good cry in the peanut butter room, (isn’t that something Elvis should have enjoyed rather than me? the room, not the cry), then began triage.
I will always be indebted to hydrogen peroxide, Stanley Steamer and large, and cheap bottles of chardonnay, as well as the unspoken presence of SCAN.
Seven years later, we moved from the only home big brother, PT and TY could remember. While packing/cleaning/grieving and cleaning some more I found a petrified painting in peanut butter in the corner of a closet. And you know what? It’s still there. I hope the new owners never discover or remove that first hint of our family history.
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