Not a firecracker

Well, yesterday was kind of a bust. We had plans to go out to the fireworks last night, of course, but then Chickadee got one of those random fevers, the kind where I notice she’s sort of red-cheeked and glassy-eyed, and when I asked if she was feeling okay she said, “Well, my head kind of hurts,” and then I felt her head and took her temperature while she was very limp and tragic. Once I declared we’d have to skip the fireworks, though, she had a MIRACULOUS RECOVERY, replete with MUCH WHINING about how it wasn’t fair and she wanted to go and she was PERFECTLY FINE. You know, except for the whole fever thing. So.

She demonstrated her wellness by (shortly thereafter) pitching one of her signature fits over something inconsequential, leading one of us to comment that “Emo Girl is all Emo!” which of course led to even greater dramatics, which then led to her being grounded. And the only thing worse than being sick is being sick AND grounded. On the 4th of July. It was kind of sad, really.

All of this meant that the highlight of the (extremely boring) day was when I heard Otto calling me from the other room. “We have a problem!” he said, and as I’m pretty useless when it comes to problem-solving (compared to him, anyway), I figured surely there was a hole in the roof or a locust infestation or Ebola for him to be summoning me.

Nonetheless, both Chickadee and I ran into the family room to see what was the matter, and Otto had something small and dark, maybe the size of a lipstick tube, pinched between his thumb and first two fingers, holding it aloft to demonstrate that it was the cause of his consternation.

Now, the family room has a lot of windows, and in the middle of the day it gets very bright in there, and I’d just emerged from my cave office, so my eyes were adjusting and all I could see was that he was holding… SOMETHING.

“What is it?” I asked, drawing closer.

“I don’t KNOW,” he said, standing there with the Mystery Object, scanning the floor. “I just found it by the corner of the coffee table. I think it must be a piece of something that’s been knocked off, or bitten off? I’m trying to figure it out.”

I looked at the Mystery Object again, now with mostly-adjusted eyes, and it seemed… familiar. But it didn’t look like the sorts of things we usually find laying around when they shouldn’t be, like the felt pads that go on the feet of chairs to protect the floor, or plastic caps that go over bolts on the entertainment center, or whatever. Something niggled at the back of my brain.

Chickadee drew closer to look, and then her eyes widened.

“Otto,” she said. “Is that POOP?”

And then, dear readers, my brilliant husband—who, it must be noted, is handsome and smart and thoroughly capable—brought the Mystery Object to his nose. And sniffed it.

“YES!” he declared, leaping to his feet and running to the kitchen.

Because we’re thoroughly supportive, Chickadee and I collapsed in giggles.

“OH MY GOD,” I finally called into the kitchen, when I caught my breath (Otto was at the sink, scrubbing his hands), “HOW DID YOU NOT KNOW THAT WAS DOG POOP???”

Chickadee lay across the couch, pantomiming his experience. “What’s this?” She declared, in a deep faux-Otto voice. “I think I’ll pick it up! I think I’ll look closely at it! Very mysterious! Very… OH NO!!!” We leaned into each other for support as we burst into fresh laughter.

“I didn’t know, okay? I couldn’t see WHAT it was! I thought it was a hunk of plastic!” He was still washing his hands. I was beginning to worry about his skin, but not enough to stop laughing.

“Hmmm, whatever could this turd-shaped piece of plastic BE?” murmured Chickadee.

Otto came back and glared at us. We weren’t being very sympathetic. I realized I was going to have to stop laughing at him and set a good example as one of the adults in the house.

“Licorice!” I called. She came readily, tail wagging. “Did you poop on the floor?” She cocked her head at me and continued wagging. “She says it wasn’t her,” I said to Otto. Chickadee fell over again.

Fireworks may have been more thematic for the day, and certainly more sanitary, but I don’t think they would’ve been more entertaining.


  1. Lori N

    Oh my…giggle.

    I have to admit to a similar situation — I had to pull something out of our puppy’s mouth, something stick-like. Upon closer examination I realized that it was a petrified lizard that she must have found in the garage. It HAD to have come from the garage or else I may lose what little sanity I have left. Yes, the garage, right?

    And yes, I washed my hands most thoroughly.

  2. Jennifer

    haha – Best. Story. Ever.

    ’nuff said.

  3. dad

    Pestilence, plague and now poop!
    The pocapolypse can not be far behind.
    You can beat it with laughter.

  4. Heather

    Ha. Charming ;)

  5. Barbara

    I love the line “She says it wasn’t her.” Nicely played.

  6. Angela

    Hahahaha! What a memory!

  7. Megan

    Aaaaand Mir’s Dad wins comment of the day AGAIN.

  8. Sharkey

    I think this is the most I have laughed at a blog post. Ever. As in, sitting here by myself, laughing out loud with tears streaming down my face. I think I have to read it again . . . .

  9. Pats

    Must be something about 4th of July. Sandy, who can reliably be left alone for hours and not make a mess, left me a huge “present” in the living room yesterday. Considering he’s just a 15-lb dog, I could not believe the ginormous size of it. Sadly, no danger of mistaking it for something else.

  10. Brigitte

    Somehow, I figured out what it was and started laughing even before the shocking REVEAL! I didn’t even have to sniff it. Poor Otto . . I think he’ll never live this one down. :-D

  11. Wendy

    Hi there, I’m a long time lurker, love your blog! I know this is out of left field, but have you had Chickadee tested for lupus? I have lupus and alot of her symptoms are very common for lupus. I started having all sorts of weird symptoms in my early teens, rashes, unexplained fevers, aches, sore throats that were not able to be explained. It’s certainly not something I’d wish on anyone, but might be worth checking out. Not trying to be a busybody, just a concerned mother of two daughters.

  12. Aimee

    HAHAHA! Oh no, poor Otto! But how frickin’ funny is that? I was reading this with my boss right next door, and I nearly popped trying to laugh quietly.

    Truly, a memory for the ages.

  13. Katie in MA

    I think I just snorted macaroni through my nose from laughing so hard. :-) Thank you, Otto – that was just what I needed!

  14. Tracy

    OMGosh…that is the funniest thing I’ve ever read. My sides are killing me now. Thanks Otto for the great laugh!!! Oh, I’m sorry to make fun of you…I’m not really.

  15. liz

    Nearly suffocated myself trying not to laugh out loud with a mighty guffaw (I’m at work).

  16. Pamela L

    Oh my stars – that was so funny!! It is hard to keep the laughter inside at work but I’m nearly in tears from it.

  17. Shannon

    Yesterday my sister in law was telling me how her (almost 2 year old) daughter handed her boyfriend something he thought was a raisin. She is always handing food to them. Turns out it was poop. She had pooped out a piece of onion. We were laughing so hard as she told me that she wasn’t supposed to tell anyone the story. She could barely breathe she was laughing so much as she related how he had put the poop up to his lips (thinking it was raisin). So you see, it could be worse. I guess. Is dog poop worse than a child’s poop? On the other hand…on his LIPS.

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