Tending the Garden

Growing Through God's Grace

There’s Poop on the Banister

Yep, that’s right. I woke up to poop on the banister.

Now, we have a dog and two cats, at least one of whom can’t distinguish between grass and carpet. Another is quite fond of using the litter box – so much so that when his owners force him to be in the “wild” all day {darn them!} you can almost see his little crossed legs doing a jig as he rushes inside to the litter box at the end of the day – but he is equally excitable and childlike about not bothering to finish his business before rushing up the stairs to see what else is going on… that’s all I’m saying.

So as the first person up each morning, I open the bedroom door with trepidation, watching carefully for shadows on the stairs as I make my way to the living room, hoping I don’t have to start my day cleaning up messes and controlling my gag reflex.

So this morning, just as relief washed over me that I wouldn’t have to clean up poo or pee or vomit {I love animals!} I reached for the banister, and put my hand right beside a little pile of perfect poop.

In fact, it was a little too perfect, and I soon recognized it as the “fake poop” the boys had been teasing each other with the day before. {Big sigh.} You’re not in Kansas anymore, Kendra.

In addition to the pets, I live with three boys ages 13-in-two-days {how does that happen!?}, 16, and 61. Honestly, some days I’m not sure which is the bigger adjustment, living with animals or boys.

I love my boys dearly – all three of them. I really do! They’re the very sweetest people. They make me laugh. They cheer me up and make me smile like nobody’s business.

But God help me!

No, really.

I’m having what the professionals might call an “adjustment disorder.” Now, don’t get me wrong. In addition to loving my own boys, I have always been a huge advocate for men in general. They’ve gotten the short end of the societal stick for a couple decades now and it frustrates me to no end.

But I’m finding it more difficult to put my money where my mouth is now that I live with several of them. They’re just so loud. And smelly. And obnoxious. There, I said it. They don’t mean to be obnoxious, but sometimes they are.

But I am learning a lot from my new roommates. For instance,

  • If a joke is funny the first time, surely it’s funnier the 400th time. Especially if you keep incrementally turning up the volume.
  • Questions should only be answered in a serious tone if you’re not clever enough to come up with a wisecrack.
  • Absolutely everything is up for debate. Every. Thing.
  • Discussion is just a means for them to win the debate (and to show you how stupid you are in the process).
  • If you don’t eat something the minute you come home from the grocery store, you’ll never see it again. {Which is why I’ve taken to leaving some things in the car – shhh! don’t tell them!}
  • Food intake is a never-ending process. {I have no idea where they fit it all, but I’m glad they take care of their own litter.}
  • Quiet is relative.
  • Nothing is as cool as zombies and murder shows and computer games that involve taking over the world. {Is it wrong that when my son took over most of the world I got excited that I get to be the dictator’s mama? I wonder if Stalin or Hitler had a mama who was rooting for him? On second thought, I don’t want to know.}
  • Girls and girl parts – they don’t talk about them often, but I have never been more aware of girls and girl parts than I am now. {Wow, is this hard on a mama and on an aging woman.}
  • And everything is fair game for a practical joke. Holidays are not sacred. Anniversaries are not sacred. Treasured keepsakes from childhood are not sacred. Vulnerable feelings are treated like fodder for the clowns’ confetti-cannons.

Yes, I’m having difficulty adjusting.

I suppose this is why the natural order of things for a girl is to have a dad, marry a husband, give birth to sons, and then gradually adapt as they grow into teenagers. Having missed out on a dad, and lived without a husband for ten years, I feel like I got thrown into this testosterone-fest unprepared. {I have lived with my kiddo his whole life, but let’s face it, 12 and 13 is whole lot different than 6 and 7.}

I’m not sure how long this transition will take, but I’m starting to suspect the boys will be moved out before I fully adjust. {Maybe it will be in time for the grandsons?} In the meantime, I keep trusting that my body will acclimate to this high-intensity lifestyle of jangling nerves and jump scare moments.

All told, I suppose poop on the banister should not be that surprising. In fact, I’m just glad it was fake.

I'd love to hear your thoughts!