The Metaphors are Literally Flying Off the Shelves

Folks, the crap is flying over here. I mean that literally as well as figuratively. Well, I mean “crap” literally and figuratively; the flying part is purely figurative. Though, some measure of the crap surely got airborne— microscopic clusters that lifted off and drifted along on the currents, eventually settling on every surface. Yeah, let’s go with it: Folks, the crap is literally flying over here. First, the Puppy came home from daycare in pants he wasn’t wearing when he left the house that morning, carrying the tell-tale plastic shopping bag knotted tightly at the top. He says he was too busy playing to put his poop in the toilet, but I think he was getting back at me by fouling the brand new days-of-the-week underwear I had just picked up at Old Navy and about which I had been reciting the scene from When Harry Met Sally over and over again.

Sally: We broke up… because he was very jealous and I had these days-of-the-week underpants. …One day Sheldon says to me, “You never wear Sunday.” It was all suspicious. Where was Sunday? Where had I left Sunday? And I told him, and he didn’t believe me.

Harry: What?

Sally: They don’t make Sunday.

Harry: Why not?

Sally: Because of God.*

Getting back at me for what, you ask? For having another baby and loving it as much as I love him, naturally. Also maybe for quoting a scene that mocks god. We’ve got to get that kid out from the Lutherans.

Second (there was a “first”, you’ll recall), the Kitten pooped, and though I keenly want to impress upon you the horror of this particular batch of poop, I haven’t the narrative wherewithal to make it a noteworthy event. You can dress it up in metaphors, but it’s still poop. So, I’ll let it go. You’re welcome.

Who, me?

Who, me?

I got me some employment! Of the gainful kind, hopefully. I actually had two offers, if you can believe it. I mean, even if you can’t, it’s still true. Why do we say that? If you can believe it. If you can believe it… good for you?  Well but anyway, I start soon and I’ve decided to focus my anxiety about returning to work by nit-picking harmless idioms. That, and crying about not having time to do the grocery shopping.

I’m not sure why that chore gives me so much angst, but it’s been a weekly bugaboo since the Puppy was born. Maybe grocery shopping represents, for me, all the responsibilities of motherhood—nourishment, comfort, safety—which gives me a trim little focal-point for my martyrdom complex. That might explain why I eschew frugality at the grocery store; I’m a bountiful mother! On the other hand, I have, on more than one occasion, claimed to hate grocery shopping… Crap.

This is why we should leave metaphors to the professionals. Or, in the immortal words of Melvin Udall: People who talk in metaphors oughta shampoo my crotch.


Puppy’s current nighttime routine is a study in botched mothering. My lullaby repertoire includes Raffi, Caspar Babypants, and the entire Sound of Music songbook, as well as an original composition, but Puppy is bored with all that. He wants a new song, and I’ll be dipped if I can come up with anything other than religious songs. Amazing Grace, Silent Night, even Onward Christian Soldiers for Pete’s sake. You can take the girl out of Catholic school, but you can’t teach her to dance.

Buried somewhere deep inside me is a six-year-old Catholic schoolgirl who wants to be a nun when she grows up. I need an exorcist.

After the books and the songs, Puppy wants a story, and here is where the woman I was before I had kids finally succumbs to her wounds: I peer into the dark and pokey halls of my brain, and find only Disney lurking there. I would take a moment to invent a gender-bending twist to the conventional tales, but Puppy wants a story right now and before I know it, I’m uttering phrases like evil stepmother, fairy godmother, or—oh, the humanity—love’s true kiss.

Puppy: Why is the stepmother evil?

Me: Um… maybe she was hurt as a child.


One day I struck upon the brilliant idea of reciting The Gift of the Magi, but that went over like a sack of wet cement. Hair combs and fob chains? Trying explaining those to the toddler-who-always-asks-why. I tried modifying the story for the toddler audience, changing the cherished possessions into crayons and a babydoll, but the ending still fell flat. The moral is perhaps too nuanced for the three-year-old psyche. Maybe next time I’ll try for something less sophisticated, like Noah’s Ark.

Why did god drown everyone who wasn’t on the boat? Why did god make Noah save the pigeons?


He’s giving her a kiss here, not sniffing her.

*Yes, the Old Navy pack included Sunday.

Puppy crapped in Tuesday.

For your viewing pleasure: Days-of-the-week underpants scene.


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  1. Oh my goodness “Kitten” is cute! I know lots and lots and lots of baby songs. I will teach you!

Play nice, though, ok? I don’t want to have to get large on you.

Ooooh! A comment! I can hardly wait. Play nice, though, ok? I don’t want to have to get large on you.