Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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And Then The Tree Root Moved. With Photographs!

Today I got my Babble writing done early so Violet and I could go on an adventure. The whole point of this work from home thing is watching as many episodes of The Real Housewives as possible spending more time with my kids so I'm trying to do one interesting/fun thing a day. That can be just splashing around in their little plastic swimming pool in our backyard, going to the local water park, going to a regular park or - the best one - going to Uncle Dave and Aunt Christine's house to visit the goats and head down to the swimming hole.

Today we decided to pack a picnic and head down to the swimming hole while the boys retired to the garage to paint some old furniture we bought at weekend yard sales, including another porch swing. One can't have too many porch swings. Unless one doesn't have a porch... and then, yes, one probably could have too many porch swings.

So off we went. Over the river and through the woods (literally) to The Gentleman Farmer's (Uncle Dave) house. We tipped our hats to Bojangles who I think we can all agree was looking and behaving in a rather dignified fashion today:

Own it, Big Boy. Tilt your head a smidge and gimme your best come hither eyes.

Yes, YES! Now turn sidways and show off that round, sexy body.

That's right, that's right, BEAUTIFUL. You are SO bringing sexy back. Now, arch your back, kick out a hoof and smile softly.... NAILED IT.

After bidding adieu to our man Bojangles, we headed down to visit the ladies, Fury and Mud.

It's Mud who's expecting Bojangles' babies this Thursday. Everyone is anxiously awaiting the birth. The other day, in anticipation of the delivery, Christine mentioned she needed to pick up some iodine and rubber gloves. "While growing up in Queens, New York did you ever think you'd need to pick up some iodine and rubber gloves for a goat delivery?" I asked. "Or hey, when you were writing comedy sketches when you lived in London did you ever have rubber gloves and iodine for goat delivery on your grocery list?"

She didn't need to answer.

By the way, this is Christine, Lady of the Manor. With The Gentleman Farmer who is also Serge's brother who is also Uncle Dave for whom Henry David is named. Aunt Christine's hot, no? She can rock your face off AND deliver baby goats (maybe). Makes for an interesting pal.

Do these two yahoos look like the kind of folks who can get elbows deep while birthing goat babies? We're gonna find out!

Anyway, we hung out with Fury and Mud for a while and then continued on down the trail to the swimming hole. I was feeling especially pleased with myself because, you know, I was all hopped up on MotherHood. I mean, I was on fire. I was pointing out flowers and knowing their proper names not to mention all the song singing and butterfly catching and releasing that was going on. It was a veritable smorgasbord of motherhood there in them woods.

We set up shop at the swimming hole. Ate snacks, blew bubbles, Violet wandered this way:

And that way:

It was a grand time. Grand, I tell you. And then we decided to leave. We were maybe thirty seconds into walking up the trail when I stopped Violet and said, "Be careful of the roots."

During the last visit to the swimming hole Violet tripped on one of the tree roots that pop up from the ground and crisscross the trail. She fell face first into the mud and cut her lip. I wanted to make sure we wouldn't end our grand mother/daughter adventure with another bloody mouth so I said "hold hands?" and offered Violet my hand. That's when, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed one of the tree roots move. Did you hear me? I said THE MOTHERFUCKING TREE ROOT MOVED. Which, I don't think I need to tell you what this means. Except I will. It means it was not a tree root.

My bowels nearly eliminated our picnic snacks on the spot.

The tree root that wasn't a tree root moved again. No, it didn't move, it undulated. My heart climbed into my throat but didn't stop there. It kept shimmying right into my head and eardrums where it proceeded to drown out all other sounds. BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM. It was a Motley Crue drum solo all up in my head, y'all.

A tree root that isn't a tree root and is, in fact, a sonofabitching rattlesnake may be no great shakes to you, but when you fear pictures of snakes, mere pictures, why I tell you what, the real deal slithering not five feet in front of you and your sweet little daughter is just about the worst thing that could happen.

After checking to make sure my rectum hadn't fallen out of my ass I picked up Violet in one giant swoop, turned and ran like Forrest Gump. But that wasn't all. I was in such shock, the horror of nearly guiding my daughter right onto a sonofabitching rattler proved too much and I shot my excellent day of parenting all to hell with a barrage of fucks to match each footfall.


What a beautiful way to end my shining moment of MotherHood, yeah? Barreling out of the woods, my daughter dangling upside down, screaming obscenities.

I motored up to The Gentleman Farmer's house like the little Bieber fella fleeing a pack of rabid tweens. I don't even think my feet touched the ground, y'all. Thankfully, Violet thought it was an excellent game and giggled all the way to Uncle Dave's kitchen table which I had to restrain myself from climbing on top of in order to reach a chandelier that I would still quite happily be clinging to if it didn't also happen to be Violet's nap time. And I don't think I need to tell you how crucial nap time is in the life of a mother. Snakes be damned. I was getting that kid to sleep come hell, high water or rattlesnakes.

She's napping now. And I'm typing this from on top of my desk

Reader Comments (17)

OMG OMG. Okay, first, "sonofabitching" is my new favorite word. Second, given the stimuli, I'd say your reaction was appropriate. That you didn't have a potty accident of your own brings it up to stellar. The best that could be expected, really.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterErin


And a Rattlesnake?!?! OMG OMG OMG FUCK FUCK FUCK.

That's all. I think you're validated now.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle

I feel that way about clowns. Seriously.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjeneria

I laughed so hard reading this post. This literally made my day. The goat photo shoot is freaking classic. Thank you!

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAl

See. this is why I hate nature. It's all great and gorgeous, and then there is a fucking SNAKE. I was reading this and getting more and more uneasy with V in that water (I'm in alligator territory but I know you aren't) and then hell!! RATTLESNAKE!!

Love your photos of where you are, but I so need to live in a high rise.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterkds

You are an amazing Momma. You saved your baby girl, and that's all that counts. What snake, fearing good Momma wouldn't utter some swear words over that. Furthermore, yes, as the grand-daughter of a dairy farmer who was doin' farm chores at the age of four, Christine and Dave are more than capable for the task of delivering baby goats. From their song writing it is clear that they know more about the salt of the earth than most people I know who have depended upon it. My grandfather understood God, life and his land, more than anyone I've ever met. It was all one to him, and every living creature on the land had its part in the workings of the greater good, even the snakes. I believe Christine and Dave are on that level. I believe you are too. You caught that undulating snake movement, and got your baby girl outta harms way.

August 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAllison

Wow. I lived in PA for four years, and did not know there were rattlesnakes there. I would have absolutely freaked. Glad you were able to keep it together long enough to get out. Fight or flight instinct is intact!

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKajey

a tale which will be passed on through the generations....and Grammy did the Live Root Boogie all the way, all the way, all the way home! Monica, this post is crawling with shocking imagery, emotion and drama capable of inspiring artists, dancers and athletes, naturalists, songwriters and poets.SSSSSnakes have probably evoked the F word
( in whatever language) forever. You were like a Mamma chicken with her little chick...Cluck cluck cluck cluck cluck!!!! ( I'm moving to a snake ridden Florida soon and will be armed with a hockey stick, feet shod with good running shoes). Hope the swimming hole isn't ruined for y'all. Best wishes to Dave and Christine and Mud and Fury for a smooth birth of the goatlings. NICE porch swing!!!!!

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentergina

Amen! I hate the snakes, too. I wanted to crawl on top of MY desk as I read this.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertara

I grew up in rattlesnake country and I tell you - you see a snake, RUN, OMG, RUN RUN RUN! Okay, after first slowly backing away so as not to scare it... BUT THEN RUN!

Unless you happen to be carrying a shotgun and you are ace with your aim. Axes work too. And once, a shovel. But you really need good aim.

Anyway the screaming will totally chase away the bobcats, too, in case there are bobcats.

Don't you feel so much safer in the country now?

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterArchaeogoddess

Is it safe to say that you haven't seen "Snakes on a Plane" then? Because you have the language down.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKajey

This post is brilliant. So incredibly funny. I felt the tension building too and was wondering what was going to make the day's perfection come crashing down. And I damn near peed my pants (but not out of laughter) when I read RATTLESNAKE. I don't know how you kept everything in! OMG. I also would have said exactly what you did the whole way back to the house.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Goats are mad sexy. Snakes not so much.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterThat Uncomfortable Itch

omg a barrage of fucks, bwaaaaahahahahahaha. This post is cracking me up and frankly the barrage of fucks makes me think you're a totally awesome parent.

August 9, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterevanderz

I am cancelling my flight...and my visit.

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentermama

Bwaaaahaahaaa hahaa! This is an awesome story! I swear! How does this shit find you?!

August 10, 2011 | Unregistered Commentershannon B.

OHHHH MYYYY GODDDD!!! I HATE SNAKES!! I am also terrified of even a photo of a snake. I would've reacted the same way! EWWWWW. Now I'm creeped out!

October 28, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterSpring

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