Mommy Lesson 700: Nothing to Lose Your Head Over

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I want to first start off by issuing an apology. This apology is to my daughter. Mommy is very, VERY sorry that you were unfortunate enough to bear witness to the events that unfolded this evening. I am certain that the shocking and unsettling incident that occurred will leave you slightly jaded. You may never look at mommy the same, or your Dollie for that matter. I hope that you can forgive me and maybe even forget my unfortunate mistake.

After enjoying a nice family dinner and playing at the play place in our local mall we arrived home just in time for pajamas and bedtime. While picking out her jammies Abi asked if we could change her special Christmas dolly out of her church clothes and into her pajamas too. I said sure and she proceeded to pick out a pair of pajamas for herself and her doll. She then sat down in the floor to change her dolly’s clothes. Peanut expertly removed the shoes and the jacket but struggled with the dress.

She looked to Super Mom for some help and I willingly obliged. I sat cross legged on the floor, the doll standing straight up with her arms up over her head. I nimbly pulled the dress up and over the top, in much the same fashion you would your own child. Things were going great until the dress became stuck around the dolls head. Now, typically when clothing becomes entangled around your child’s head you just tug a little harder. If that doesn’t work, you typically feel for a button or snap that you may have forgotten. If not button or snap is present you just pull really, really hard and eventually the child will be wrenched free of the offending outfit. This doesn’t work for dollies.

Want to know why? Because THEIR HEADS COME OFF! I tugged and pulled and felt the clothes suddenly give and come free of my daughters VERY special Dolly. I was grinning ear to ear until I heard my daughters surprised and terrified gasp. I followed her open mouthed stare to the the neck of the dolly. Smile gone, proud moment over, childhood ruined.

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Abi open and closed her mouth rapidly, rather fish like, gasping for air, unable to say anything. I frantically pulled the decapitated dolly head from the Chinese trap of a dress, and worked desperately to stick it back on. “Ha, oh dear, you know Peanut, um sometimes these things happen. But it’s REALLY easy to fix”. She sat and watched stunned as I attempted to cram dolls head onto dolls body. “She. Doesn’t. Have. A. Head.” I frowned, I mean the darn thing came off so easily, it should back on just as easily, right?

I crammed and twisted for what felt like hours, but I’m sure it was only seconds and finally with a satisfactory click the head snapped back on. I held her up triumphantly and realized that she was looking at me from her backside. “Oh!” I yelped, and quickly spun her head around to the front. I peeked at Abi and found her still sitting there, mouth stuck open. “Hey! Look, there, all better. Mommy fixed her! Yay mommy!” Abi narrowed her eyes at me and snatched her precious Dollie from the dangerous grasp of the beheadding mommy “You. Pulled. Her. Head. Off.”

My attempts at an apology fell upon deaf ears as she set about checking her doll out to insure that I hadn’t detached any other parts. She verified that both arms and legs were still attached before sending me a seething glance and placing her dolly safely in its sleeping bag. She smoothed her hair out and gave her a kiss and placed her gently beside her bed on the floor. Without a word, she looked at me with disappointment, and silently left the room shaking her head. She turned right at the door, sighed and said, “I don’t think that you should play with dolly again”.

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Mommy Lesson 118: Survival of the Mommiest

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Being the mom of a precocious toddler and a 3 month old we have some good days, and not so good days. The good days are filled with belly laughs, meals that are not refused by picky eaters, a lack of poopy diapers and bedtimes that occur on time. Mommy goes to bed smelling like roses and there are little unicorns and dancing rainbows in her dreams.

Then there are the not so good days. These days usually consist of at least one pooptastrophy, missed nap times, the disappearance of favorite shows from the DVR, toys that are MIA, a toddler who assumes that any food will most likely kill her (yes even peanut butter on bread). There is a high likelihood of tears and snot, and not just from the children. On those days, our focus is on one thing; survival. Which means, if I can just make it to bedtime with every member in the house still alive, I’m pretty happy.

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After church, lunch, and a definitely not long enough 20 minute nap Sister was slightly irritable and incredibly hyper. By 6pm Brother sat horrified, staring from his swing as his screaming sister ran around the house wearing a tutu and crown and most of her dinner on her face. He watched with confusion as she bounced her way down the couch towards him, with the single goal of poking him in the face with her giant stick (magic wand).

“Alla-ca-da-la” she chanted with a swish of the stick (magic wand), if landed with a thwack millimeters from the babies fingers. Fearing for his life, I’m sure, or at least the integrity of his appendages, Brother began to cry. I scooped him up and jiggled him around some, partly fearing the upchuck that would most likely occur from the rapidity of movement, and glanced at the clock. 6:02, yay! We made it another two minutes.

I knew Spouse, would not be off work in time to assist with bedtime, so I began the process of alligator wrestling (bathing) early. After twenty incident free minutes both children emerged smelling delightfully of baby shampoo. I gathered up some of Sisters favorite toys and settled down on my bed to nurse Brother before putting him to bed.

I settled Sister on the floor next to the bed with her favorite toys. The evidence of her fatigue appearing in the form if a yawn and the rub of an eye. “We’re going to make it” I thought happily to myself. I gazed down at my youngest, whose eyes were beginning to droop from the effects of a milk induced coma. Lost briefly in the thoughts swirling through my mother logged brain, I missed the beginnings of mischievous giggles.

The flush of the toilet snapped my attention back into the present, I glanced around the room. Sister was no longer in her spot, and was now standing by the toilet shouting encouragingly into the bowl. “Swim Minnie!” She flushed a second time and became annoyed with the lack of effort from her plastic Minnie Mouse figure. “This isn’t working”, she grumbles.

I jumped up and quickly retrieved a drowning Minnie Mouse with one hand while balancing the baby the other. While I washed our hands I explained the dos and do nots of the potty: potty in toys out.

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Seeming to understand she again settled on the floor to play with her “guys” and the dog to play. I had just laid the baby down in his bed and was returning to the bedroom when an unfamiliar sound greeted my ears. It was similar to the sound a cat makes when hurling up a hair ball, but it had a dryer quality to it. It was fairly rhythmic and I had almost placed the noise when I noticed sister was again no longer in the spot I’d left her.

I heard her little voice coming from the bathroom, it was calm and unconcerned, “This is a problem, I’ll go get mommy”.

Mommy was already in action, sprinting like a graceful gazelle (picture cat wearing socks), and bouncing over the bed with spy like firm (I really actually just tripped over the toys and fell onto the bed, but the momentum was enough to propel me over the side, flapping my arms like a baby bird flying for the first time). I knelt on the bathroom floor, my nursing skills expertly put to work as I performed a head to paw assessment on the gagging dog. I effectively performed the heimlich maneuver on an epileptic beagle who apparently cannot swallow an entire roll of toilet paper and turned my gaze to Sister.

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She blinked at me and shrugged her shoulders. Hey, good job mommy!” she said with a pat on the back. I glanced at the clock again, “Hey! It’s bedtime!” I was almost giddy, I might have been if I hadn’t been eyeballing the dog and wondering if the lack of oxygen did her any harm. She wandered over to the toilet paper roll, sniffed it and gave it a Lick; nope just as dumb as ever, I thought to myself relieved.

After a handful of books and seven rounds of twinkle twinkle Sister was asleep. I peeked in at brother to confirm that he was participating in bedtime as well and then dropped onto the couch. I glanced around, and briefly reviewed the days events. There were a couple close calls and Kia won’t go near the bathroom now, but everyone survived… I heard Sister’s sleepy little voice call out,
“Hey, Mommy? Donald didn’t come back out of the big hole in the bottom of the toilet”. Well most of us did anyway.

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Mommy Lesson 357: Square Hole, Round Dog

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According to the Humane Society website there are just over 78 million dogs as pets in the United States. 38 percent of American households own at least one dog. The two dogs that we have put us into the 28 percent that own two dogs. Kia, is an epileptic beagle, and Mya is snobby and chronically miserable, but they are just as important to us as any other member of the family.

I personally feel that pets are a terrific tool for teaching responsibility, gentleness, and can be a great motivating force. Sister helps to fill the dog bowls and feed the “puppies”. She enjoys walking Mya and asks frequently to take them. All in all, I would say, she “loves” her dogs. However, love can be a dangerous thing. On more than one occasion I have had to rescue one or both of the dogs from the shenanigans of Sister and today proved to no different.

Upon returning to the house from a leisurely walk with the dogs and two kids, I set about unloading the dishwasher. Sister grabbed a couple of plastic spoons and went off to “cook” dinner on her play kitchen in her room. I turned the dishwasher on and set about tidying up the living room. I took some toys to Sister’s room, grabbed a “bite” of dinner and almost broke my neck tripping over the dog passed out in the hallway. I rubbed my shin and glared at her, the thought that she had strategically placed herself in my path as payback for letting Sister drag her around by her leash, flitted through my brain.

I threw in a load of clothes and sat down in front of Brother’s bouncy seat for a little play time. In the midst of a full blown belly laugh I could hear a faint, but repetitive banging. I headed to the laundry room to check that the washer wasn’t out of balance and was surprised to find that wasn’t the source of the noise. I rounded corner to Sister’s room and noticed the dog had vacated the premises and the door was shut. The banging got louder as I got closer. I reached for the door handle and heard My daughter grunt and say, “If you’d just stop resisting….” (This is something I have said on numerous occasions to her and her brother in the midst of a diaper struggle or clothes tussle.)

I swung open the door and both my daughter and the dog froze in surprise. Chef Sister was attempting to cram 30 pounds of wiggling, flailing, beagle into a 6 centimeter square that made up her “oven”. She looked up at me with innocent eyes and grinned.

“Um, Peanut, why are you shoving Kia into the oven” Kia wagged her tail at the voice of her savior. Sister, still gripping the dogs hindquarters, sighed and responded in an exasperated tone, “I want hot dogs”.

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Upon those words Kia began to struggle again, possibly fearing for her life or more than likely the teeny tiny box encasing her head was running out of oxygen. I am not sure if the dog’s head became swollen while entrapped, if Sister used much more force than humanly possibly, or if the oven doubled as a Chinese dog trap, but all the epileptic beagle was able to do was drag the kitchen away from the wall.

The sudden and abrupt jerking of the kitchen propelled all of the items off and onto the floor causing an incredible crash, an angry shout of “my dinner” from The Chef and an increase in spastic thrashing from “dinner”. Fearing for all involved, I knelt over the dog trapping her between my knees, leaned into the kitchen, grasped the collar and jerked with all my might. The dog and I tumbled backwards pulling the plastic cookery down on top of us.

Now free, the “entree” bolted out of the room to seek refuge under the bed. I helped Abi clean up the room and explained to her that hot dogs were not really made from dogs, and that we don’t put our pets, friends and, just for good measure, brothers in the oven. She nodded in understanding and as we left her room said she was hungry. I saw Kia emerging from her hiding spot as I asked her what she wanted, “hot dogs” she replied. One glance towards Kia’s frantically retreating backside let me know that she was not in the mood for hotdogs.

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