Monday, September 13, 2010

A Lesson in Fear


Zoey has recently transitioned from diapers to panties. To be exact, panties with Elmo on them. And in case you have never potty trained another human being before, believe me when I tell you that the initial panty wearing period is HELL. Basically, you are just waiting around for an "accident" to happen. Will it happen on the new rug in the living room? Will it happen in the car? Will it happen in isle 3 of Market Basket? And here's the thing: YOU NEVER KNOW.

So we are going about our days in terror. And one way I try to minimize that terror for myself is to get my 2 year-old child to shoulder some of it. It's only fair. So, to help along the potty training process, I have told my daughter that if she pees or poops in her Elmo panties, Elmo will get wet. Wet and, here's the clincher, scared*.

"We don't want to scare Elmo, do we?" I say. Zoey's eyes widen, she looks at me solemnly and shakes her head no. "So we don't want to pee or poo on Elmo, do we?" Again she shakes her head. "So we only pee and poo on the potty, right?" She nods, her eyes still big and, it must be said, the tiniest bit fearful. Then we go about our business. Zoey is building a tower on the living room floor. I am putting away laundry. The clink of wooden blocks slows and then stops. I hear Zoey muttering to herself. I peak around the door and see her holding out the waistband of her pink pants, gazing down at her crotch. "It OK, Elmo. It OK," she whispers. And I, temporarily (and stupidly) blinded by my own evil-genius, think, My plan is working!

A few hours, and several successful trips to the potty, later we are having dinner. Zoey has finished her meal and is playing under the table. She is talking to herself and engaging in an elaborate game that involves a tissue, a stuffed kitten, one of my shoes, and an acorn. All of a sudden Zoey says, "Mommy? Daddy? I have tummy ache." This might be a good time to point out that for the last two days, each time Zoey has said she has a tummy ache it has been followed, within minutes, by massive amounts of diarrhea. So, Zoey declares she has a tummy ache. And what do Demetri and I do? We sit there. LIKE TOTAL DUMB-ASSES.

A minute later we hear a gasp from under the table. Then a shriek, "I POOPED! I POOPED!" Then there is a high pitched wail. A long high pitched wail. "ELMO IS SCARED!!! ELMO IS SCARED!! ELMOOOOOOOOHHHHHH!" Next, there was flailing. And kicking. And general panicking. Which is not what one wants when trying to contain poop to a specific and small location. I'll save you the details and just tell you that several rugs and multiple items of clothing had to be scrubbed and then washed.

The lesson: Never ever think that your evil-genius parent plans will work. Poo gets everywhere and you have to shell out 6 more bucks to buy new panties that don't have Elmo on them.

* I swear I got this idea from another mom. So I'm not as evil as I sound. But, the thing is, I can't remember who. Which leads to some important questions. The first of which is, Am I crazy?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A Totally Ridiculous Conversation (On Many Levels)


me: Wait . . . How old am I? 33 or 34?

Demetri: Uuuh . . .

me: HOLY SHHHHHH....! Am I turning 35?????

Demetri: No. No way. You must be 33.

me: Ok. Wait. How old are you turning?

Demetri: Fooooorty . . . five?

me: WHAT? no. It must be 44.

Demetri: Wait ... do you know what number Super Bowl it's going to be because I'm the same age as the Super bowl?

me: Uh, OF COURSE I don't know the number of the super bowl.

(pause)

Me: Crap, I'm going to have to do math.


Zoey: Grrr..... My parents are idiots!

The Lunch Box Incident


Zoey starts her new Spanish immersion school tomorrow. And I am a nervous wreck. Even though the instructions sent to me by the school specifically instruct me not to be "anxious". Apparently my anxiety will create anxiety for my child and her first day will be ruined. RUINED! Well, the "ruined" part may involve some interpretation on my part. Just a wee bit. As in total fabrication. But it could happen. I could ruin Zoey's first day in many ways. We could get there too early. Or too late. I could drive in the wrong side of the circular driveway. I could take too long to get her out of the car. I could forget the camera, Zoey's back pack, and her lunch. Oh my god, her lunch! I am a quivering pool of anxiety just about the lunch. The lunch box to be exact.

There was a lunch "box" incident at the school Zoey has been attending this summer. Yes, my child was attending a morning day care program 2 days a week and did not (gasp!) own a lunch box. A few weeks ago I walked in the door to pick Zoey up and saw her sitting at a table eating oyster crackers and raisins. Which was not what I packed her for lunch. The (new and young) teacher rushed over to me and gushed, "OhmygoshIamsosorry! I couldn't find Zoey's lunch box! Did you forget it?"

"No, I put it in the fridge . . . But that's OK, she can eat lunch when we get home."

"I checked the fridge," the teacher insisted, "I didn't see a lunch box in there."

Now may be a good time to point out that when I see other kids arriving and leaving the program, they all seem to be banging a lunch box against their little legs: Tinkerbell, Thomas the Train, Spider Man, Dora the Explorer. So when the teacher said she didn't see a lunch box in the fridge she was technically right. "Well," I began, "Zoey's lunch is in a . . . a . . plasticlwalmartbag." I said this last part fast and quiet. And I might have had my hand over my mouth.

"What? Her lunch is in a what?" The young teacher flipped her blond hair.

I sighed. "The lunch is in a bag. A plastic bag."

There was a pause, the teacher couldn't even look me in the eye for a moment, and then she said, "Ooooh. I guess I didn't think there would be a lunch in . . . that." I grabbed the lunch, stuffed it in Zoey's very stylish backpack from the Kennedy Space Center (thanks Gramme and Pop-pop!) and got the heck out of there. If I had a tail it sooo would have been tucked between my legs.

So anyway, I vowed that Zoey would start her new school with a new lunchbox. And she will. It's purple with psychedelic cats on the front. At least she didn't pick the princesses. Well, actually, she did . . . but I told her we didn't have the right "special" money for that one. And yes, you may totally steal that line for your own use. You're welcome.