We had a little visitor yesterday.
And I’m not sure what surprises Helena more … the fact that the leprechaun always forgets to flush every year or the fact that I don’t wig out because the little leprechaun always forgets to flush every year.
I mean, I wig out whenever anyone else forgets to flush. How come he’s so special?
And I tell her it’s because he doesn’t poop. I can deal with green pee a lot better than green poop. And hey, if she pees green once a year and stops pooping, I’ll treat her special too.
The first time the leprechaun visited our house and forgot to flush his business, Helena wasn’t even born yet and Zoe was probably around five or six.
And Zoe was all YOU EXPECT ME TO LIVE IN A HOUSE WHERE LITTLE GREEN MEN PEE IN OUR TOILETS? ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND? And then she would avoid the bathroom for the rest of the day and cross her legs and hold her pee in until her retinas turned yellow.
Zoe has always been skittish about the whole mythical creature scenario.
Reindeer fly? Bunnies carry baskets? Leprechauns pee? Fairies collect teeth? What the hell kind of world did we bring her into, for crying out loud?
She loved the fact that they’d leave her presents. Well, except for the green pee because according to the Mommy Bible, there is no three second rule when it comes to a toilet … you aren’t allowed to take anything to show and tell that once floated in a toilet because it makes Mommy go to her sad place and history has shown that when Mommy’s in her sad place, no one gets clean underwear or dinner. It’s just not worth it.
Zoe just couldn’t accept the fact that it was all done in secrecy, under darkness of night, while everyone was asleep. All that sneaking around just freaked her out.
What if Santa can’t fit down our chimney? Will he come through a window? My window? WHAT IF HE STEPS ON MY FACE?
Will the Easter Bunny hide any eggs in my room? Under my pillow? WHAT IF HE BREATHES ON ME?
What if the tooth fairy can’t find my tooth? WHAT IF SHE TAKES MY EYEBALL INSTEAD?
So I’d snuggle with her and sing to her and rock her and try to lull her to sleep and she’d fight it every inch of the way until I’d be all FOR GOD’S SAKE ZOE, SANTA’S LIKE A THOUSAND YEARS OLD AND OVERWEIGHT WITH HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE. GO TO SLEEP BEFORE HE DROPS DEAD ALREADY because I went to the Machiavellian school of parenting where the ends justify the means, especially if the ends include getting to bed sometime before 3:00 a.m.
Helena is the exact opposite of Zoe. She’s doesn’t care how they get in the house, as long as they get in and do their job. Period.
Occasionally, she’ll engineer a device or method by which to catch them in the act. Last year, she set a trap for the leprechaun in our powder room using two plastic baskets taped together and some peanut butter cookies and gold shiny buttons as bait.
She was so disappointed when he eluded her.
He got away, Mom.
I’m sorry, peanut.
And he at all the cookies.
Well, he’s hungry from all of his travels. And peeing all over the world.
But all of them?
Like I said, he was hungry.
Even the ones in the pantry? Behind the cereal?
THE BUS IS COMING! HURRY UP! YOU’RE GOING TO MISS IT! LOVE YOU!
You would think I’d have a photo to document her flash of creative genius, wouldn’t you? You would be wrong because in my spare time, I also attended the Day Late, Dollar Short, You Big Loser school of parenting and damn if their tuition isn’t high. Painfully high.
This year, Helena didn’t set a trap. She was too busy with her science fair project to even remember. So yesterday morning, she ran into the bathroom to pee and saw the toilet and ran right back out with a squeal of laughter before lamenting the fact that she missed another opportunity to catch him in the act.
Then she checked the pantry for cookies as I quickly brushed off my chin.
Now that Zoe’s older and wiser, she has a different perspective and doesn’t freak out about the green pee the way she used to.
Unless she’s waited all day to relieve her bladder because she inherited the Public Bathrooms Harbor Bubonic Plague gene from her mom and she comes rushing into the house, yelling at anyone and everyone to get out of her way as she runs to the bathroom, only to discover to her dismay that she’s been barred access to immediate relief by order of Helena:
Technically, she’ll still freak out.
But for entirely different reasons.