As I think I have mentioned a million times, this is a busy job. So it is not that unusual for the kids to pop in the car and ride along on a property assessment.
The thing is, this can either be an incredibly positive-teaching moment for your kids – “This is what happens if you do not straighten your little ass up” or it can entirely backfire, and it has many times. One particular regrettable and haunting moment was with my, then 5 year old. It was undoubtedly a teaching moment, for both her and myself. We strolled into the house – the aroma of urine filled the air, yet we pressed forward. I should possibly be discomforted to say the scent was nothing out of the ordinary.
With my camera in hand, we venture room-by-room, photographing damage, personal items left behind and overall layout to “tell the story” to the bank.
Most of the time, the previous owners just leave trash; nothing of value, just the junk that was not worth packing. On this particular day that would have been appreciated. As we make our way through the door, my daughter runs forward with way too much familiarity and I stop just a few feet behind her, long enough to photograph the living room. I ventured on to meet up with her in the master bedroom. I walk in and see my daughter standing next to the master bed (mattresses on the floor), staring at the attractive display of shapes and colors covering the bed.
As I get closer to the bed, I can feel my face turning red, panic arriving and my husband’s dear face coming into my mind to liven this party. Yet again. I have found myself as the loser at the end of the line for the Mother of the Year award. Better described and visualized as the group left standing on the stage with those who will be ending their journey on American Idol; I actually visualized this.
This time, it was bad and getting worse. The closer I got, the more horrific the situation became. As I started to watch my daughter’s hand slowing reaching toward one of the objects. My mind was not mustering up an appropriate reaction, which was surprising given how often I find myself in similar “oh shit” moments. So when all else fails, sing or scream. I chose to scream. There was definitely a lack of appropriate or relevant tunes; couldn’t remember the words to “Darling Nikki” and even if I did, the appropriateness was still an issue.
Contingency planning was in over-drive. My daughter and I make eye contact, those “mama I love you” eyes staring at me as her hand is continuing to inch forward. It was now or never – I broke our stare and focused on the ground and began my scream as loud as I could “RRRRRRRAAAAAAAATTTTTTT!”
Her face went from curious to frantic in less than five. I rushed her out of the room, out of the house and into the car with the mission and hope of disremembering; a true wishful thought.
To completely understand this horrific moment, I ask you to close your eyes and imagine you are in a manufactured home; don’t forget the 5 senses – the smell of urine setting the scene, the filth you can taste when you lick your teeth, the deafening silence that reminds you of why you are standing in someone’s bedroom and the vision.
The entire bed, I mean in its entireness is sprinkled with sex toys of all colors and sizes. I think the pure quantity is more than Google ever produced, (Actually, I tested this – DON’T DO THAT! I was wrong but regardless easily, 3-4 mortgage payments).
There are beads of assorted color and size, tube shaped objects, round things that had they not have been with this assortment, you would have categorized as vacuum cleaner parts and about two hundred more objects you have never seen or wanted to imagine. All of the items are unwrapped, in used condition and perfectly displayed for your unobstructed viewing, with the exception of your five year old whose hand is slowing reaching out to grab one of these glorious finds.
SERIOUSLY? Why on earth would someone think that this was a good idea? Dog mess on the floor seemed like a magnificent find compared to this unexplainable presentation of complete insanity.
Ok, now back to the car, we are racing home and my mind is in overdrive. I knew the questions would soon surface during our 15 minute ride home. It only took a few minutes when out of her mouth poured the words I had genuinely dreaded. “Can we go back and get those beads MaMa? I really like them!” I was completely and whole heartedly trying to think of words to say and then my true savior appears. Katie Perry on the radio begins to “Roar”. My 5 year old quickly begins her singing routine and surprisingly, I am off the hook, well at least until her daddy asks how her day was, which he did, and which she answered and then I had to sit in time out once again. Bad Bad Mommy Day.