No. Not a post about pie crusts (I wish!!), but a post about a different kind of crust. A kind of crust that only mothers really get to see. Perhaps Dad might too, but hey! The dog doesn’t mind them. And neither do the kids. They’ll be sitting next to this type of crust, and miraculously overlook it. They might even be sitting on top of this kind of crust, and never pay it any mind. Or maybe they are walking around with an impressive display of crust on their clothes, completely oblivious to it. Wherever the crust may be, parents know the culprits.
Kids are funny. They love to make a mess, and then they can literally coexist in an environment that only hoarders can relate to. I can deal with temporary clutter. In fact, I really love to see their imaginations at work when there are thousands of Lego pieces on the floor that are mixed with Erector Set hardware and the occasional princess with tattered hair. I get excited when I witness an amazing roof of sheets that were washed and folded in my linen closet, snatched, and given a new name called a tent. I even don’t mind obstacle courses that have been made with pillows, chairs, and bins that are supposed to house the mess called toys. I encourage this kind of mess making. But the crust kind? Drives me up the wall.
There isn’t anything like coming across dried pee crust on the under rim of a toilet. The feelings it evokes are unforgettable, and anywhere from an Oh brother kind of sigh to an Oh Brother, you better run reaction. And if this kind of crust trickles down the toilet and pools upon the bathroom floor like a crusted toilet skirt that’s been worn for days? Well, it can cause anywhere from profanity to a dangerous silence that can only be cured by fresh air. And fresh air is needed when Mom gets brave enough to venture into the bathroom to get a whif of the stink that Little Sister has been complaining about.
And then there’s the amazing lunch crust that tattooes the childrens’ clothing when they break free from school at the end of the day. Mom wonders what in the world? She remembers that she packed them a damn napkin, even an extra one, and it is unbelievable that they missed them! Rather, it was just easier to wipe their mouths upon their sleeves so they could walk around the rest of the day grossing out their teachers and silently saying, Hey! Look at me. I. Am. A. Slob.
And I cannot forget the infamous booger crusts. I mean, these rather impressive conglomerates of salt and funk can be found anywhere from pillows, to sinks, to couch arms. And they come in many colors. The smeared ones? Well they are an interesting mystery as Mom wonders How did they do this?
The definition of a crust is a formed outer layer, especially of solid matter formed by the drying of bodily secretions such as pus or bood, perhaps a scab. Yuck! It is any hard, crisp covering over a surface, so that can umbrella quite a few other crusty situations caused by children, literally turning Mom into a Crusty Crab Apple;)
Let’s see. There are dried milk crusts remarkably left on counter tops, chairs, floors, and yes even the cabinets. And sometimes the incredible displays of “milk bursts” can resemble fireworks that have exploded on cabinet faces.
Then there’s the jelly crusts. The butter crusts. The chocolate crusts. The icepop crusts that even an expert candy maker cannot get so thin. All of it phenomenal!
And so like everything else in this wonderful life of raising children, Mom bellows out a huge sigh. She’s gotten very good at sighing, because it saves her from words she can’t take back. She lets sighs out slowly, to conceal the curse words that secretly rattle off in her head while the children stare wide-eyed wondering Who did it?
And rather than getting upset, or going through the process of being a detective that will never truly find the culprit, she calls them all out. She gets a rag. She finds the disinfectant. She locates protective gloves. And she hands them to her children, who still wear the look of shock on their faces. You mean I have to clean that up? And she thinks Well of course you do, my sweet, beautiful, lovebugs who make a beautiful mess with toothpaste and spit spew all over the mirror.
She goes about her business, and the children are once again employed. And she thinks, Veni. Vidi. Vici.