My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Boogers and Poochie

2005-07-18
We’ve just been humming away lately, doing a bit of this and that: getting haircuts and being guinea pigs for the psychology department at the college where I work. Red and Dusty got to spend a post-nap hour last week hanging with psychology professors.

The research they are doing is, I gather, related to how children react to their parents’ facial expressions and reactions. I’m all about child development (seeing as I hold a graduate degree in said discipline) so I signed us all up. They gave me two felt-covered boxes: one pink and the other green. I was instructed to open the pink box and act happily surprised by what I saw inside. When I opened the green box, I was to act frightened. I added a bit of disgust into it, my own special touch. I performed this feat first with Red and then with Dusty.

It was interesting. I didn’t even think Red had been paying attention – there was just too much else that was new and interesting for her to pay attention to – but she went right for the pink box and pretended the green box didn’t exist. Dusty readily opened the pink box, too, and didn’t really want to know what was in the green box until I coaxed her. I double-dared her. She was perplexed to discover a boring little wobbly toy inside. I explained to her “the game” that was played. She was cool with it and got some free snacks, things that are never to be found in our house: juice box and chocolate teddy grahams. Junk food but acceptable during occasions like these. Both girls got $5 gift cards for Target. I’m now pondering how best to use those. Since our finances are right on the edge of falling off a cliff these days, it’s too bad Target doesn’t sell groceries (real groceries, not snacks) cause we could use $10 worth of free food. Maybe I could use Red’s towards diapers. Is that fair? I don’t know. Is poverty fair?

The rest of the week was spent wiping noses and teaching Dusty how to blow her nose so I don’t have to look at boogers. You know, there are a lot of things you never think you’ll face before you have children. Things that just never occur to you. Boogers are one of those things. I can tell you right now that I am completely over wiping noses other than my own. Over it! But, the alternative, just letting snot run down their faces in thick streams, is just too nasty, way too disgusting. So, wiping it must be. Yuck.

Another thing I hadn’t really considered, in my pre-child life, was how the most inane, seemingly-useless toy can become a much loved favorite. I am, as you may know, anti-battery/flashing lights/electronic noise toys. I hate them. We own no video games, no gadgets, not even a cell phone (see the bit about poverty in the paragraph above). I’ve actually thrown things away that I warned the grandparents we did not want the children to have. They’ve slowly gotten the message and now are happy with explicit lists of acceptable toys and books for holidays and birthdays.

But, when Dusty was small, my in-laws gave her a toy that became known as Poochie for reasons I’m no longer sure about. Probably it got named Poochie because the toy is so stupid that it needed a stupid name. But, he didn't get thrown away because a) he required no batteries, b) had no flashing lights, c) emitted no horrible beeps or honks and d) I was tired that day.

Poochie is a plastic grinning purple bear with sunglasses who drives a yellow car – very much like a VW Bug – with purple and red wheels. You are supposed to push the top of the bear down so he sits farther into the car, let go, and watch the thing race across the floor – very HotWheels-like. Of course, he actually goes faster when you don’t push him down but simply push the whole car/bear contraption really hard. Poochie is no bigger than half a loaf of bread and is formed out of hard plastic. He is not a name brand toy – and appears to have been made in China expressly for the Kmart company.

And, he is one of my daughters’ favorite toys! Inexplicable! Even Red loves him more than 65% of all her toys put together……….and she can’t even really chew on him!! Go figure! But, everyone gets a kick out of watching Poochie race across the kitchen floor and crash into the stove.

So, despite his ridiculousness and utter pointlessness, we’ve all grown to love Poochie. I especially like him because his nose never needs wiping!

P.S. My garden has kind of exploded with zucchini and cucumbers. If you could use some, let me know. I also have about 50 zillion stink bugs which I could bag up and mail, too. Just say the word.

P.P.S. My "reading" list is functional once more. If you care.

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2:56 p.m. ::
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