When I teach Zumba every Tuesday and Thursday night, I'm gone for like an hour and a half. Which means Curtis and our four little dudes are left at home.

Now when I'm at home with the boys, I get stuff done. I work at my day job (writing). I keep the kids fed, the house (relatively) picked up, the dishes cycling in and out of the dishwasher, the toilets scrubbed, the cats and dogs cared for. I keep up with the laundry. Okay, so maybe not folding, but at least it's washed.*

*Sometimes more than once if I forget to put it in the dryer before it starts to smell funky.

I can normally get a lot done, even with the boys, even in an hour and a half. So it is completely beyond my comprehension why, every Tuesday and Thursday night, almost without fail ... the house is a disaster when I get home.

Last night was no exception. I walked through the door to find Curtis sitting on the couch, playing an intense game of "Cut the Rope" on my tablet (priorities, right?). There was a pair of pants on the stove. Every comforter from every bed in the house was heaped onto the living room floor. There was cut-up paper everywhere. The kitchen chairs were lined up in a row. The kids were filthy. I'm not saying the house was pristine when I left, but this was kind of ridiculous. The baby came crawling down the hallway missing a sock, his hair sticky.

"Seriously?" I asked Curtis, gesturing at the disaster zone he was apparently oblivious to.

He shrugged. "Colin got his homework done," he said helpfully.


As if on cue, Colin came up to me scratching at his leg. "What's this sticky stuff on me?" he asked. I squinted at it; whatever it was, it was faintly pink in color. So I ran my finger along it. It was indeed sticky. And also slightly grainy. And it smelled ... weirdly medicinal, with a hint of cherry. Cough syrup?

"I know what it is!" Colin piped up. "Orajel!"

If you've ever had a teething baby, you've probably heard of Orajel. It's this gel that you put on the baby's gums and it numbs them to dull the teething pain. And right now, with Corbin cutting three teeth at once, it's like liquid gold around here.
Colin licked the finger he'd used to scratch at the crust.* "Yep, it's Orajel," he confirmed. "My tongue is numb."

*Side note: boys are gross.

"And why is there Orajel all over your leg?" I sighed.

"I don't know, but it's on my comforter too."

Indeed, it was on his comforter. And on my pillow. And on the carpet in a couple of spots. And smeared into a clean diaper which was laying on my bedroom floor. It seems like whoever had the Orajel had squirted it all over the house. Yet I was having trouble getting a straight story about who exactly was the culprit.

Then Coby walked by me ...

... bow-legged.

I stopped him in his tracks. "Uh, Coby?" I asked.

"Yes Mommy?" he replied, looking up at me with his big eyes. (Did I mention he was naked?)

"Why are you walking funny?"

"Oh, it was just because my butt was hurting," he said casually. "But I put medicine on it to make it feel better."


"Bend over, please," I said. Obligingly, he did so, only to reveal ...

... Orajel.

Or as I should rename it, Orifice-jel. Because y'all? That's precisely where it was smeared. Under the not-so-watchful eye of his father, my boy had given himself a butthole full of teething medicine.

I still can't find the tube. I'm not sure I want to know where it is.

And if I do find it, I'm pretty sure I won't want to touch it.


  1. Oh lord! What a mess! At least none of them had it in their eyes.

  2. But remember Colin got his homework done under that same watchful eye of their dad - lol

  3. I am laughing so hard I can barely type. This. This is something can not even be made up. Your boys need a reality show. The world is missing out.

    I can't imagine how bad it must e with hubby home with more than one baby. Ryan can barely survive for the hour he is home with Henry alone before I get home. There are bags everywhere, dirty bottles, clothing strewn about ... It's insane. Somehow they just cannot manage to do anything with a baby. And you have multiplied the number of children. Ryan would certainly be in fetal position with more than one.

  4. I don't even have kids, but I laugh hysterically EVERY SINGLE TIME I read these stories about your kids.

  5. I can certainly empathize with you on the inability of a spouse to even slightly multi-task. My former husband was left at home when the movers were at our home in Charleston (he was military) and I thought I would work one more day to bring in a little more money. When I got home, my then-husband was busy watching TV. He not only wasn't watching our five yr old, but she spilled the ink used to stamp their names on various clothing articles. We worked on that stain on the near white carpet for a couple of hours and could not get it all out. Then, since he was busy watching TV, he didn't notice that several boxes were not tagged with the inventory list, which we found out after we moved and were missing items.

    If he ever did laundry, he would start it and then several hours later realize it needed to go into the dryer, whereas, I would start out with a load of laundry, feed the kids, strip and remake beds, vacuum, dust, clean bathrooms, and going back and forth to the laundry to keep things going. He never could explain why he couldn't even finish one load of laundry in a day but between the TV and tinkering with stuff, it just didn't occur to him or was even that important. Of course, he knew I would come and get everything done, even while working outside the home, going to school, etc. But at least I only had one son and one daughter and they were almost 6 yrs apart. Can't imagine the mess of 4 boys (along with the husband!!). Your stories always make me laugh.


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