Sanford & Son

Every neighborhood has ‘em.

You know: the one white-trash family that just oozes with socially unacceptable behavior such as loud music, big engines, cold beer and jacked-up trucks.

I just didn’t know “they” were “us.”

It all started out innocently the other day when I took the kids for an early-morning run. Since the temperatures were still brisk, I opted against getting them dressed and kept them bundled up in their fleece PJs.

Now, something you should know about me is that even though I’m lucky if I get a brush through my hair, I am pretty anal about ensuring my kids are properly groomed. But I figured this was a worthy exception to get an early start to the day. You know. To beat those sweltering 60-degree temperatures that would soon descend upon us.

Something else you should also know is that it was garbage day, certainly not the best of times to be running due to the surrounding stench. I was the last 1/4-mile into my run up the big stinky hill to our house when I spotted It: that which led my great downfall to white trashdom (and coincidentally, it was white…and trash). Someone had left a wicker chest out by their garbage.

I stopped. It would be perfect in our basement for Haddie’s toys. I investigated. It was in great shape, too. Or at least it was before my attempts to transport it.

There was a problem, though. It was really big, which made our progress really slow. Oh yeah, and did I mention the hill? My little charges were patient in the beginning but after about 15 minutes of dragging it, fussiness ensued. I decided I needed another plan. I could take the kids out of the jogging stroller, put the trunk inside and let them walk. Well, at least the big one. My main concern was that Hadley was still in her pajamas and what would the neighbors think?

I did it anyway.

And so there we were on our leisurely Monday Morning Dumpster Diving Stroll around the neighborhood. Haddie in her soiled PJs, Bode with his frumpy hair.

Then Haddie started limping. “I have cereal at the bottom of my PJs,” she whined.

I looked down and sure enough she had lumpy feet. But at this point, the only way to get the cereal out of her one-piece pajamas would have involved stripping her down completely. And if PJs by Day were white trash, having her wander down the street with her sagging pull-up diaper was veritable trailer status. And at that, I drew the line.

“I have an idea! Just stomp really hard and it will turn your cereal into little crumbs. And then we’ll just follow them home like Hansel and Gretel!” I have always been a master of resolution.

She looked dubiously at me, made a meager attempt and then limped the rest of the way. It was memorable to say the least but we survived and the kids have a new toy box.

Would I do it again? Sure. Only next time, I’ll just need to remember to bring my shopping cart along….

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