Ase just into a toddler bed and Zany in a crib shared the master bedroom. With space to play and a huge window to watch the traffic drive by, they thought it was perfect.
Ase would wake up early, grab a few toys and give them to Zany in his crib. They would quietly play until I came in to get their day started. Ase would be changed and dressed first. Then Ase continued to play, but with one eye on me while I got Zany ready.
Then… the flu.
Ase got it first, then Zany. Both still in diapers. Carefully holding my breath I would peal back to reveal toxic waste.
After a few days, I went to the doctor. He told me about BRAT foods: Bananas, Rice, Applesauce and Toast. Doctor said it worked the same as Amodium and was better for them.
Ase responded quickly. Within a day he was solid and back on regular foods. Zany was slow to improve, but as they were tucked in that night I expected he would be fine by morning.
Their quiet murmurs greeted me as I walked down the hallway next morning. With a spring in my step and the hope of a poop free day in my heart, I opened their bedroom door.
Zany looked at me with dreamy blue eyes from the floor. Diaper gaping open. Brown goo smeared all over his legs and belly. Ase sat next to him: with a clean diaper and a hand full of wipes, his golden brown eyes met mine with pride:
“Mommy! I help Zany!”
I looked over at the crib. Sheets were spotted with caramel. What could I do? With a heart filled with love for his best friend, Ase gathered all the cleaning supplies, then somehow lifted Zany out of his crib. I couldn’t get mad. This was what we were working toward.
Brothers that worked together.
Brothers who would help each other out, no matter the cost.
Brothers who would work out differences.
So… I got down on my knees and helped him clean his brother. We talked about the mess. I told him how proud I was of him. That poop cleaning really is a Mommy and Daddy job, but I really appreciate him trying. It was a very loving thing to do.
THEN I cleaned every surface of that room. Praying nothing was left behind. What happened next was Legen...dary.
They traded that crap for the next six weeks.
I began to hate BRAT foods. They weren’t a savior, they were bondage. Just when things would get solid and they would try regular food, all went loose. In a fit of desperate crazy after Oprah one day, I made up the preschool germ nuking formula-1 part bleach/10 parts water- and cleaned the shit out of that room.
God often whispers this memory to my heart when I reach out to help someone. Ase was too small, to immature to effectively help Zany. How many times do I walk into someone’s life to help them but, instead make it worse? Many times the answer is simply to love the sinner and let Holy Spirit do his job. God is much better at cleaning up shit and getting the job done.