My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Doing it for the Children

2006-06-05
You’ve got to acc-ent the positive/e-lim-inate the negative…

Wow. I just got off the phone with the famous bluemeany who was embarking on her East Coast trip AS WE SPOKE! She was getting money out of her ATM while we made plans to hook up. I was, like, this close to a celebrity! Hopefully, we’ll get to meet on her way back down from New York. Sadly, she’ll be passing through this part of Virginia in the middle of the night tomorrow (or tonight?) and I am no longer the master of my universe and, thus, cannot meet her at a greasy roadside diner at 3:00am for a bad cup of coffee surrounded by truckers and prostitutes. My loss. Perhaps by this time next week I will have met, in person, one of my Diaryland heroines.

The preschool graduation on Friday was lovely. The teacher who was emcee and general poetry reader nearly wasn’t able to complete her duties because she kept crying, “I’m not sure I can do this. Somebody might have to take over. I mean, I’ve watched them grow up!” Sob, sob! Of course, I’d been dry-eyed until then. And she had to go and make ME cry! Damn emotions! Dusty was very happy in her back row position (pictures forthcoming – they are still trapped on a standard roll of film) and even though she’d told me beforehand that she wasn’t going to sing the songs they’d practiced but instead just move her mouth, she was singing along with all the other kids.

Because her last name begins with a “B,” she was the first on the program, not to mention having the coveted “line leader” position during the procession, and the first to receive her “diploma” – a laminated file folder with her handprints, a poem, and an official declaration of her graduation from preschool. Awww. We had front row seats so hopefully my photographs don’t suck. If they do, it’s because I was taking pictures with Red on my lap. How’d Dusty get so old? How is it possible that she’ll be going to kindergarten in a matter of months?

On Saturday, we all headed to the botanical garden where we met friends for fun amongst the flowers, especially the new children’s garden which has a water play area. Dusty and her friend, Nina, frolicked in the sprinkler jets and generally got soaked. Then, they went over the stage and dressed up in scarves while Red clung to me and generally made herself World’s Most Whiny and Annoying Toddler. God, that child was nothing but a ball of suck all day – clingy, temper tantrums on top of tantrums, just generally unhappy. Turns out, though, there was a reason for all the fussing above and beyond her normal level of suck: poor Red was a bit constipated. Because she’s basically refused to eat anything in the last week except rice, crackers and bagels. She hadn’t had poo in something like two days which, for Red, is unheard of. Three, um, deposits, is her usual style, which is probably because she’s being raised a vegetarian and thus ingests more fiber than your average fast food eating toddler. Poor thing. I thought briefly of Bruce in this season’s Survivor and was glad when poo finally emerged on Sunday so we didn’t have to airlift her out of the boondocks to be enema-ed within an inch of her life.

I had plenty of time over the weekend to reflect on the fact that, no matter how much toddlers are great in their own special way, in many other ways they make me absolutely crazy. My husband has a number of friends who are on child #2 and those second children are the same age as Red. They are all going through the same “hold me back before I kill it” stage. On the one hand, I do feel truly sorry for Red in that she has an amazing understanding of the world around her. She knows what we’re saying to her but she cannot get her thoughts across to us except in ways that drive me to drink….more than usual. Or, consume even more chocolate. Because I really have few vices to fall back on. My heroin connection is dead (kidding!!) and the guy I got pot from back in the 1980’s is no longer my boyfriend. So, it’s beer and M&M’s and frankly, the only thing that DOES help tune out the maddening whining and screaming is Monday. Because I get to go back to work and thus am no longer in the loony bin.

So, I’ve composed this letter which, because I am not religious cannot really be directed to a Creator, per se. This is the best I can do.

Dear Evolutionary Process,

I know you work slowly and shit, but DAMN, cut me a break here! You really need to work on the whole growth plan of humans because I’m seriously gonna cut someone if you don’t fix this “toddler” stage of humanity, and soon! I have a number of problems with this stage and Communication tops the list. But today I will focus on two aspects of toddlerhood that demand your immediate attention: poo and food.

If would be really great if you could eliminate the whole poo thing [ha, get it? Elimination? Poo? I slay myself.]. Surely you can find a better way for the body to process its wastes or simply make the body use every bit of food it ingests because when things don’t move along or, conversely, move along too quickly, somebody’s left the mess. And that someone would be me.

Babies would be so much easier to care for if all we had to deal with was pee. But, when’s the last time you had to change a toddler’s poo explosion and had to, all at the same time, keep the curious hands from getting all down in that area just to make sure all the parts are still there, keep the feet from thrusting their heels down in the molten mixture and smearing it all up and down the legs, keep the entire toddler unit from flipping on its side – giggling like this is some kind of fucking JOKE – and trying to escape the mess thus guaranteeing that said mess is coated on every surface so that not only is a load of laundry in order but an entire bath of the toddler unit as well, keep whatever item (stuffed animal, sippy cup, rock, dust bunny – whatever the hands have managed to snag on the way to the changing area) the child is dangling over the Danger Zone out of it so that it doesn’t become either Trash or a part of that laundry load I just mentioned? Huh? When? Never, I’m guessing. See, I might have actually contemplated adding yet another wonderful child to this planet but I don’t need another two years of poo. Soon, we’ll be moving to the Merely Wiping the Butt and Pulling up the Training Pants stage. But not soon enough, thank you very much.

Food. Why can’t humans realize that they need a variety of foods, in a variety of colors, to keep them healthy and regular? I mean, if you solved the poo problem, this one wouldn’t matter so much. But, I can’t tell you how aggravating it is for a particular food item, say, an APPLE, to be crucial to a toddler’s existence one day and be an offensive poisonous object of fear the next. So that they actually scream in digust when you merely mention an apple in their presence? Did I miss the apple memo? How about the vegetable one? How about the one that said feed toddlers 3 squares of cantaloupe – each no more than half an inch in diameter - only on alternate Tuesdays that are not also full moon days and at no other time during the month? Yes, you might want to check on that because my previously excellent eater – one who would eat almost anything, including every scrap of broccoli and black olives in the house, will suddenly only eat rice and saltine crackers. AND NOTHING ELSE. And, if other food items are suggested will send the toddler unit crashing to the floor in a fit because everything that’s not rice or crackers is akin to needles being pressed in its eyeballs? Because this kind of eating, while fine for bad stomachs for awhile, will lead to some elimination problems in the long term.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter. I await your reply. And I don’t have twenty millions years to wait for it either. This Thursday before 4:00pm would work.

FreshHell c/o Fiber Farms Sanatorium

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3:32 p.m. ::
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