You remember the Peanuts comic strip, right? That not-funny-at-all but somehow endearing piece of Americana? And you remember how Lucy used to hold the football for Charlie Brown and then yank it away at the last second, causing Charlie Brown to fly ass over teakettle across the next few frames? A similar scene played itself out in our backyard yesterday.
After weeks of crappy weather, the universe finally rewarded us with a spate of warm, sunny days. My daughter likes to play soccer in the back yard with the dogs. Our back yard is fenced, but not terribly large. I pick up the poop as frequently as I can, but with three largish dogs running around back there, there will always be a pile somewhere. And A will always step in it. We've asked her to watch out for the dog doo, but her feet are drawn to the turds like moths to the flame. We've even tried a little reverse psychology on her: "Hey, be sure to step in some poop while you're out there!" She scowls and says she never steps in poop, but an hour later you'll find me soaking her flip-flops in the utility tub downstairs.
We had a beautiful sunny afternoon yesterday, and as usual she headed out back to play with the dogs. I should add that she does have other outdoor options. She's got a brand new sandbox. She's got a swing hanging from a tree in the side yard. Her brand new scooter is sitting unused in the garage. Her bike hasn't seen much action either. Her preference, it seems, is to play ball with the pooches.
I was inside, putting away laundry and such. I could see her and hear her in the back yard, as she and Kaiser (our foster dog) ran back and forth with the Scooby-Doo ball. (Kaiser plays defense.) All seemed to be fine. However, a few minutes later, she appeared at the back door yelling, "Mama! Mama!"
I opened the sliding glass door. She was bent forward at the waist and her hair was hanging down into her face. There, on the back of her skull, was a tremendous glob of poop. It was approximately the consistency of soft-serve ice cream. There was a smear on her back as well. "What happened?" I asked.
She explained that she had tried to kick the ball and had missed. The next thing she knew, her feet were in the air and she was flat on her back. In poop.
I wasn't even sure where to start. She reeked, of course. I tried to keep it low-key because I think she was already pretty horrified about her predicament. I couldn't figure out how to get her dress off without smearing poop around even more, so I took off her shoes and her leggings and put her in the shower with her dress on. I rinsed the biggest glob out of her hair (her beautiful curls! full of dookie!) and then got the dress off. There were also bits of grass stuck to the poop. I then washed and conditioned her hair and handed her a Little Mermaid washcloth so she could clean up the rest of her.
A few minutes later, she had freshly combed hair, was in a clean dress, and was happily watching Phineas & Ferb. I'm sure there's some moral to this story, some little nugget of wisdom you can take away from it all, but I just don't know what that would be.