Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Because You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

A couple of weeks ago it was High Maintenance Toddler Week in our household. I’m not sure if anyone else’s children participated, but mine were in rare form. I blamed the full moon.

Is there a chance this Mars landing I keep hearing about had some kind of effect on the brains of toddlers as well? With only a week break, High Maintenance Toddler Week Part 2 is under way. Let me share a vision of what a day with two, we’ll assume environmentally affected, children under four is like.

Tuesday, August 14th

Popping out of bed like gluten-free pop tarts from the toaster, the two precious angels began burping and bouncing on my head to awaken me. There’s nothing like a child landing on your head then saying, “Oops, I farted!” to really get you ready to move.

I decided to give them the choice between the splash pad or the mall for some it’s-over-100-degrees-again fun. They chose the splash pad, so I told them to hustle because mama burns after 11.

I must say Wren can hustle if it means going to the splash pad. Sammy mistook the word hustle for bend over, touch my toes, find my crack, stick my finger in it. After unsuccessful negotiations that included reminding him how much he liked the splash pad and how much he would not enjoy e.coli, I decided just to tackle him. He didn’t so much like that, so he wiggled away, grabbed his sister’s water glass and prepared to launch it. Now, this kid has broken more glasses than I can count, so I was ready for this. Grabbing under both arms, I put him in the you’re-under-arrest pose and clamped his wrists preparing to take the glass from his hand. Believing I had temporarily immobilized his upper half, I went to grab the glass just as he almost motionlessly flicked his wrist sending the glass sailing across the room. I’m an optimist, so I thought we were still good. It was going to land on the carpet. And it did, but it hit at just the right angle to shatter into a million pieces anyway. So much for hustle. (Why do my kids drink from glass cups instead of plastic? Because I don’t trust plastic, and the oldest never threw things. The stainless steel cups were in the dishwasher, and I had no intention of Sammy actually getting Wren’s glass.)

After cleaning up what we could find of the glass, we headed to the splash pad. That was actually fun. Kids, water, heat that can cause anyone but a Texan to pass out, these are all ingredients for fun on a random Tuesday. We actually had a lull in high maintenance activity until we attempted to get back to the car. That’s when the little one went rogue. Instead of following the concrete path that led to the parking lot, he shot off to the left for the grass that eventually leads to the road. I can’t 100% tell you what he was thinking, but I’ll do my best.

Sammy’s brain thoughts: Hmmm, everyone is walking on this concrete, but I’m not a sheep. Forget the herd, I’m making my own way in this world. I’m headed for the grass! Yeah, grass! Run, run, run! I’m so free…wait, this grass has not been watered. It hurts. Is this even grass? It feels like a million tiny needles pricking my tiny, delicate feet. I want to be a sheep, put me back on the concrete, I hate grass!!! How can I get everyone’s attention? Oh, yeah…scream! Now just stand here and scream. There’s no need to walk back to the concrete myself. That woman who nurses me needs to learn her place. Come get me woman, get me off the grass! I will keep screaming!

If you’re wondering why I was taking so long to retrieve my son from the grass, it’s not because I wasn’t trying. Unfortunately, while running to grab him I found another piece of glass from this morning’s incident. It was in my foot surrounded by blood. The pain slowed me down a bit.

We made it to the car and I gave them almond bread so everyone’s mouths would be too full to say things like: “Can we stay at the splash pad forever?” “Meat!!!”(that’s how Sammy asks to be nursed) “I don’t want to go home.” “Is there fruit in your bag?” It worked. I was able to bleed into my sandal in peace.

When we arrived home I thought maybe we hadn’t done a bang up job of removing glass from the carpet. I grabbed the vacuum and the carpet shampooer. I had no intentions of digging glass out of people’s parts for the next week.

Shampooing the carpet is always an interesting family time. I shampoo, the kids run in front of the shampooer attempting to lose toes. At the very least, it keeps them happy. For some reason, they bored of that game after ten minutes, so they disappeared into the office. Not to sound ungrateful because I love attempting to hit my children with a carpet shampooer, but I was sort of glad for the quiet and for how fast I could vacuum when no one dove in front of me. I did not check to see what activity had drawn them to the office. In hindsight, that was a mistake.

So pleased with myself for shampooing the carpet while caring for two kids, I made my way to the office and found a crime scene drawing of cookie monster on the floor. Blue crayon, light carpet, it looked like Cookie had one too many macaroons and met his end sometime around noon.

Me: “Who drew on the carpet?”
Wren: “Sammy.”
Me: “Remember how I said I would rather you tell me the truth even if I don’t like it instead of lie?”
Wren: “Okay, maybe I helped.”

In the end, I have no idea who wielded the blue crayon. The carpet shampooer was already out, so I guess it didn’t really matter.

Finally, we prepared for nap. When I say we I mean me. Sammy eventually gave in. Wren did not. Somehow we all still survived the afternoon and I escaped to work that night without giving Daddy much of a hint of what he was walking in to. He can just think I’m awesome for cleaning the carpet.

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