“Namaste,” intones the calm, spandex-clad woman on the television screen. “I’m Sheila Carrington. Welcome… to Beginner’s Yoga.”
“Namaste, Sheila,” I reply. Giggles erupt from behind the couch, and I whip my head around to shriek, “Kids, get your butts upstairs!”
“Come on, Abbie. Mama’s talking to that weird lady again.”
My oldest son, Noah, drags my daughter out of the room, presumably to call the loony bin. I ignore the malcontents and focus on Sheila.
“This program will enhance your mind, lift your spirits, and balance your chakras. When we’re finished, you’ll feel calm, centered, and peaceful. Let us begin.”
I sit up straight, kick a few toys out of the way, and feel the tension flow from my body. Ah. The kids are finally quiet, and the baby is napping. It really doesn’t get any better than…
“Whatcha doin’, Mama?”
“Yoga,” I snap. “Get back upstairs, Noah.”
“It’s kind of like exercise.” I feel a pang of guilt. This particular yoga routine wouldn’t increase the heart rate of a morbidly obese octogenarian.
“Oh. What’s yoga?” At age six, he finds repeating questions intensely funny. At age thirty-five, with my chakras seriously out of whack, I find it intensely irritating.
“Noah, you’re supposed to be playing with your sister. Go back upstairs.”
“What’s yoga? What’s yoga? What’s yoga? What’s yoga?”
“Noah!” I yell. He slinks from the room. Sheila directs me to inhale through my nostrils. Soothing, tinkling music fills the air. I close my eyes and calmly reflect on how much I despise soothing, tinkling music.
“That’s it,” breathes Sheila. “Feel the chakras pulse throughout your body. You are an ocean, lapping through the sands of a pristine white beach…”
“Noah!” Abbie shrieks. “That’s… my… pony!”
My ocean laps to the foot of the stairs as fast as possible, and I hiss, “Abbie, quiet down! The baby is sleeping!”
“Sorry, Mama!” she yells.
I make it back to the television in time to hear Sheila instruct me to move into a new pose and focus on my feminine energy. The last time I did that, I got pregnant, so I choose to focus on a small item mixed among the Thomas trains littering the floor.
I squint. “Is that poop?”
I desperately try to refocus my psychic energy, but the source of the Mystery Poop is now consuming my mind. Cat? Dog? Child? My left eyebrow starts to twitch.
My chakras give up the fight, and I run for the cleaning supplies. When I return, Sheila is wrapping up the routine with a deep stretch.
I sigh, click off the television and face my nemesis.
“Namaste, Mystery Poop.”