My boy can say the sweetest things.
“You make the best tacos mommy.”
“I love you to the stars and back again.”
He can also say some very scary things. They don’t seem scary on the surface but trust me, they are.
“Don’t worry mommy, I’ll make your hair look beautiful.”
“It’s ok mommy, it’s just a little poop.”
But one Saturday morning when he was about 2 ½ I heard a phrase that proved to be very scary. You see, he woke me when he ran in our room calling my name. He was excited about something and I was very tired. With my eyes closed I reached out toward him to try to determine what was going on. That’s when I discovered something odd.
For some reason the boy was kind of sticky. At 2 ½ sticky is not an unusual state of being. But sticky at 8 am is out of the ordinary. It was this stickiness that pulled me into wakefulness. I asked my boy what he had gotten in to. He answered me by saying, very excitedly, “Mommy, I show you!”
I crawled from bed and followed my little ball of energy out of the bedroom. Then I followed him down the stairs. And then around the corner toward the front door. It was here that I noticed something a little odd.
As I gazed groggily toward the bright windows of the door I began to realize that there was something on the wood floor. I began to walk toward it when I heard a noise. The closer I got the louder it seemed until I got close enough to see the dog in the front room. That’s when I was suddenly fully awake.
Covering the tan carpet of the front room was a large brown puddle. A puddle which the dog was happily licking. A puddle from which led many footprints and paw prints. And these footprints and paw prints could also be seen on the carpet across the hall in the dining room. Oh my God! What has happened!
This is when I felt compelled to call for support. I screamed for my husband to come and join us. It was probably something along the lines of “Aahhh! Get down here now!” I don’t know. And while he made his way down to us, I tried to figure out exactly what the substance all over the front of the house could be while the boy giggled and the dog licked the floor.
My eye finally landed on a dark brown plastic bottle. This bottle’s unique shape gave it away before I picked it up. It had been a completely full bottle of Hershey’s chocolate syrup. And that syrup was now spread across the foyer and poured into the middle of the sitting room. And from the look of the boy, he had had a wonderful morning adventure skating on the wood and playing in the puddle and quite possibly chasing the dog.
When my husband finally made it to the front room, I was standing there with the bottle in my hand and a look of horror on my face. The dog was still licking the floor and the boy was still giggling and the husband was quickly catching up with the insanity of what had happened in our home. And what followed was a very colorful string of expletives as we vented our frustration at the situation in which we now found ourselves.
We had never had such problems with the girl. She was 11 at this point, but throughout her toddler years she had never been one to sneak out of her room or rummage through cabinets or open closed sealed containers. This boy had snuck downstairs and been playing in the pantry. Most likely he was looking for cookies. But he managed to find this cool looking bottle, and he somehow removed any seals. Using his great toddler strength he pulled up the stopper like top and squirted the sticky substance all over the floor.
Now, we the grownups, were left to figure out how to clean this mess up. First, we had to get the dog away from the chocolate. (Chocolate is supposed to be bad for dogs but apparently this one is part goat because it didn’t bother her at all.) Then we had to get the boy away from the puddle and into a bathtub before we had more sticky footprints around the house. Once those two things were done we could stare, again, at the puddle on the carpet.
Cleaning the wood floor was relatively easy. Mop. Mop again. Buy a steamer and steam it. Mop again. It’s amazing how long it takes to get chocolate syrup off a wood floor. But the carpet was another story. I had no idea how to tackle that. With some cleaning spray we were able to get up most of the footprints. The puddle was not going to be easy.
We tried hot water and cleaning spray with little success. We stared at it some more. Maybe we were hoping that we would have an epiphany or perhaps wake up from a bad dream. No such luck. What we finally ended up doing was covering the area with towels and scheduling a carpet cleaner. And let me tell you, the look on the carpet cleaners face when they came in was priceless.
So now, anytime this wonderful boy of mine says “Come on mommy, I’ll show you,” I cringe just a little bit. Because you never truly know what you’re going to find.