|Utensil, not toy|
I've experienced several of those moments before I became a mother: I was a teacher and America's youth is never at a loss for absurdity. I was once part of a group of people shouting "Drop the ice cream! Drop the ice cream and the monkey will leave you alone! Drop the ice cream!" to a student who was being purposely pursued by a Barbary Ape after our tunnel excursion on the Rock of Gibraltar. We had been told not to buy any food stuff of any kind as the apes have lost their natural fear of humans and are fairly aggressive about acquiring food. This apparently was lost on a student and the student in question held the ice cream up in the air, Statue of Liberty style, while the rest of us encouraged dropping the treat and our guide and mini-bus driver did their best to shoo the ape away. Fortunately, all involved escaped unharmed including the ice cream.
On this same trip, our group was standing in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles when I heard the common teenage refrain of "This is SSSOOO boring." Before launching into a lecture on how the number of important-to-the-world conferences and treaties that happened in this.very.spot alone warranted our attention, or how amazing it is that most of the Hall had remained somewhat intact during the French Revolution as the masses went around destroying any symbol of excess or corruption (raiding the homes of lesser nobility is one thing, but things got even more awesome when they went after the Catholic church by chopping off the heads of statued saints: those French, they know how to have a revolution let me tell you), I said the first thing that came to my mind. "See that shiny thing up there? (points to chandelier made in Italy and gifted to France in the sixteenth century) It's older than the country in which you live. Focus on the shiny things and be quiet." Not exactly graceful prose or a very important lesson, but at least the complaints moved away from me.
So I should be used to living in situations where "normal" phrases don't cut it. And yet in the last week, with the help of my children and my dog, I've really pushed the limits. One would think that after 4 plus years of pee, poop, phlegm, vomit, and other assorted perks that go with small children that I wouldn't be surprised by anything I have to say/do/witness. But my kids are exceptional. For example......
"No one touches the dog vomit until I can get the meat fork out of the chair cushion."
I'm making dinner (which means I'm making dinners because my children eat organic, gold-plated, free-range, sparkly nuggets while Sean and I eat generic spaghetti o's) and Little Man trips over his own two feet in the living room. Not to worry, he caught himself. With his head. And the wall. Little Man is not one to quietly nurse wounds, so an immediate response is required from me. I put the gfcf, flash-frozen, platinum-encased rainbow strips on a plate to cool while I tend to brave, but not quiet about it, Little Man. In the meantime Sweet Girl finds a meat fork and is using it to swat imaginary bees away from the picnic she and imaginary Clifford are having on the kitchen floor. Child Services, please note that we've had the "meat forks are not toys" (yet another phrase that would qualify as somewhat unconventional) conversation approximately 6,000 times (this month) and I routinely hide the meat fork and YET she manages to find it every time. One of these imaginary bees is a bit of a nuisance and requires additional and intricate swatting choreography, which I would have stopped had I not been tending to Little Man the Wounded. Sweet Girl succeeds in conquering the bee, which means it must have perished when she skewered the teeny tiny space between the chair cushion and the actual chair, lodging the meat fork securely into the kitchen chair. Take that bees!
While this is happening, Oreo takes the opportunity to protest his dining options by stealing the still hot chicken nuggets from the counter. He eats them practically whole and entirely HOT, and almost immediately starts hacking them up in the living room which is actually what alerted me to the purloining of my children's dinner. Little Man's pain was lessened by the sudden appearance of canine regurgitation and I was able to escape to the kitchen to grab the necessary cleaning supplies. I notice that the gruel that was to be the grown-up dinner was quickly going from done to burnt, but there were more pressing matters at hand. Before I could get back to the living room I heard Sweet Girl comforting Oreo, which meant she was about ten seconds from trying to clean up what was once her dinner. She's enthusiastic but she's not efficient, or really even that accurate, when it comes to cleaning up. Little Man was making motions that were WAY too interested in the contents of the dog puke as well. What was already a pretty ugly situation was seconds away from being pretty disgusting. So I hurried into the living room except....my sweater got caught on the meat fork sticking out of the kitchen chair. The short people I live with were getting closer and closer to the mess that should have been their dinner while I was literally stuck to an imaginary bee skewer. So I yell: "No one touches the dog vomit until I can get the meat fork out of the chair cushion." Poet Laureate is not on my resumé.
|I'm not inviting them to our house|
again until they learn to clean up
This of course all happened within the span of about three minutes and things ended well enough. The second-hand dinner was cleaned up, the kids got (different, non-pre-chewed) chicken nuggets, and I managed to save the adult meal from burning to oblivion. All in all I was pretty proud of how we came out on the other side of the Meat Forked Incident. Of course when Sean returned home from work, his first words were: " It looks like a Guns and Roses hotel room in here." Dude, you have no idea. And watch out. I have a meat fork.