I had a headache the other day. And not just a small one. It was a doozy; the kind that makes you wish you could burrow under ground, transform into a hairless moleman and never have to see the blinding light of day again.
Because I am lucky, my beautiful, compassionate and frequently very considerate daughter took care of me. I’m not even kidding. As she did her homework, she lovingly alternated cool cloths for my head and made sure the dogs didn’t bother me while I rested in bed. It was very sweet.
As the searing white pain in my head slowly eased, I thought about what a great kid she had grown into, how caring and sympathetic, how generous and thoughtful. Maybe this whole teenage thing wasn’t going to be so bad after all.
Hours later, the vice began to loosen from my temples and I started to feel better. I emerged from my cave-like bedroom, breathing in the simple, sweet joy of being pain free. Life was good. I smiled and headed down the hall to thank my super kid for all of her help.
That was when I saw the huge pile of dog poo on the carpet, just outside her bedroom.
“What’s going on with the poo?” I asked, squishing my nose against the thick, fecal air as I peeked into her room. I was incredulous. Surely she had seen it.
“They did it awhile ago. I didn’t want to bother you,” she replied, her voice full of heartfelt sincerity.
My husband, who had just gotten home from work, happened to be coming up the steps and heard this too. Knowing that the implication that I was the designated poo picker-upper, that I was the only one capable of cleaning up such a disgusting mess, would cause my head to explode, he did the only thing he could. He laughed. And then he turned on his heels and went back down the steps.
A short (but loud) lecture followed, where I explained to my daughter that finding dog poo and leaving it for me (no matter how considerate it was to wait for my headache to go away) is UNACCEPTABLE (can I get an AMEN?). The house rules are pretty simple: you find it, you clean it. She rolled her eyes, cleaned it up (reluctantly), and stomped back to her room, mumbling about how I didn’t appreciate anything she had done for me.
Where was the doting child who had nursed me for hours and cooled my brow with fresh cloths? Gone. Replaced (in a flash) by her evil twin, Sybil. Guess we weren’t in for such a free ride after all. Lesson learned.
But the best part is the lesson I’m sure she learned. I’d bet money that from now on she’d feign blindness for a month, foregoing all her favorite shows and maybe even her phone (clutch the pearls!) before ever admitting to finding another pile of dog poo in the house.
The whole thing may not have gone according to plan.