Monday, April 9, 2012

Knives Make The Best Baby Spoons

The DragonMonkey's sitting on the kitchen counter, eating popcorn.

Our counter tops are pretty tall.  I'm not really sure how he even got up there.  I guess I'm a little impressed.

And come to think of it, where the heck did he find popcorn, anyways? I don't remember making any recently. And yet, there he is, with a bag of popcorn in his lap, legs dangling lazily over the edge of the countertop, happily munching away.

This is a drastic improvement over the scene I walked into five minutes ago.

Five minutes ago I walked into him shoving a knife into his brother's mouth.

"Here ya go, Squid! Peanuh buttuh! Yum!"

"STOP!" I screech.

"No, mama," he says, annoyed at my obvious ignorance. "No 'stop'. Yook." If he knew how to physically roll his eyes at me, he'd be doing it.  He has an open jar of peanut butter under one arm and in his other hand is a butter knife with a glob of peanut butter on the end.

The Squid stands patiently in front of him, mouth gaping like a tiny, peanut-butter smeared baby bird. It's on his cheeks, it's in his hair, it's on his shirt, and it's smeared liberally around his open mouth.

"Yook," he continues patiently.  "I feed da Squid peanuh buttuh." His hand comes up and he starts to shove the knife into his brother's mouth again.

My heart stops. Admittedly, it's only a butter knife, but still.

"NO! STOP!" I swoop in and grab both the knife and the jar out of his hand and place them on the computer desk, out of reach.

"Nooooooo!" howls the DragonMonkey, heartbroken and screaming in frustration.

"MWEEEEEEEEHHHHHH!!!!" shrieks the Squid, suddenly inconsolable.

"I don't care," I say coldly.  "No, I'm not giving it back."

I am an evil, heartless woman, and from the sound of their desolate howls, they both know it.

I do the best I can to explain why shove-the-knife-into-your-brother's-mouth isn't an appropriate game, but they're both too upset to really listen.  I clean them up as best I can, and then leave them alone for a few moments so they can get over their broken hearts.

I pick up my Nook and perch on the edge of the computer chair, trying to get to the end of the chapter before they heal from their sorrow and I need to monitor them again.  We have the house kid-proofed... how much trouble can they get into? Besides, if I'm not really sitting in the chair, but just kind of leaning on the edge of it, so it doesn't really count.

It's a good book and a good chapter, and it sucks me in.

I'm brought back to reality when Squid tugs at my knee.  I glance up suddenly, taking in the DragonMonkey's new perch, the mystery bag of popcorn, and then the Squid, who is patiently watching me.

I look at him for a moment, and silently he points to the peanut butter on the desk in front of me.  I look at the still-open jar, then back at him.

"Da."  It's his version of please. 

I glance at the peanut butter, the silverware drawer (which is in a completely different room), and then at the DragonMonkey, who is oddly quiet, lulled into a brief moment of inactivity by the novelty of sitting on a forbidden surface.  If I move, I'll have to tell him to get off the counter, and the brief, rare moment of peace will be broken.

"Da," repeats the Squid quietly, staring at me with equal parts patience and hunger.

I glance again at the DragonMonkey, but he's calmly staring off into the distance in another direction, absorbed in his thoughts.

I pick up the jar of peanut butter, and then the knife.  The Squid opens his mouth and waits, eyes locked on mine.

Oh-so-carefully, using only the rounded tip,  I feed him a scoop of peanut butter.  He slides it easily off the knife with his lips, with a practiced ease that unnerves me, and in that moment I realize I will never, ever be able to judge another parent for the rest of my life.

But you know what?  Those three minutes of still, quiet peace were so worth it.

In other news... have you guys seen the countdown-to-Oregon clock?  It seems like we just broke triple digits, and now we're only 52 days away.  Craziness.  

In preparation for the big day I've been reading up thunderjackets, and calming collars, and medicines and whatnot...  we will be traveling for two days with a nervous/neurotic dog and two cats who have never really been in a car before.  What kind of drugs/medicines/goodies do you recommend we get to make it go smoother?



Blogger Dom said...


April 9, 2012 at 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

get some very good crates and Bach's rescue remedy.

April 9, 2012 at 3:13 PM  
Blogger AareneX said...

Rescue remedy and benedryl.

Works on dogs, cats, horses, kids, and unsuspecting spouses.

Does the Bean read this?

April 9, 2012 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger mugwump said...


April 9, 2012 at 5:16 PM  
Blogger Bif said...

Jack Daniels. For you. Make the Bean drive.

April 9, 2012 at 8:52 PM  
Blogger Jamethiel Crabb said...

You know why I'm glad it's almost summer? Naked toddlers=less laundry! Yeah!
Benedryl, an audiobook read by Jim Dale (all the Harry Potter books), and a really long swim followed by a warm shower...never failed me!

April 10, 2012 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger battleshipdestroyer said...

I would suggest practie runs. especially with the cats and the dog. like maybe start feeding the cats tuna or some other tasty treat in their travel crates so that the crates don't seem such a bad place? and then once they are used to that, a couple trips around the block in the car, etc...
the main issue with this technique is you need time, and you also need to figure out how to deal with two adorable little munchkins at the same time. LOL.
I am wishing you lots of luck! and I believe i have heard of rescue remedy being helpful for cats/dogs travel anxiety?
So excited for your move!

April 10, 2012 at 7:56 AM  
Blogger Heila said...

Oh yes... do as I say and not as I do... it's a parent's privilege!

April 11, 2012 at 12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Benedryl- one pink pill for every 12.5 lbs of Max. Give it to him a good hour before you leave, and slip it to him regularly on the drive in a treat. TRUST ME.

April 12, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Blogger Bif said...

Best suggestion for pup and cats : Chux pads, or absorbent disposable underpads in bottom of carrier. We could smell that a cat urinated during the ride; odor soon dissipated; and when we got to the night stoppover, couldn't tell which cat or carrier had had the pee. WOW!

Something like this, generic is what we used. Pharmacy should have these,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=598&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=shop&cid=14176664178175180169&sa=X&ei=zKWJT8TYGMH00gHz4ciyCQ&sqi=2&ved=0CKEBEPMCMAA

April 14, 2012 at 9:31 AM  
Blogger Bif said...

More traveling info:

I suggest two cars. One car has the dog and cats, in spacious carriers. Maybe earplugs ;)
The second car has beleagured parent and toddlers. Perhaps switch off at times. Maybe earplugs ;-)

I helped a friend move her six kitties on a long two day move. We had a tupperware box of litter (with lid) and took turns putting cats in there to do their "business" at intervals, if their carrier didn't have room for a litter tray.

And, of course, the chux pads.

Ohh, better yet, fly the kids up with grandparents! ;-)

April 14, 2012 at 9:32 AM  

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