I’ve never been one to hit the mark on my first try. For most of my life, my first attempt at new things has fallen somewhere between mediocre and outright disaster. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a mess, but I’ve found comfort in this role over the years. I no longer walk into new experiences with a confident swagger, because I know things are probably going to be awkward. Because, I’m a lightning rod for weirdness. Which brings me to my latest episode.
Last night, my six-year-old daughter had a friend sleep over for the first time. They spent the first half of the evening jumping on the bed, giggling, and talking about things six-year-olds find interesting, like YouTube and Hatchimals. Preparing for this sleep over, I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I bought snacks for movie night, planned a few fun activities, and made sure I had chocolate chips to make cookies. From what I could tell, things seemed to be going well, which is rare, but was welcomed nonetheless.
I was feeling optimistic that my streak of perpetual weirdness was about to be broken when my daughter’s friend approached me with a look of concern.
“Um, your dog peed on all my stuff.” She said.
“What?” I responded, certain I’d misunderstood.
“My bag…your dog peed all over it.” She tried again.
I jumped to my feet and rushed to my daughter’s room. Sure enough, my dog had, in fact, peed all over her stuff. I immediately apologized, “Oh honey, I’m so sorry. Let me get this cleaned up. I’ll wash your things, and they’ll be just fine.” I realized I was a huge liar when I saw dog pee had saturated her Shimmer and Shine electric toothbrush.
With a fist full of paper towels, I sopped up the puddle that had formed beneath her bag, wondering if the dog had been let out any time in the past 3 months. For a ten pound dog, the damage was substantial. A plastic case of markers was holding a fair amount urine, and her beautiful pink coat had become an unintentional sponge. I tossed her clothes and overnight bag in the washer, and passed slumber party duties to my husband while I made an emergency trip to the nearest store.
Searching the toothbrush aisle, I found every toothbrush in creation, except the one that was just destroyed by my schnauzer. I settled for two princess toothbrushes, hoping a choice would soften the blow. I’m not sure what is customary when your dog pees on someone’s toothbrush, so I grabbed a new set of markers as a peace offering, and headed towards the register.
Back home, I offered the new markers and consolation toothbrushes with another apology. I pinky promised to replace the Shimmer and Shine Spinbrush she “just got for Christmas” as soon as I could. I texted my mom and sister, who both laughed at me. My sister asked if I would be divulging the truth to the kid’s mom, or providing a slightly less embarrassing story. After considering my options, I realized the girls are six, and if I didn’t tell the truth, they would. So, I told her mom the truth, and whether she was really OK with it or just being kind, she made me feel like my dog peeing on her kid’s toothbrush was no big deal. So, she’s my favorite mom now, in case you were wondering.
Aside from urine-gate, the rest of the night was your typical sleepover, with movies, giggling, and junk food. I watched the girls dance to Havana by Camila Cabello, braided their hair for an Anna and Elsa dress-up session, and squeezed chocolate syrup on to a bowl of popcorn, because they thought it might be delicious. (It wasn’t.) The girls went to bed entirely too late, and got up way too early, but they had fun, and I learned to keep guest bags off the floor for all future visitors.