Another parenting hazard no one warned me about…

Beautiful morning today – sun shining, bright blue sky with a few puffy clouds, light breeze, and not yet stifling hot (it is May in Texas, after all). The toddler – although I don’t think he’s really a toddler any more, he’s almost four and quite tall and extremely verbal (like can-you-please-stop-talking verbal). But that’s a whole other post. Anyway, the kid asks if we can go on a bike ride…which means he rides his balance bike on the sidewalk and I push the baby in the stroller and the dog plods along beside us on the road. I think this a fantastic idea, given the nice weather and the fact that later it will be too hot to walk and also, bike riding = tired kid!

So off we go, strolling through the neighborhood…we see a few friends, wave to some neighbors, stop to watch a snail crawl across the sidewalk. Yes, really. We had to wait a VERY LONG TIME to watch a small snail make its way from one grass patch to the next. The kid pointed out literally every single Beto sign along the way (there are a surprisingly large number of Beto for Senator signs still up – I guess we are a hopeful bunch here in my little bubble). Anyway, it was a very nice 20-30 min excursion until…

As I am trying to find my keys that I dropped into the vast wasteland that is the stroller caddie, I smell something. Something really foul. Like this is not from my kid or my dog. I am looking around frantically when my son very casually says “there is something on my shoe” and oh dear god in heaven, it was on his shoe and his tires and even up on the tire guard…SOMETHING DEAD! The smell of Death! Road kill from the sidewalk?!? Like the insides of something that was once living or had maybe been living and eaten and vomited back out. Or maybe it was just intestines. But no, there was a little patch of fur. And some blood. But mostly what I think was internal organ pieces which may or may not have been partially eaten.

Folks, I am not proud of this, but I screamed and wretched and then yelled “DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! DO NOT MOVE!” and I really and truly wanted to run away. Just leave the kid and the bike and the shoes on the steps and let someone else take over. Forever. Like throw in the parenting towel. I don’t know, I can handle poopsplosions (clearly) and I feel empathy for them when they puke. But this? Nope. I did not sign up for unknown animal intestines. Let me repeat, so the universe and I are very clear on this: I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR CLEANING UP DEAD ANIMAL PARTS OFF MY KID AND HIS SHOES AND HIS BIKE!

I don’t even know what happened next but somehow I ended up with clean kids inside, and a bike and shoes somewhat clean drying in the sun. Ok, that’s a lie…I know what happened…I calmed the fuck down, did not take a deep breath (the smell!), hosed everything off as best I could, left the rest for my husband to deal with tonight (I love you! remember you are legally bound to me!), and bleached my hands ten thousand times (as well as my kid’s foot that was in the tainted shoe).

But here is what I want to know – how the hell did the kid spot a teeny tiny little snail, from way up on his bike while zooming along, yet he did not notice a dead carcass that he apparently drove right over? I mean it was big enough to get on both tires and his shoe, so significantly bigger than a snail. And stinkier. And probably a little squishy (oh gag!). Seriously, how does one not notice that?!?!!

I blame the Beto signs.