Bridget and I have had a tough week together. Not because we're at odds with each other or anything (she is still delightful 98.9% of the time) but because we seem to be targets for the universe right now. Only when we're together, though.
It started out last Friday, when we were walking over to the base tree lighting; she tripped over Maddie's big foot foot on the way and somehow managed to fall and scrape the front of her ankle on the sidewalk, enough to make it bleed and swell a little, too. She didn't want to miss the tree lighting or the promise of a visit from Santa, so she toughed it out for about 45 minutes until it was time to walk home. As she had already used up her tough points and we didn't drive, I volunteered to give her a piggy-back ride home. This is not my job outside of the house; while I didn't realize it until just this moment, we have defined piggy-back roles in our house—Matt does outdoor piggy-back rides, I only do indoor piggy-back rides. Huh. How weird. Unfortunately, Matt was still at work, so I crossed a line. Foreshadowing?
Anyway, Bridget perked up with her sad-dog ankle and we started home in the dark, all of us chattering about the Christmas trivia contest we thought we might win (apparently, we did not, as it's been a few days and we didn't get called). We were trucking along, right by where they occasionally put up that random sign on the corner by our house about bombs and dogs, and BOOM suddenly the sidewalk was four inches higher than the grass OUT OF NOWHERE and my foot caught it just wrong and down I went.
It's important to point out at this point that for the last 5.5 years I have been irrationally scared to death that I was going to drop Bridget. The irrational fear was a lot more present when I was carrying her all the time as a baby, but still—it never entirely went away. I have no basis for this fear—I never dropped Maddie and I only dropped Gracie once, about three inches out of her carseat with the handle that wasn't locked into place and she is just fine—but I think that is precisely why I was afraid I was going to do it. Such a great track record! (Almost) no dropped babies! Odds are suddenly against me for freak dropping accidents!
As I went down (making terrible Willis Falling-Startle Reflex noises the entire way) all I could think of was she was going to drop down on her head and break her neck. It was a terrible split second of fear, watching her somehow fly through the air like that. She almost landed on her feet, and popped right up telling me through her tears that she jumped off my back so I wouldn't get hurt—impressive presence of mind for a 5.5 year old, don't you think? I did get a little hurt anyway, tearing a sizable hole in my newest cowgirl jeans and skinning my knee like a six year old, which nicely covered up how swollen it was from hitting the ground that hard. We hobbled home very slowly holding hands, trying to be brave. It was a sad scene, but we are on the mend.
Fast forward to last night, when we headed to Lowe's for a few quick things after we dropped Maddie and Gracie off at gym. We had to replace the flagpole (are 50 mph winds dangerous? Yes) and flag (ditto) and I wanted to get two poinsettias, too—my three baby poinsettias that I bought at Lowe's right before Christmas 2010 are still alive on my kitchen windowsill (!!) so I trust their supplier over there. Imagine the scene: we are happily chattering with each other, Bridget in the big basket of the shopping cart and me, trying to manage the faulty shopping cart wheel when suddenly we hear a bird chirp past us. I know that birds live in Lowe's, so I am not startled, though this one seemed to be particularly low-flying. And chirpy. Foreshadowing.
About four minutes later, Bridget looks down and says "why is there.... MILK... on my coat?" I look down and see that whatever is on her coat is also on my carefully selected poinsettia. I definitely do not remember my carefully selected poinsettia having milk on it four and a half minutes before. The wheels start turning, and I realize that someone has not spilled milk on us at Lowe's all ninja-speed on us, but that chirpy bird was... oh my gosh.
WE HAVE BEEN POO-ED ON BY A LOWE'S BIRD. INSIDE FOUR WALLS AND A CEILING.
Bridget is immediately icked out (clearly) and cannot stop saying GROSS. G R O S S. GROOOOOSSSSSS. in varying stages of panic; I am quietly panicking, trying to figure out what to do with my hand that got bird poo on it when I picked up the poinsettia to hold it away from us, the poo-y poinsettia I am now holding, Bridget's coat and her left cowgirl boot. I do what any panicking mama would do: I grab a plastic-covered grill tool and wipe off my hand. [My Grandma Watson no doubt turned over in her grave just then, because of course I didn't have Kleenex with me. FAIL.] At this point I attempt to more surreptitiously wipe off Bridget just a little, though it is getting more difficult to be surreptitious with her gross-meter pegged out in the middle of the gardening section. We return the poinsettia to the poinsettia rack (I am so sorry, person who bought a bird-poo poinsettia, but what is it you would have me do?!? I'm sure poinsettias get bird-pooed on all the time in the wild!) and we hightail it to the check-out line while trying to hide our complete and utter horror that we are covered in bird poo, no matter how invisible it might be now thanks to the handy plastic I used to attempt an in-store clean-up in aisle 5.
It was a gross scene, but we are on the mend.