Dead-Chicken Smells and Sweet Little Boys—Another Day in Our Zoo

The Heathens are in deep trouble today. But, to fully understand the how, you have to understand the why.

So, grocery shopping at my house is an exhausting gauntlet that I dread every week. I usually go on Saturday or Sunday, and it takes nearly half the day to accomplish. Planning the menus, making the lists and clipping the coupons takes a good chunk of time, but then I trek to two different stores, usually with Bean in tow. I know what you are thinking…why, dear God, why? Well, that’s what it takes to keep our family of five fed on a meager budget. Scoff if you want, but the first time my husband saw $70 come off the register total because of my time-consuming planning, he acknowledged that I clearly had a method to my grocery shopping madness.

Anyway, considering that I spend half a day planning and purchasing the groceries, my husband and kids are charged with unloading the car and putting everything away. By the time Bean and I make it home from our expedition, she needs feeding, changing and a nap, so I am otherwise engaged during the unloading process. Our system seemed fine, but I should have known never to grow complacent when Heathens are involved.

I went grocery shopping on Saturday, and as usual, left the Heathens to unload and my husband to put it all away while I dealt with a hungry Bean. We had a great holiday weekend thereafter, and nothing seemed amiss until I opened my car door yesterday (having not left the house since Saturday). The wretched smell that assaulted me nearly knocked me over. I ran to my trunk, popped it open, and found all of the chicken, cheese and vegetables I had bought rotting away in the sunny, 70 degree heat. The Heathens had been in such a hurry to escape grocery detail , they left 1/3 of the groceries in the trunk…for four days. After trashing the rotten food, and attempting to air out my car, it still smells like death warmed over, and my grocery budget for the week was blown to smithereens. I picked the Heathens up from school (with the car windows rolled down), and proceeded to lay into them about responsibility, accountability and the misery of my dead-chicken-smell car. I told them they were BOTH in trouble and rattled off the laundry list of punishments that their father and I had agreed upon, including grounding from all electronics and the loss of their allowance.

Well, Bear, being the sweetest kid that ever lived, tried to get his brother off the hook. He pipes up with “Mom, I think I may have shut the trunk, so I think it really was my fault.” Now, I know for a fact they both had a hand in it, but Bear was willing to take the whole blame so his brother wouldn’t lose his video game time.

His sweetness nearly did me in, but luckily the dead-chicken smell kept me strong. I managed to stick to my guns, but deep down, I just wanted to kiss the little booger senseless. So, the Heathens had a day of no TV or video games (oh, the horror!!!), and I still have a dead-chicken car. It’s just another day in paradise around here.


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