Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not so super Tuesday

We managed to get out the door on time, and didn't even have to have that last few minutes of maddening rush to beat the clock. Raincoats, check. Boots, check. Stroller in the back? Check.

Alena's three-year-old preschool class at the East Butler County Family YMCA starts at 9:15 a.m. If we're pulling out of the garage by 9:00 a.m., that gives us just enough time to get there (it's a hop, skip and a jump from the house); get everyone unloaded and two of the four situated in the stroller; and parade into the building and to her classroom. Typically we've even got a couple minutes to spare before Miss Jen opens the classroom door.


That would be unless your three-year-old is so preoccupied with what a man and his two kids are doing as they walk into the YMCA, that she walks right off of the sidewalk and into the county's biggest mud puddle.

Now, if she had simply veered off track and into a puddle, we would have had wet boots, and we've had worse. There was no "simply" to this little accident.

When her foot left the sidewalk, it landed about four inches down in an area that is still nothing but mud from a recent expansion the YMCA completed. I'm sure when warmer weather breaks, they will landscape and grass the area, for now though, it's nothing but a mud pit. Add to the mud pit what seems like inches of rain that fell here this morning and it's a stinking mess. A pig's dream come true.

Alena's more diva than pig, though. So as I picked her up out of the mess, hands full of mud, pants wet from ankle to upper thigh and muddy water up the sleeves of her raincoat, she started crying. The sight of her muddy, wet little hands brought the tears and cries full force.

"It's okay," I said. "We can wash your hands. Let's go into the bathroom and get you cleaned up. There's no reason to cry."

It was a blessing that the mirrors in the bathroom are too high for her to see into. If the muddy hands upset her, the whole sight of her would have sent her into hysterics.

We keep a spare change of clothes in her backpack, so we had dry pants. While her coat sleeves and the sweater she had on underneath were both wet, the little shirt she was wearing managed to stay dry. But the socks, they were so wet I could have wrung them out, and a spare pair was not to be found in the backpack.

"Okay, let's put your boots back on and get you to your class. Then, I'll run out to the car and see if I have a clean pair of socks in my emergency bag," I explained to her.

Thank God for the emergency bag. Yes, everyone with kids should have one. On more than one occasion it's been a lifesaver. Spare clothes, diapers, washcloths and ... socks. Clean, very dry socks.

Yet another trip into the building and she was clean and dry. Matching? Well, not exactly with the piece-mealed outfit we threw together. But dry.

All this before 10 a.m. I'm just hoping the day's a bit more super for my candidate of choice than it has been for Alena.

*Note: In posting this, I regret I didn't take a second to photograph Alena in all her muddy glory. It would have added a great deal to the written story; however, in the heat of the escapade, I didn't think to document the sight. However, Alivia did pose for a picture outside Alena's classroom after the dry socks had been delivered, modeling her rain gear that she managed to keep out of the mud.

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