Princess Plumber

Scene: Mom is in the basement finishing up a workout. Princess Bridget is safely ensconced on the couch watching Dora and Diego. Mom hears the shower turn on and races up the stairs to the bathroom to find Bridget standing near the toilet, still in her jammies, holding a plunger.

Mom: What are you doing?

Bridget: The thing was stuck in deyare (there) so I used the plunger thing to get it.

M: Why was the shower on?

B: I was cleaning the plunger thing.

M: What did you put in the toilet?

B: One thing and two things but they got stuck in deyare so I used the plunger thing.

M: What was stuck in the potty, what did you put in there?

B: The plunger thing! (Now getting agitated that Mom isn’t understanding.)

M: What was stuck in the potty, what were you trying to get out with the plunger?

B: The thing. (very calmy and politely)

M: What thing?

B: The things! (less calm and highly irritated)

This conversation continues for several more repetitive rounds. Then Mom notices the container of antibacterial wipes, the non-flushable kind, open and lying on its side.

M: Did you put these in the potty?

B: (very proud) Yep!

M: Why?

B: I was pooping and the potty was dirty so I was cleanin it. (obviously) They was stuck so I used the plunger thing to get it out and then I cleaned it in the shower (you idiot).

At this point, there is nothing the Mom can say to Bridget, she simply continues to plunge until the offending wipes have exited the toilet, rinses the plunger in the shower and washes both her own and Bridget’s hands for a number of minutes. There is no way to know if Bridget was wiping down the inside of the toilet or the rim, no way to know how much of the plunger she touched, or why she found any of this necessary.

The only possible explanation is that having watched her brothers clean the base and floor around the toilet with the same antibacterial wipes the night before, she wanted in on the action.

Mom is now left to decide if she should be proud that her daughter is resourceful and neat or disgusted that her almost 3-year-old has seen the plunger used enough times to know exactly what to do. Mom decides that much worse things could have happened as she has witnessed toilets being replaced due to stuck toys and clothing. She is also grateful that non-flushable wipes do actually flush eventually.

Addendum: Later that afternoon, Mom discovered Bridget in the bathroom looking at her poop in the potty with a magnifying glass. There may be a problem.


Pens, Pee and Lifeless Crickets

When I had my baby girl, I really thought that I would be spending the next few years telling her older brothers to be nice to her. The truth is that I spend way more time instructing Bridget to be nice to her brothers, to stop hitting them, pushing them off of stools, pinching them, singing in their ears and in one memorable instance, turning off all the lights while Drew was in the shower. There are no windows in our bathroom and it was night time. He may be scarred for life.

I honestly never imagined that it would be her picking on them and while I am grateful that they are nice young gentlemen most the time, I am horrified at the lengths she will go to to annoy them and she isn’t quite 3. Imagine a 14-year-old Sam bringing a girlfriend home to meet 9-year-old Bridget. She will be mercilessly mean and embarrass him so much that he will never bring another girl home. And she will probably be worse with Drew simply because they are closer in age and she will be able to push his buttons more easily.

Oh how she pushes buttons. I earned more “best aunt” stripes yesterday and took my niece to buy crickets to feed her gross little lizard. I have to admit that I was a little bit hoping that seeing the little crickets hopping and skittering around in the bag would dissuade Bridget from wanting a lizard but our trip to PetSmart ended with her asking for a lizard, a snake, a puppy and a bird for her birthday. Hell no, never, not now and no, in that order. Before we even got in the door, Bridget had pushed a Mommy button. When I went to get her out of her seat I realized that she had scribbled all over her cheeks with a pen. Not her hands or arms but her cheeks. I didn’t notice until I was scrubbing it off that she had drawn a perfect square on one cheek, a shape we have been practicing. I did not, however, praise her.

But back to the crickets. They are disgusting. We bought the small, brown crickets, as opposed to the giant black creepers but they were still awful….skittering and hopping all over. My niece is not afraid of anything; she puts frogs on her head, digs for worms with her bare hands, covers herself in mud/cow poop on a regular basis, and fearlessly attempts back flips and handsprings, so she casually stuck the baggie full of crickets inside her coat and walked back to the car. Ugh. I could feel them hopping against my own stomach…..ick. She carried them into the house and set them on the kitchen counter and I just couldn’t move them, just kept scootching the bag out of the way and praying that they wouldn’t escape.

After supper I drove her home, baggie of skittery insects safely tucked into her jacket to protect them from the cold. I pulled into the driveway and hurried throught the icy drizzle into the garage to wait for her…..and kept waiting. Finally I poked my head out and asked if she needed help.

“I can’t find my crickets!”

“Ummm…what?” My mind is now racing as I imagine these tiny little critters hopping around my van, getting tangled in my hair and falling down the back of my shirt as I drive. I’m honestly feeling a little jumpy as I type this. Thank goodness she spotted the baggie under the back rear tire of the van, they must have slipped out of her coat as she climbed out of the van. We are now kneeling in the mud while icy rain is pelting us, trying to retrieve a $4 baggie full of disgusting crickets. A gust of wind finally blew it out from under the van, I snagged it and ran inside.

I gleefully handed her the baggie and we realized that the stupid things weren’t moving. Completely lifeless and still after hopping around all over my kitchen counter, giving me the heebie-jeebies during two car rides, jumping all over inside my niece’s coat….damn crickets. Her dad tells me that they are just cold and will revive but I’m not sure I buy it. I hate crickets.

I finally got back home and went to wash the pen off the little princess’ cheeks and was overpowered by the smell of urine. Oh joy, what a great day. Neither of my sons did it, obviously, it must have been “nobody” again. I’m going to have to start locking the door when we’re gone so he can’t get in.

I handed each boy a disinfecting wipe, pointed out the dried on pee and advised them to scrub until the floor and toilet base were clean. My little genius’ got it all clean and tried to go play Wii without washing their hands. I truly almost vomited and pulled out the Aunt Nicole voice and reminded them to  always wash their hands after cleaning up pee. Eeewww.

To summarize my day: stop whining – be nice – really? -eeww – double eeew – ick – for real? – damn crickets – pu – eeeeewwww – really?

Petition Congress for Change

I’ve decided to circulate a petition that will eventually be sent to Congress, a petition dealing with one of the most important issues of our time. Abortion, gay rights, funding for education, defense spending and the war, campaign finance reform, and a proposal to limit the voice of extremism are all worthy causes and issues that should be talked about and voted on.

However, did you notice that I said “ most important issues of our time?” I would like to petition Congress to change our calendar year. Yep, I’m not satisfied with the January to December calendar and would like it to be changed.

Here’s the thing, we start and end the year with snow and cold and dangerous driving conditions. Airports and highways get bogged down and deadly due to snow and ice at a time when everyone just wants to get over the river and through the woods…..well you know the rest. Who wants to start a new resolution when you have to force yourself out into the miserable cold every morning to achieve it? Not me.

But I am not one of those people that just complains about an issue without offering a solution. In fact, I have a couple of possible solutions to this terrible problem.

  1. Let’s have the calendar year run from March to February. Think about it, the new year would start as spring was just beginning. We could ring in the new year with March Madness and the state basketball tournament rather than in the middle of the wrestling and basketball seasons. The
  2. What about starting the new year in September, coinciding with the start of the new school year? This makes sense for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that the end of summer always feels like the end of something important anyway. This way, the school year could just be referred to as 2011 rather than 2011-2012 year, which would save on ink for yearbooks and screenprinted t-shirts.

    Both of these options also allows New Year’s Eve to happen when it is likely that the roads will be snow and ice free and therefore safer.

  3. Let’s just move Christmas. The date was originally chosen to coincide with a pagan ritual so there is really no reason other than tradition that it has to occur in December. I vote for moving it to June or August when travel is not likely to be interrupted by weather. Present shopping wouldn’t be so awful if you weren’t freezing between stores and hurrying because you are worried about the roads getting slick. Plus you wouldn’t have to hold 6 winter coats while your kids sit on Santa’s lap in the mall. Sure, we might have to change some of the Christmas songs and decorations but it is a small price to pay for a Christmas turkey on the grill and a football game without mittens.

If you are with me on this, let’s get the petition started so we can all change our calendars. And yes, I realize that there are other areas of the country and the globe for whom December and January are warm months. But honestly, I’m just thinking about myself here and I will not be apologizing.

So, let’s start campaigning!