I have no idea where to start. Perhaps I could give you a visual from my husband’s point of view, for he was blissfully unaware of the latest installment of “This Crazy House” as he lay soaking in the jacuzzi tub in our bathroom. I come in and motion for him to turn off the jets so he can hear my explanation of why I am wielding in my left hand the enormous, meaty, remains of our Easter ham, shreds still clinging the bone, and gesturing frantically with my right hand.

How’s this for a beautiful end to Jo-Jo’s 8th birthday? Headline: “7-Year-Old, Previously Well-Adjusted Girl, Turns 8 And Suddenly Cannot Sleep In Her Own Room.” Or, alternatively I could title it “What’s The Weirdest Thing You’ve Ever Had To Clean Up Out Of Your Child’s Bed?” I mean seriously, it was like Ham-ageddon in there. Poor girl. Will she ever be the same?

Here’s the story. There were footsteps on the stairs, only halfway down since it’s past bed time: “Mommy. Mommy, I need you.”

Big sigh. “What is it, Jo-Jo?” (Translate, “What fantastic reason to delay your bedtime have you invented tonight?”)

“No, Mommy, you have to come up here.” Ok, there is real emotion in her voice. More real than just little-kid-trying-to-stay-up-longer emotion.  Her voice is small and shaky. “Mommy, please. You have to come up now.”

Then she really got me: “There’s something in my bed.”

Spider. “Ok hold on, now,” I’m on my feet. “This sounds like a Daddy thing. You need Daddy. Go get Daddy. Jay! Jay? Where are you?” Nothing.

“No, Mommy, I need you now. Come now! Please! You have to come now!” It sounded like panic. Now I’m panicking. Probably a wolf spider. Seriously need Daddy. And a shot gun. And someone to shoot it. I now have one foot on the stairs and the other one headed towards the bathroom where I hope Daddy is. I see the dog on the couch, so I know they aren’t out for their evening walk.

“Mommy, this is not an insect or….. something.” Tearful. Panicking. Fretting. Bizarre.

What.

The.

Big Sis pokes her head out of her door. Even she is curious now.

“Jo-Jo. Get ahold of yourself. What is it? What. Is. In. Your. BED??!!!!!” Oh, the images that flashed through my paranoid mind. Raccoon? Snake? Fire? Fallen-in roof? Person? Dead person?!!!!!

“It’s not, it’s not, it’s….” she is struck dumb. She makes a face that has more than fear in it somehow. What is it? Disgust? Disgust! Yes! The dog went up there while we were watching LHOP! We thought it was kinda strange! The dog was acting kinda strange!

“Ohhhhhhh! Oh, oh, oh, no. Did, did Josie….you know, did she….?” One time she had pooped in the play room to show us she was mad at us for leaving her. Strikes again.

“No. No, Mommy. I don’t know what it is.” Sobbing.

Sometimes I like to think I’m that person who can just live without knowing what’s in the basement calling you at midnight in scary movies. I’d be the one who buys that house but hears the raspy-voiced, “Get out!” and I’d just, you know, get out. No, I never picture myself the heroine of the horror film, the girl who has killer curiosity and ends up just facing Freddie Kruger or Jason or whomever. I’d just pick up and move to Canada. End of story.

But I climbed those stairs and went into that room. And what I saw in that bed, well, I can tell you quite honestly, if I were a just-turned-8-year-old girl, I’d never be able to get back in that bed again.

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It all began to click. We went out for birthday dinner and came home to find the lid off the trash can and a very thirsty puppy. I assumed she just, you know, ate the rest of the ham. I didn’t go digging though the smelly trash.

Then the weird trip upstairs during tv time. She’s a big dog and doesn’t really like going up and down the slippery wood stairs. It was fairly unusual. Not alarmingly so, but unusual.

Apparently, our dog had attempted to bury the Easter ham remains in Jo-Jo’s bed. Right up there next to her pillow, up against the wall. Our dog’s weird ascent during Little House had been a hambone inventory check. Poor Jo-Jo gets ready for bed only to find what truly appears to be a mauled carcass right where she is to lay her sweet head.

Now that she realizes what it is, and what that smell is, she refuses to even go in her room. I go in and strip the sheets as carefully as I can (I’ve already thrown away the ham bone since I am finished relishing over my husband’s bath) but still some bits of ham spray across the room, behind the headboard, down into the tight space between the mattress and the wall and the frame, down into the trundle bed mattress and frame. I try to move the bed over and, of course, the ceiling fan begins to bang loudly against the bedposts. I run to shut off the fan then return to attempt to remove the ham juice, grease-soaked mattress pad, only to find it is one of those zip ones that encases the entire mattress. Whose great idea was that? Yeah, mine. Go me. I won’t be able to fit all this into the washer in one load anyhow.

So Jo-Jo is having a little birthday sleepover in her Big Sis’ room tonight. I’m sure we’ll all get plenty of rest as we face a day of cleaning the ham bits from Baby Girl’s room tomorrow. And laundry.

You know what? I take it back. I can totally live without anyone else sharing what is the weirdest thing you’ve ever cleaned out of your child’s bed.

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