A couple weekends ago I was inside, folding laundry - one of my most detested domestic chores - when the kids rushed in excitedly from outside. I knew it was a big deal, as their physical presences were preceeded by pounding footsteps and breathless cries of, "It's MINE!" "Dad said I could hold it TOO! You have to SHARE!!" This is really nothing new in our house but I WAS curious as to what could have captivated them so thoroughly.
As they burst into the living room, tromping all over and scattering my neat piles of freshly-folded laundry, their heavy breathing and dilated pupils spoke to the true extent of their excitement. They stretched all four of their hands toward me, together cupping something that they obviously considered highly precious.
In the makeshift "nest" of their four hands was a perfect-looking Robin egg. Blue with tiny brown speckles, not even a miniscule crack in its shell. It was a little miracle of nature, and the kids were entranced. They were also FULL of ideas.
Lulu's concern was property ownership, and she kept admonishing Plato, "It's OURS, Plato. Dad SAID. It's OURS, right Mommy?"
Plato's concerns were for the egg. He was making plans to incubate it and hatch it, checking all over for a secure surrogate "nest" and appropriate nesting materials.
While they were making themselves busy fulfilling this mission, I was left to babysit the newly christened "Eggy." I looked at him warily, wondering why exactly he was found on the ground intact, as opposed to in the security of his nest or smashed to bits by a pillaging marauder. I gingerly sniffed it. Much as I was certain I'd smell a rat, Eggy smelled just fine. I've heard of mother birds ridding their nests of rotten eggs, but I would figure if little Eggy was rotten, I'd be able to sniff him out pretty easily. Nope - he smelled like fresh mown grass and that's about it.
I let the kids make him a nest from a paper cup and some layers of tissue paper. They each wanted to take turns "guarding" the nest, so I indulged their creative ideas for awhile. Eventually though, I told them that Eggy might prefer to sit in a quiet sunny corner of our kitchen. After much pressuring, they agreed reluctantly.
That evening at the dinner table, Eggy was the topic of conversation. I tried my best to encourage the kids' imaginations without getting their hopes up too high. I kept mentioning that we didn't know what was actually in that egg, maybe there was no baby bird at all, or maybe it had died. Just to prepare them.
They were not to be deterred, however... I overheard them conspiring together about how to get Grandma to give them her bird cage, since Eggy would definitely be needing one when he hatched.
That night, all slept peacefully, and in the morning, Eggy got special status at the head of the table as the kids ate breakfast together. JeepMan and I went about our usual getting-ready-for-work routine. Nothing seemed particularly out of place.
The kids were fed and dressed, JeepMan was ready to go, and I was putting the finishing touches on my makeup when from the kitchen came a loud "ARRRRGH!!!" of pure disgust. This was followed by several things simultaneously: the pounding of Lulu's feet as she ran full-tilt into the bathroom to wrap herself around my left leg, the roar of JeepMan yelling, "ALLRIGHT!! WHO DROPPED THE EGG?!?!" and the horrified wail of Plato screaming, "LULU!!! YOU KILLED EGGY!!!"
Lulu had been on the verge of tears but this accusation from her brother could not go unaddressed. Jutting out her chin, she stomped back toward the kitchen yelling, "PLATO!! I DID NOT KILL EGGY!! HE WAS WOTTEN!!!" She got about three steps from the kitchen, clamped both hands over her nose, did an about-face, and ran back into the bathroom, mumbling nasally, "UGH, and he SMELLS BAAAAD!"
Now I've heard that a rotten egg represents a formidable olfactory assault, but I have never had the debatable pleasure of experiencing the odor firsthand. There are about 5 paces from our bathroom to our kitchen. At exactly two-and-a-half paces, I walked into an invisible but solid wall of stench. There was JeepMan, God love him, on his hands and knees with paper towels and spray cleaner. I had to force back a gag and backpedal with haste. The smell? It was a nearly indescribably noxious mixture of sulfer and rot. For an egg no bigger than a Hershy's Kiss, that sucker delivered a stench that would rival an entire truckload of full-to-the-brim Port-O-Pottys. Man oh man.
After opening all the windows in the house and praying for a nice all-day breeze, we piled everyone into the car to make school and work drop-offs. About halfway to daycare, I noted Lulu holding her wrinkled-up nose in the back seat. I asked her if her hands were still stinky even after she had washed them. She shook her head decisively, once, continuing to hold her nose. "Then what is it,?" I asked.
She looked down at her dress, brow furrowed, and held up a few ruffles. "SEE!!! I've got Eggy all over my dress and he STINKS!!"
Thankfully we keep a spare set of clothes at daycare... what a morning!!
Deep Coma, Big Karma - Just winding down for the moment. The Blogosphere is not what it was in the *Two Thousand And Somethings*, and discourse has largely morphed itself off els...