Monday, October 19, 2009

My Game Is Faltering

Lauren is at that scream-inducing stage where she's into everything at once. Therefore, I am at that stage where I scamper behind her, righting the house as she torments it.

Sunday morning, I cleaned up an overturned cereal box only to turn around and see that she'd emptied the bookshelf. While I shelved books, she dumped a box of Q-tips all over my bathroom floor. As I scooped those up, she plucked about 70 sheets of Kleenex from the box on my nightstand. With my back turned to refold the wadded Kleenex, she dragged her finger through my tub of lip balm before running away yelling something about SNACK! and CRACKERS!

At each new crisis, I said NO! very sternly and seriously. At each new NO! she ducked her chin to hide a naughty smile. After several attempts to curb whatever messy bent she was on, I gave up. It wasn't time for snacks, but I could no longer summon my inner disciplinarian. Lauren knew how to dig her fist into the Goldfish box - I'd let her do it if it meant I could have a moment to wipe the lip balm off the side of my nightstand.

I should have known better.

A few moments after she'd run to the kitchen, Lauren raced back to me. "Iiiiiihhhh!" she whined through puckered lips. "Eeeeeehhh! Mama mama eeeeeeeee yucky! Ishwinawa yucky!" Her little legs propelled her down the hallway while her hands rubbed at her mouth and cheeks. They were coated in coarse, black bits of some unknown substance. I had no clue what it could have been - she'd long since abandoned potting soil after tasting it a few times. It held no charm for her; I doubted she'd have tried it again.

"What is that, Lauren?" I prodded. "What did you eat?" She turned back around and marched down the hall, narrating the offense as we went. She pointed and gestured, looking for all the world like she'd been forced to ingest the mystery substance. I followed my indignant child until we reached the mess.

Loose leaf tea. Flung around the kitchen and living room floors.

The accosted box lay defeated on the carpet near a pile of tea. It had been no match for Lauren's prying fingers and had spilled its contents in various heaps around the room.

"Oh, sweetie," I frowned. "You ate dry TEA?"

At this, she babbled with relief. Still verbalizing her disbelief at being insulted with the bitter black tea, Lauren followed me to the kitchen for a washcloth and sippy cup of water. I cleaned her up and she drank deeply while I headed for the vacuum.

And that was punishment in itself. Both of my girls are scared of the vacuum: Mia's gotten over her fear for the most part, but Lauren still hides from it. I cleaned up the mess with her clinging to me.

At least with her on my hip, I could guarantee she wasn't off creating havoc in another room.

But I will say this for her: All the running around she necessitates may ease me back into my skinny jeans. Because I don't see the messes ending any time soon.

16 comments:

  1. I can totally relate to the toddler-mess-making stage. We're dealing with the same thing here. But hey, maybe after a few more bitter discoveries (like the black tea fiasco) she'll stop getting into everything. Which makes me think, maybe I should move our tea to a lower shelf...

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  2. I have to admit, I'm not too sad that she tasted the bitterness. It was safe and non-toxic (I'm assuming) so I'm hoping for a learned-the-hard-way lesson. Move that tea!

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  3. Glad it was just tea, but yuck!

    Just wait, your game goes downhill even more with each subsequent child. I once let Lauren take the little paper backings off an an entire box of panty-liners just so I could take a shower. She stuck them all over the walls and doors and cabinets, creating a never-before-seen kotex decor.

    You gotta do whatcha gotta do.

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  4. Now THAT is awesome, Beck! So funny.

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  5. Wow, that is an impressive run of toddler destruction, glad she is okay and slowly learning what should and should not go in her mouth, something the toddler in my house is also working on.

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  6. I think your Lauren and my Eli might be friends and JUST MIGHT be conspiring together against their mothers. Their antics sound suspiciously similar in concept and spirit...

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  7. I see what I have to look forward too...:)

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  8. People always ask me if I work out and how I stay so "fit". My answer is, I have a son. My life is one big treadmill.

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  9. This is too funny. Sometimes we just have to let our kid "learn" their own lesson... :)
    btw I'm following you now!

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  10. Lauren and Nolan are truly kindred spirits. Today he learned how to crack open the cabinets (with child-proof locks I might add) and pulled out the Comet cleaning spray.

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  11. Do you know I was starting to feel spastic just reading that?!

    I can only imagine what a mouth full of loose leaf tea tastes like.

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  12. Do you still have your hair? Because I think I would have pulled all mine out by now.

    Looks like I have tons of fun to look forward to...

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  13. What a messmaker! I'm blisfully not in that stage right now, but you've reminded me for next time just why it is that I wait until the very end of the day to do the picking up. Our place looks like a complete disaster, but at least then I only have to do it once!

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  14. Oh what an age! Heaven help you... there is no rest for the weary!

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  15. Oh my!! I'm sorry but I LOL'd at the discovery of tea! :) I'm heading into this phase with son #2 now, and I just pray it's no where near as bad as it was with son #1... I can't believe I lived through his second year...

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Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?