My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

After These Messages, We'll Be Right Back!

2006-04-19

When Dusty was sick (again) last Friday morning, I turned on Boomerang – a cartoon channel that shows a lot of old-school cartoons like the Hanna-Barbera menagerie of badly drawn, variation-on-a theme characters: Pink Panther, Huckleberry Hound, Hong Kong Phooey, Snagglepuss, and the like. Dusty only gets to watch television – real television, not carefully chosen DVDs – when she's sick. She's recently taken a liking to Itchy and Scra...I mean, Tom and Jerry. Why? I don't know. Tom and Jerry is just a cartoon version of the Three Stooges to me. Neither one appeals to me. Not that I don't like slapstick humor, but there's an idiocy, an inanity underlying both shows that just turns me off. It's humor of the last resort or something. There's nothing clever about it like there is in, say, Bugs Bunny or the Marx Brothers. It's just violent, gratuitous stupidity.

But, whatever. Recently, my husband and I have been talking about the Saturday Morning Cartoon Fest that was our childhood. Many of the shows we watched back them can be seen on Boomerang. Yesterday, on the way home, Dusty said,

"Does Boomerang have Bugs Bunny? I wish it did. Then I could watch Bugs Bunny on t.v. and be a kid like in the old days."

The old days. Sigh. Another nail in my coffin.

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The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Twos

Red? She is a nightmare these days. The tantrums have been taken up several notches to such a level that all I can do is laugh. I mean, other than ignore her anger and flailings, what else is there? I try not to laugh in her face but sometimes it can't be helped. Her moods are like flash floods – one minute everything's calm. The next? Torrential winds and rains the likes of which have not been experienced since...ever. Then, she's all happy again. Sometimes, she'll work herself up into a St. Vitus state that lasts about a minute and then she catches herself. She'll stop, mentally dust herself off and look at me as if to say, "Whew, that was weird! What the hell?" That's what I want to know, kid.

Dusty was never a tantrum thrower. When Dusty was two, I thought, what's all this bullshit about Terrible Twos? Two is a charming age! Look at her over there quietly looking at books or building block towers. Sure, she gets frustrated by her inability to make her hands do what she wants them to do sometimes, but see how she just walks away from the problem? How she finds something else to do? Notice how she doesn't take offense at dust particles and fly into a rage because she can't have another goddamn saltine cracker?

And, I'm glad Red is a girl because some of her recent aggressive behavior may have been chalked up to gender differences had she been a boy. Since she is not, I can only say that she is simply Red and this penchant for lifting enormous rocks, hitting people and throwing things is just part of her sparkling personality.

Her favorite bath time activity now is to take a bath toy and fling it out of the bath. I throw it back in, she throws it back out. Over and over, to raucous giggling. She loves to create tsunamis in the tub and splash water in her face. The other night she started throwing full cups of water out of the bathtub. Which is when I decided that bath time was over. She could rinse off with the water on the bathroom floor. Time was up.

The tantrums usually begin the minute she hits the kitchen in the morning and continue off and on until bedtime. It's a laugh-a-minute thrill ride, let me tell you. I do not know what evil spirit invaded her body and is whispering in her ear things like:

"Don’t take 'no' for answer, girl! If you want 374 crackers for dinner, dammit you should have them! That 'all gone' business is a bald-faced lie!"

"Stand up for your rights! There's no reason why you can't destroy that book. They can always get another!"

"Christ, that [insert food here] on your tray is offensive! Brush it off onto the floor immediately before it ruins the rest of the food you don't have to eat!"

"You do too deserve to climb up onto the counter and crawl across the stove top! Tell 'em who's boss!"

"Scream louder! They must not have heard you the first time!"

Other than that, she's a perfectly delightful little child and a good weeder. Maybe when she learns how to talk we can all get along. That's my hope anyway.

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10:22 a.m. ::
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