April 12, 2007

The Process of Dealing with a Small Child Who Has Dropped An Object Just Out of Reach from the Carseat and is Now Howling At Top Volume:

Stage 1: Vague Commiseration

“Oh, did you drop your shoe? Sorry baby, Mama can’t get it for you. We’ll put your shoe back on when we stop.”

Stage 2: Over-Explanation of Cause and Effect

“Well, you dropped it on the floor, sweetie, and Mama is driving and she can’t reach back there. Maybe if you left your shoe on your foot this wouldn’t have happened. Or maybe if you didn’t throw stuff so much.”

Stage 3: Growing Irritation

“Mama’s ears are starting to hurt, honey.”

Stage 4: Valiant Effort at Distraction

“And on that farm he had a . . . what did he have, Riley? A cow? A pig? And on that farm he had a . . . ?”

Stage 5: Eerie Zenlike Eye-of-Storm Calm

” . . . ”

Stage 6: Total Disregard for Vehicular Safety

(lunging wildly into backseat with one arm while keeping half an eyeball on the road)

“There! There! There! Take it, for the love of god! JESUS CHRIST.”

Stage 7: Brief Moment Where All is Right in the World

“Does Riley have his shoe back? That’s right, shoe. Okay! Okay. Whoo. Make sure you hang on to it this time, now.”

Stage 8: Heartbreaking “Thump” Sound Emanates from Backseat

(horrified silence)

Stage 9: Repeat Stages 1-8

Ah, parenthood. I wish the Sisyphean treadmill of toddler-wrangling burned calories, because dealing with a 19-month-old very often makes me want to run amok with a giant pan of peanut-butter-smeared brownies. What can I say, when drinking is no longer an option your vices become ridiculous clichés. Some people dream about unwinding from their stressful day with a glass of wine, but I can’t do that, because inevitably the glass of wine morphs into a tall gin-and-tonic, light on the tonic please, and the glass is cold and wet with condensation and there’s a juicy slice of lime nestled between the tinkling ice cubes, and . . . anyway, instead I entertain lustful thoughts of ravaging a bag of Girl Scout cookies.

Which is kind of a boring fantasy, so let’s try taking the cookies—Thin Mints, of course—out of the bag and scattering them across the naked, lightly sweating torso of Clive Owen, who is reclining on a set of thousand-thread-count sheets and murmuring delightfully-accented things at me. There, that’s better.


38 Responses to “Thoughts of Calgon”

  1. nonsoccermom on April 12th, 2007 1:27 pm

    Heee! I can’t tell you how many times this exact scenario has played itself out in my own car.

  2. Donna on April 12th, 2007 1:30 pm

    eerie zenlike eye of storm calm…..good god that made me laugh!

  3. Amy M. on April 12th, 2007 1:31 pm

    I commiserate on the heartbreaking “thump”. V hasn’t thrown his shoes yet, but my car floor has toys & crackers in various states of sogginess. I really need to clean it!

    Mmmm…peanut butter brownies… *drool*

    I’ll take Samoas on Christian Bale, please!

  4. Sadie on April 12th, 2007 1:37 pm

    Yeah, wow, what DO you do when you can’t drink a bottle of wine after a hard day?? I guess Clive Owen covered in Thin Mint crumbs is an awfully good second best. Mmm, Thin Mints.

    Many times I have read your comments section and well-meaning and unknowing commenters will suggest that you deal with some stressor by pouring yourself a drink…and I think to myself, “what would I do without my liquidy alcoholic crutch on days like this?” and I feel kind of impressed with you.

  5. Tara on April 12th, 2007 1:44 pm

    For us, it isn’t the shoe, it is the pacifier, aka “mommy.” (I, on the other hand, am “mama”–VERY important distinction.) Other than that small detail, you have just described every car trip we take.

    Although why on earth a child decides–repeatedly–to thrust away the ONE SINGLE THING on God’s green earth that he apparently must have in order to be at peace, I’ll never understand. I guess that’s toddlerhood for you.

    At least Thin Mints (and Samoas) make a great coping mechanism. Peeps are good this time of year, too.

  6. Claudia on April 12th, 2007 1:45 pm

    Yeah. That’s my life. I look forward to warm weather when my almost three year old can march her ass out to the car barefoot and I can just hand the damn shoes to the daycare teacher – here, YOU put ’em on her. I’m done. Of course, there’s the butt load of toys and books to throw on the floor and whine about. Boo hoo, baby! Stop fucking droppin’ ’em! I may have to attach everything to bungee cords that drop from the ceiling so everything will be in her face (and will annoy her by bopping her in the head when I make a hard turn). but at least they’ll never fall to the floor. Unless she pulls the whole headliner down. Of course, I’ll probably wreck the car and kill us all so my problems will be over.

  7. Chiara on April 12th, 2007 1:50 pm

    People, please. None of this Thin Mint nonsense. I will accept nothing less than Mint Milanos dappled over both the delightfully crisp Johnny Depp AND the deliciously creamy Kate Winslet, perhaps in a sunlit grove somewhere, under an apple tree, and…

  8. Amy on April 12th, 2007 1:52 pm

    Actually, I’d rather have Clive & Cookies than the wine, thanks.

  9. ShannonJ on April 12th, 2007 2:00 pm

    This was hilarious, especially that moment of finally just blowing up and getting the shoe. Sounds so much like me. Just ask my husband. Of course when he blows up, I act like I’m always Ms. Calm and Rational, telling him to settle down. Ah, the schizophrenia of parenthood.

  10. warcrygirl on April 12th, 2007 2:25 pm

    You mean the shoe hit the floor and didn’t bounce off the back of your head? Jr kept hitting me in the back of the head with several hot wheels cars one day, in the SAME SPOT. I don’t have problems with alcohol yet I like your Girl Scout cookie fantasy best. WOOF!

  11. Lumpkin on April 12th, 2007 2:44 pm

    Before I make my comment I would like to say that I am a non-parent and have never babysat, so please excuse my ignorance and feel free to laugh away at me. Ah-hem, is it possible to just leave the toy/shoe/pacifier on the floor and put in ear plugs for the rest of the ride? Or does that cross the line into evil parent territory with CPS knocking on your door?

  12. Niki P. on April 12th, 2007 2:47 pm

    Skip the cookies- Clive has the greenest of eyes…. and when he is screaming at Julia Roberts in “Closer” ohhhhhh my gawwwwd….. I want to slap her for him! How could she…….. I need a moment now!

  13. g~ on April 12th, 2007 2:48 pm

    I would just take the freakin’ box of Girl Scout Cookies, really.
    Tagalongs, please.

  14. kiki on April 12th, 2007 3:02 pm

    Um, your description of a g&t is umm, to the T. Mouth is watering. Yes, I am drooling at work.

  15. Josh on April 12th, 2007 3:21 pm

    Ooooh, me likey this train of thought. How about pulled pork BBQ with vinegar and hot sauce served atop Elisha Cuthbert with some hush puppies and slaw on the side. Maybe even some hand feeding for desert. Baklava if you don’t mind. Yes, that’ll do …. mmmmmmmmmmm! ; )

    And as far as the screaming kid goes, just drown them out with the stereo. Or even better, bring a fog horn with you and literaly scare the crap of of him whenever he throws a tantrum. Also, tan his hide. That’s what my parents did to me, and I still fear that horrid oak rod. You best believe my kids will respect the sting if they don’t respect me. Nothing says cut it out like searing pain. (the loving kind of course, nothing but the best for my devil spawn)

  16. Katie on April 12th, 2007 3:31 pm

    …and there you have the opening page of your book. Absolutely brilliant! How do you put into words EXACTLY what many of us go through every day with such hilarity?

  17. Gentry on April 12th, 2007 3:46 pm

    Given the choice, I’d always pick food over alcohol. When someone invents deep fried salt in carmel cream sauce, my life will be complete. Until then, I fantasize about flying to Thailand and having a giant vat of Pad Thai on the tarmac that I can plunge into face first.


  18. Swistle on April 12th, 2007 3:50 pm

    Our girl flings her precious, precious panda bear out of her crib, then screams to have it back, then flings it out in a rage as we depart, then screams pitifully to have it back, etc.

  19. Gena on April 12th, 2007 4:18 pm

    I hate to say it, but I’m so glad I’m no longer in that stage of childhood (with my children, I mean). I now just have teenagers who think they’re grown and can make the rules even though they don’t pay the bills, pre-teens who are prone to spending days moping in their rooms and a mother who thinks I am the worst f-ing daughter in the world. Where is that bottle of wine? Or maybe just dunk me in a vat of dark chocolate with a few peanuts thrown in.

  20. canknitian on April 12th, 2007 4:22 pm

    I could use a little Clive Owen right now.

  21. dregina on April 12th, 2007 4:35 pm

    You are hilarious. Clive Owens could be so lucky.

  22. Sara on April 12th, 2007 4:45 pm

    Some of my angriest moments have been in the car with my screaming toddler; I can relate. We have finally, however, explained that we have to drive with both hands on the wheel (unless one hand is chugging coffee, of course) and she seems to get it. This works about 1/2 the time and the other half she spends, uh, demanding her football/cup/doll/book. Driving down I-5 to Medford (you know the route well!) we had an hour-long screamfeast because we weren’t playing her music.

  23. Danell on April 12th, 2007 6:02 pm

    Pringles potato chips on Orlando Bloom.

  24. HollowSquirrel on April 12th, 2007 6:53 pm

    YES. Unfortunately, YES.

    Today we have a new twist to the ride home– puke…but at least it distracted him from whining about not being home yet.

  25. mrsgryphon on April 12th, 2007 7:16 pm

    Were you *in* my truck with us today? Seriously. The shrieking and wailing meant that my “eerie zenlike eye-of-storm calm” lasted mere seconds before I actually PULLED OVER to tilt my seat back and find the damn soother. sigh. She wins again.

  26. Jennifer on April 12th, 2007 7:42 pm

    Why do we try to explain the whole cause and effect?! I find myself doing this all the time and THERE’S NO REASON!

    I think you may have been riding with us today.

  27. Jen on April 12th, 2007 7:49 pm

    Um, I’ll take Fran’s Sea Salt Caramels on Jake Gyllenhaal, thaaaaaaaanks.

  28. Pete on April 12th, 2007 8:04 pm

    Can’t drink, that’s why there’s pot ;-)
    But there goes the diet. Can’t smoke without raw chocolate chip cookie dough.

  29. Melanie on April 12th, 2007 8:10 pm

    I think that game is probably one of the worst games to have to play with your kids. Though at least there’s less crying as they get older, but then there is also more evil knowledge of exactly how much they are driving you crazy. My son will actually say “oh, Mommy, am I ANNOYING you? Are you ANNOYED?” and smile evilly.

    I think I have to second the Mint Milanos/Johnny Depp/Kate Winslet/dappled grove fantasy, only can we trade out Johnny Depp for my darling Sufjan? Because then life would be complete. Especially if we dripped some ice cream on his chest for me to…. well, this is a parenting blog so I should probably stop there.

  30. Super Blogs » Clive Owen on April 12th, 2007 11:59 pm

    […] Thoughts of Calgon Which is kind of a boring fantasy, so let?s try taking the cookies?Thin Mints, of course?out of the bag and scattering them across the naked, lightly sweating torso of Clive Owen, who is reclining on a set of thousand-thread-count … […]

  31. ang on April 13th, 2007 6:16 am

    Johnny Depp and Death by Chocolate ice cream. Mmm. It makes me happy just contemplating. :-)

  32. Michele on April 13th, 2007 6:23 am

    Perfect. Just exactly my experience this morning, subbing a book for the shoe.

    Ooooh, Clive Owen. He gives me impure thoughts too.

  33. Mandy on April 13th, 2007 8:37 am

    You’ve been in my car coming back from daycare haven’t you?! Perfect, hilarious description!

  34. MRW on April 13th, 2007 8:43 am

    Mmmm Clive Owen. I just KNOW he’d make everything bad about my day a distant memory with or without the cookies…

  35. Adrien on April 13th, 2007 8:46 am

    Oh Clive Owen, you are so delicious.

  36. Leslie on April 13th, 2007 9:26 am

    Melted chocolate is going to be *really* hard to get out of those sheets.

  37. TwoBusy on April 13th, 2007 9:35 am

    You just described my drive in this morning. I find that one (usually) effective strategy is to use the magic of power windows to my advantage — few things shut up a toddler more quickly and effectively than having the window next to them suddenly fly open and blast them with fresh air.

    Snow and/or rain also helps in this scenario.

  38. pippa on April 29th, 2007 8:13 am

    CD player. Volume raised. Screaming drowned out by combination of Evanescence and Mommy loudly shout-singing along with dear Amy.

    Four kids. Four things to drop. Do the math. They probably have no hearing left.

Leave a Reply