Thursday, February 07, 2002

Life with Toddlers

Last Friday was quite a day. I was attempting to run laundry, cook, and do the Friday cleaning. The toddlers could sense my distraction and took full advantage of the situation. Here are a few of the highlights.

While Melissa and I mixed muffins, Michael played on the computer. He managed to scratch the Reader Rabbit Toddler CD so badly that it no longer plays. Melissa is very sad about that. We have a Reader Rabbit Preschool (ages 3-5) CD somewhere, but we can't find it, and she is not old enough yet for Reader Rabbit Kindergarten.

I then went up to get laundry and came down to discover that Michael had learned to get into the "new" diaper pail (an actual pail with lid that even I have a hard time removing). Dirty diapers were scattered all over the house. Michael was gleefully carrying one of Maddy's poopy ones around! UGH! I cleaned up Michael and washed his hands, cleaned up the diapers and washed my hands, and then explained that diapers are dirty and are to be left in the pail. Michael just looked at me like "I" was the one who was nuts here!

While this was happening, I managed to burn the muffins I had in the oven. They were black on the outside and the house was filled with smoke. I got them out of the oven, opened windows, and turned on the vent.

"Muffins! Muffins!" said Melissa.

"The muffins are burnt," I told her.

I got the muffins out of the pans and let them sit on wire racks to cool down before I threw them out. Then off I headed to get some laundry to hang on the lines. When I came back down, I saw the toddlers. They had burnt muffins. They were splitting them open, eating the middles, and then throwing the burnt outsides on the floor.

The toddlers, kitchen floor, table, kitchen counter, and some of the living room were covered in burnt muffin bits AND mushed blueberries. These were blueberry muffins!

"I eating muffins" said the Baboo, followed by "I all done".

I cleaned up both children and sent them out to watch "Mr. Rogers" while I worked on the muffin mess. [Yes, I resorted to television.] I threw the rest of the ill-fated muffins in the garbage (after munching a few muffin insides myself) and cleaned the counters and the table. Then I vacuumed the living room rug and the kitchen floor, moved the table into the living room, mopped the floor, then washed the dishes including the charcoal muffin tins.

You would think that I would have clued into the fact that they were hungry, but no such thought entered my head. From there, I actually left them in the living room again while I went upstairs to do laundry. When I came back down I discovered a big wet patch on the living room rug. I looked around for a spilled cup. What I spotted was a jar lid on the floor. Close by were the toddlers huddled together - very intent on something. That something turned out to be a new open jar of dill pickles -- minus most of the pickle juice!.

Michael had the jar in one hand and a pickle in another. The jar looked as though it could slip out of his little hand at any moment. Melissa held a pickle in each hand and there was a pickle sitting on their little table. The pantry cupboard was wide open. Michael had learned to break through the double cupboard door locking device!

I removed the pickle jar from Michael, put the lid on and stuck it in the fridge. Then I soaked up as much of the pickle juice as I could out of the rug. The toddlers continued eating their pickles over the living room rug. When they were done, I washed up their hands and resorted to BOTTLES!!

Michael got a bottle and was put to bed for a nap. Melissa was having her bottle in the living room watching more Mr. Rogers. Maddy was sleeping too, so I thought it was safe to go hang clothes on the racks. Then the phone rang and I was in the middle of answering reference questions for a potential employer of one of our friends.

When I got off the phone, I noticed there was a draft in the house. The door was open. I yelled for Melissa and got no answer. Panicking, I ran outside into the snow with my bare feet and yelled "Melissa!" again.

A small voice answered, "I outside".

She was outside in the snow wearing a little cotton dress and daddy's running shoes. She had opened the deadbolt, opened the door, and then left the house. I hadn't even heard her leave! I grabbed her hand and headed inside.

"NOOOOOOOO!", screamed the Baboo! "I want go outside!".

I explained that she would be cold without a coat and it is not safe to be outside without anyone with her.

"Yes, I need coat", said the Baboo, so in we came. I took off the big shoes and then followed Melissa who was intent on finding her coat to go back outside.

Then I saw it: BLOOD spots all over my clean tile. The Baboo must be hurt!

"Where are you hurt?" I asked her.

"I NOT hurt" said the Baboo.

"There is blood all over the floor; you are bleeding somewhere", I lifted her onto the table and started checking her for blood.

"I NOT bleeding, Mommy, the FLOOR is bleeding" said Baboo.

I couldn't find blood anywhere on her.

"Floor bleeding", said the baboo again.

Then I looked down: my own foot was bleeding from a scrape that I must have gotten racing out to bring her in from the snow.

"Mommy is bleeding, Mommy needs a band aid", I said.

"I need a bandaid too!" said Baboo and the lure of the great outside was forgotten: eclipsed by the fun of bandaids.

Melissa and I each got 2 bandaids and then got Michael and Maddy up from their naps. It was time to start supper. The day was almost over and Allan would soon be home from work. Amazingly enough, the day ended with clean children, clean bathroom, clean floors, clean kitchen, and even some edible food!

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