Saggy Bottom Heart

Last night, Smith threw up in his bed. On Wallace. On his stuffed animals. On the walls. The dresser. The floor. The hallway. The bathroom. We tossed the sheets because we were so grossed out. Saggy bottom lion, the first gift Martha ever gave Smith when he was a newborn, was in there.
Afterwards, I moved the boys to my bed and cleaned up the wreckage, I took Chuck outside for some air. He got sprayed by a skunk for the second time in a week. I had to put him in his crate all night. Joe said, “no blankets,” but I snuck him a big fluffy one and patted his stinky spastic head. “Goodnight, you silly little mister.” As I was cleaning some more (out out damn spot), I noticed we had a mouse in our bedroom. We had seen him once and thought he had moved on to a dairy farm or something.


I made myself a pallet at the foot of my own bed (Joe slept in the guest room because he had to be up early for work). My head hit the pillow but my mind hit the wheel and it spun until Smith ruined two more sets of sheets. I was up most of the night… perfunctorily doing what parents do. Worrying. Loving. Saying inappropriate things to our children like, “next time don’t fart because it’s not a fart.”

I called Martha and we cackled hard about my plight last night (fight light tight bright shite). I gave her the news about saggy bottom’s whereabouts and how I just couldn’t deal with any more gnarly smells. She was sad about it and knew exactly who he was.

I got off the phone, steeled my nerves, and dug through our awfu garbage in kitchen gloves. Inside puke-covered sheets, inside two tightly knotted garbage bags, I found him. I held him with two fingers and hosed him down in the back yard. As the water moved the shag away from his big eyes, he looked at me as if to say, “you must know love.” And I do.

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