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Tales from the Motherhood: Spring break stay-cation is no week at the beach

Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 4:02 p.m. CDT • Updated: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 2:01 p.m. CDT

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Are we the only people in the county not going anywhere fancy for spring break? No, of course not. It just seems that way to the kids.

When I picked Holly up from soccer practice Tuesday night, she was in rare form.

“It’s not, ‘Are you going anywhere?’ but, ‘Where are you going?’” she repeated, laughing.

Apparently, comparing itineraries to exotic locales was all the rage between soccer drills. Our own plans are super fantabulous, too. Yes, indeed. For one thing, in addition to keeping up with her regular pup-sitting gig, Holly and I will make repeated treks back and forth across the street to care for Victor and Chirpy, the kitty and birdie who live there, while our dear neighbors play in sunny Florida. (Make no mistake; Holly takes great pride in being trusted with these jobs. I, for my part, enjoy perusing my neighbors’ bookshelves for a good book to borrow, but I digress.)

Yes, Holly is super-pumped about our stay-cation. She plans to “party down.”

“Chirpy, get ready to do the chicken dance!” she quipped, as she slung her soccer bag into the back seat and shut the car door.

My other kid is also excited about our vacation plans.

Yes, first thing Monday morning, on their very first day of spring break, my children will have their annual physicals. What kind of mother does that? (Yeah, what was I thinking?)

Always a good time, my nearly 16-year-old son reminded me, wincing. Whatever. And then we’ll all come home and play “clean up, clean up” a la “Barney.” Come on, you know the ditty. “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do your share.” Because, of course, with all that melting snow, all kinds of treasures were revealed. And I do mean all kinds. In the shrinking snowbank by the garage, I spotted my favorite barrette. I’d all but given it up for lost. But that’s not all that was spotted.

“Mom, there is a spectacular amount of dog poop in the yard. It’s disgusting,” Holly announced after school on that weird day last week when most of the snow suddenly vanished. Yes, it was disgusting, but such is life when you have a dog who had to go outside to do his thing during a polar vortex that didn’t let up for more than TWO WHOLE MONTHS.

I’ll spare you the gory details about just how much dog poop was out there, but take my word for it, it was an impressive amount. And without even being asked, my girl simply picked it all up. Wow. She was disgusted the whole time, but still, bless her heart, she did it.

I encouraged her to consider the winter we just had (shush, I KNOW it’s not over yet), and how irrational it’d have been for any one of us to follow the big-red-dog around the yard during those snowstorms in such frigid conditions to clean up after him, but she was too disgusted to listen.

It’s bad enough he had to be out there. It was so bitter-cold there were times he did the deed whilst balanced on three paws. (I sure hope he couldn’t hear us giggling from our warm spots on the warm side of the windowsill.)

My comments about the resulting, fascinating sedimentary layers of veritable veterinarian-wannabe research material had little merit, according to my little poop-scooper. (Insert eye-roll here.)

Well, remind me to give the girl a raise. I may just take her out to lunch. Ooh, Aliano’s new lunch buffet will be just the thing. Have you heard? Every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for just $9.95 you can get an awesome meal whilst sampling many of their signature dishes.

I may just have to take her out twice, though (it WAS a lot of poop), so maybe we’ll also hit up the Thai village for their yummy pad thai and pot-stickers.

Yes, and we’ll sit at our favorite seat, by the window. Oh, and then we’ll head over to O’ Sole Mio for dessert, because I’m addicted to their salted caramel gelato. But maybe we should have lunch there, instead? So many sweet choices in Batavia!

Fun food aside, nothing will erase how scandalized Holly was by that chore. And yet, there’s more. You know, the random, odd bits of trash that always seem to surface when the snow melts, along with those tiny empty whiskey bottles that inevitably get tossed into our yard as folks stumble home from whatever good time they were apparently having.

Oh, the sedimentary layers and trash from bygone days! You know, it’s a veritable archaeological dig. It’s a wonder I don’t just home-school. Who needs spring break, anyway? I bet there’s a lot more out there besides poop, whiskey bottles and my favorite barrette.

Maybe we should rent one of those metal-detector thingies? Yeah, that’s the ticket. It’ll be just like a day at the beach.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at editorial@kcchronicle.com.

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