Chinese Mustard

It was when I picked up my little girl again that I realized that the slightly viscous mustard I had just dabbed with my finger from the Dragon Garden Chinese take out was not mustard at all. Somehow between opening the boxes of white rice and fried rice and lifting my little girl from the sofa, so that I could comfort her, I had accidentally smeared the poop creeping from out of her Huggies diapers on to one of the boxes of rice. I saw this yellow sauce on the tip of the flap of the box of white rice and I touched it with my index finger then tasted it. At first I thought it was some sort mustard or Asian sauce. It tasted bland and didn’t have any sort of good or bad odor. How was I supposed to have known?

“Oh My God! Oh my God! Oh my God!” I freaked, jumping up and down like a crazed monkey.

“What?” my husband shouted in fear.

“Oh my God! Oh my God! Oh my God! That wasn’t mustard. That yellow stuffâÂ?¦it wasâÂ?¦ It was shit! Oh my God I just ate my own daughter’s shit!” I forced myself to say it out loud and at that moment of realization I ran fast. I ran faster than I ever did beforeâÂ?¦to the bathroom sink to wash out my mouth, thoroughly. As I ran I heard my husband in the background burst into the loudest laughter I ever heard, or as we say in Spanish, “Se dio una carcahada”. Still I proceeded to brushing my teeth and tongue over and over again. I rinsed out my mouth two or three or four times with that non-brand Wal-Mart mouthwash. Then, to top it off, I grabbed a small washcloth and roughly rubbed any possible lingering poop off my tongue just incase I didn’t get it with the brushing or the mouth wash. All the while my husband just couldn’t stop laughing.

“It’s not funny! I just ate her caca!” my voice shrieked as I shouted off the top of my lunges and that’s when he suddenly ceased to laughâÂ?¦ but then of course he started right back up again louder and stronger. I was so disgusted, so embarrassed. My little girl couldn’t have been more than three months old; I was still nursing and so if anything at all, her poop had but little more than breast milk in it. Yet still the thought of eating poop at all was just too much for me to be calm about.

“I thought it was mustard,” I kept shouting!

All he could do was laugh at me. Laugh! Laugh! Laugh! When he got up to change her diaper, he laughed. When he was using the baby wipes to clean up the mess on the sofa and on the Chinese take out rice boxes, he laughed. Even when I sat down next to him, convinced that I had thoroughly washed out my mouth, so we could eat our Chinese take out, he still laughed. It was as if he had been holding in that laugh for months.

“Stop making funny of me. That was gross.”

“I’m sorry. I’m sure it wasâÂ?¦but you know, if that had happened to me you would have been laughing just the same.” He said trying to control his laughter. Hearing him say that while laughingâÂ?¦ did make me smile then giggle. He was right had it been any one else I would have laughed at them just the same just like my husband was laughing at me, especially if it had been my husband. I would have had a ball. I would have cracked jokes, pointed and everything. Just thinking about it, picturing it, was making me laugh already.

So we began to laugh, together. We were laughing together for the first time in a long time, over dinner, without the stress or the problems. By strange circumstances we were enjoying our dinner, our daughter, or marriage, our family, like two people that love each other deeply should.

The truth is, despite the fact that I hated being a military wife, stuck in a hell hole of a place, in a house at the end of a street in a very small neighborhood, in small town Alabama and that I resented him for moving me so far away from the rest of my family, my parents, sisters and brothersâÂ?¦our marriage had improved tremendously since we left Texas. Sure we still had the daily financial stress and yes we bickered every now and then about the stupidest little things, but over all we were happier as a couple, as lovers, as friends, as soul mates. Perhaps it was our new baby and all the newness and joy she brought to our family, a new addition to our small existence. Or perhaps it was the quietness and loneliness of this so-called Daleville AL. No overwhelming, over populated city life with its non-stop traffic jams and pollution. Instead we were out here in this small place in the middle of nowhere and though at first it seemed scary, in the end, there was a certain peacefulness to it, a serenity if you will. After all the only family we had here, was each other. In a way moving here forced us to spend time with each other and depend on each other. No more running back to our parents’ homes or to some counselor when our problems became too much for us to handle alone. Here we couldn’t take each other for granted. We were forced to grow up and take responsibility for our actions.
The truth is I don’t know the truth; all I know is that when we were laughing like that, at dinner, it felt good. It felt wonderful and for a moment, a very memorable moment, all my resentment and all his stress went out the window.

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