Just Another Moldy Monday

My cousin Antonio approached me at a birthday party last weekend and asked, “Why do you call your blog Scrambled Eggs?”

I started talking about chaos and comfort and the hectic but warm element of our lives…it was all very profound.

But nothing makes a point like a real-life example. So here you go, Tony. A nice big helping of Scrambled Eggs. Extra scrambled.

Let’s begin.

Mondays are often long and exhausting, especially if your team had an action-packed, up to the last second game against the Kansas City Chiefs the night before. Double especially if your daughter then decided that 1:30am was a good time crawl into your bed and discuss the mysteries of the Universe. Triple especially if, after maybe 2 solid hours of sleep, you worked overtime and drove through a rainy traffic mess while said daughter belted out “Baby Shark” all the way home.

So I just ask that you keep my lack of mental agility in mind when you imagine my reaction as I walked through the front door and found my son sitting on the couch….with something growing on his face.

“Hi Baby, how was your OHMYGOD what is on your face?!”

Vince stopped mid-hug-stance and raised an eyebrow.

I morphed into Nancy Drew mode and looked him over. His hair was damp and he didn’t smell like old gym socks, so he had definitely just showered. So whatever it was had appeared post-cleansing. There, running down his left cheekbone, was a splattering of greenish…dots.

“There’s something….on your face!”

“What?”

“It’s a bunch of green dots….have you been playing with anything?”

“No but…actually Mommy, there’s something on my leg too.”

He lifted his pants to reveal 3 more clusters of dots on his leg, foot, and toes.

Initial assessment completed, I flipped my panic switch to “On.”

“Come into the kitchen,” I screeched as calmly as I could manage.

Pat, hearing my signature “I’ve gone to the bad place” tone, rubbed his eyes and followed.

I studied him from the left.

I studied him from the right.

I studied him in varying shades of kitchen lighting.

I turned him around slowly like a confused ballerina in Ninjago pajama pants.

I sniffed his face.

I asked Pat if he had seen any of these little clusters of doom on our sweet, innocent child’s skin pre-bath; he rubbed his eyes again and shook his head.

Then there was no denying it.

He was moldy.

He had the mold.

My child was covered in clusters of green mold.

I tried to breathe evenly as I asked him again and again, “Are you sure you weren’t playing with markers or stamps?”

“No Mommy, they just showed up out of nowhere just now! Am I ok? Do I need a hospital?”

(Saying he’s my twin is an understatement.)

I turned on Pat.

“You didn’t SEE any of these when he was in the shower? Are you sure? Are you SURE?”

Eye rub, head shake. “No. They weren’t there before. But Cath, look at them. That one almost looks like a pizza, and that one looks like a happy face.”

Too late.

My Nancy Drew senses were on overdrive.

I knew this house was too good to be true.

I knew we couldn’t actually be happy.

I KNEW it would all fall apart.

There was clearly so much mold in the air in this godforsaken house that hadn’t seen an update since 1952 that just being wet after a shower caused the spores to cling to him….or….oh God…or he had candida in his system and it was coming out in his skin!

We had to get him to a doctor.

We had to call a remediation company.

We had to foreclose.

We had to move into a van down by the river.

We had to BURN THE MOLD HAVEN HOUSE TO THE GROUND.

“Mommy, am I ok?”

“Of course, yes….let’s get a damp cloth and wipe these off of you and we may need to just call the doctor,” I said, trying to appear as reassuring as a woman with the crazy sleep-deprived eyes can look.

I’m guessing it was more “Mommy Dearest” than “Mother Goose.”

Once the mold infestation was wiped from his skin, I power-walked into his bedroom (I imagine Nancy Drew was a power-walker) to get his jacket….and there, on his bed, was a balloon.

Let’s stop here to review a few seemingly unrelated but crucial facts.

  1. Vince loves balloons.
  2. I think everything is mold.
  3. Vince loves to decorate all of his favorite things with washable marker.
  4. I tend to be…..excitable.

Ok now that we’re all caught up….

I stared at the balloon.

It was green. It was lying on his bed haphazardly.

It was covered in washable marker designs a la Vincent.

There was a smiley face….and a pizza….

Oh Lord.

I picked up Suspect #1 and carried it into the living room.

“Vince, this is a great balloon! Did you just decorate it?”

“Oh, yeah, that’s my new balloon. I drew all those pictures on it with my markers, and then I pulled up my pajama pants legs and kicked it around, and then I bounced it with my face….oh! Mommy! I WAS playing with markers! And I think I know what was all over me!!!!”

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and strolled into the kitchen with the tiny inflated plaything that had almost given me a stroke.

“You were right,” I mumbled to Pat, who somehow maintained a straight face as he handed me a plate of pasta.

To be fair, he’s had time to practice his responses- there was the time Vince threw tiny pieces of black “space putty” onto his ceiling and I thought we had a mold problem….and the time Gracie had a few spiders on her ceiling and I thought it was black mold….and the time-

Ok, you get the point.

And as we stood there, intently studying a pizza design on Vince’s little green balloon, Grace called out, “Guys, I Ate All My Chicken Nuggets! I LOVE KETCHUP!”

And we laughed.

And exhaled.

And laughed some more.

“Why are you laughing so much?” asked Grace, pointing a ketchup-covered finger in our direction.

“Because,” I explained, squeezing Pat’s arm, “because Gracie, it’s always chaos in this house. But I wouldn’t trade it.”

So what do we take away from this?

  1. Get more than 2 hours of sleep whenever possible.
  2. Never decorate a balloon with washable marker.
  3. Not everything is mold.
  4. Marry someone who has endless patience with your anxiety.
  5. Children are completely unreliable in an investigation.

And so that, Tony, is why we call it Scrambled Eggs.

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