Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Today I Taught My Son to Use a Pitchfork, and other stories

Warning: this post contains nudity.  Parental guidance is recommended.

You know that thing where your child is playing nicely with his plastic animals?  Where they stomp around and eat the carpet grass and stack on top of each other?  And then you get the video camera and set it up sneakily only to catch the animals being run over by a tractor and spread about the room?  All in all it's a shocking hilarious moment which you intend to replay many times until you realize that you accidentally bumped the dial and it never actually recorded.

It seems like life is full of all of these funny moments that are completely unexpected.  I hope you need a laugh (and I hope you get a laugh) from the following:

Smooth Operator
A few months ago now, Tall got into the hand lotion.  This is not uncommon.  He likes to do what Mom and Dad do and slaps his hands together and acts all grown up.  That day, however, he dropped it on the floor and started to smear it into the floorboards at the end of his parents bed.  He proceeded to walk backwards and forwards through it, slipping and sliding and giggling with glee.  This is also the day that I learned that trying to clean floorboards just makes them slipperier.  Soap.  Vinegar.  Rubbing.  Maybe I should have tried sand?

Lately when he's had the opportunity, he's taken a bit of lotion and methodically rubbed it onto his nose.  I think we go to the beach too much.

Bite Me
Around that time (18 months of age or so), Tall often kissed his brother with his mouth open.  He's learned to close it now.  But then it was this gaping maw that was pressed (sometimes with a bit of force) against some part of a loved one's head.  One day after he "kissed" his brother and his brother started to cry, I saw little marks on Small's nose.

"Tall," I said, "You cannot bite your brother's nose."

"Nose." He agreed sticking both index fingers deeply up his nostrils.

Me Time
There's nothing like a bit of me time, right? One Saturday afternoon, Adrian took Tall to the back yard, Small was napping and Mommy had a wee bit of time for a relaxing bath and a chance to shave her legs.  I was well set up, glass of water (I'm breastfeeding here!), book and for some reason, I'd grabbed the phone.  This turned out to be a good thing as about thirty-three seconds into the bath, someone knocked on the door.  I grabbed the phone and called Adrian's cell (mobile) and muttered "there's someone at the door."  I decided to start shaving right away and just as I was nearing the finish of the first leg, Small started screaming.  You know the one, the "I'm-the-hungriest-that-I've-ever-been-please-feed-me-now-or-I-will-somehow-get-louder-still".  I took my last swipe with the razor, grabbed my towel and fastened it as I ran.  As I got to the crib (cot), my towel slipped and out of the corner of my eye, I saw the woman who must have been at the door pass by the quite open window.  I grabbed the child and hid in the closet, feeding him and hoping Adrian would come in so I'd know the coast was clear.

Three's Company
We had company in January and one day they were all across the street.  Tall and I were grubby, so I took the opportunity to clean up.  Purposely not locking the front door so the company could get back in, I instead firmly closed my bedroom door and brought Tall into our en suite shower with me.  Small was napping.

After the shower, I towelled Tall off, noting that I'd only brought one towel into the bathroom.  Small started crying, so I padded out to the crib in the corner of our room.  Tall zoomed along beside me wrapped in the towel and noticed the open door (what was that now?) took off.  I saw the open door.  How was the door open?  Apparently the lock needs an even firmer firm close and a wind gust had opened it.  I stood stock still in the room, knowing that Tall a) loves outside, b)can open the front door, c)the front door opens to the road, d)he was naked, and e) I was naked.

What do you do?  Make a skyclad dash through the house hoping the company's not home? As I made to tear after him, I heard a sound.  One of the company's children was home. "Can you grab Tall?" I bellowed anxiously, struggling to put on any and all clothing close to me.

It's All About the Delivery
Small has these great skills of needing people when it is most awkward or inopportune.  He also likes to get whingy and cryish in the evening.  Many babies do.  He also gets hyper at the same time, so he'll either cry or be very happy.  I looked down at him, and thinking of my aching back said, "you know, you could have stayed in a week longer and turned around and come out the right way." He laughed.  I picked him up and started telling him his birth story.  This is an honest, unretouched account of part of our conversation:

Mommy: It felt like I was going to break in half
Small: [chortles]
Mommy: It was the worst pain I've ever experienced.
Small: [squeal of delight]
Mommy: And there was an explosion and I was quite concerned. What happened?
Small: [giggles with glee]

Silence Is Golden?
Yesterday morning, we woke up early as usual to a Tall who wanted to get going.  Often he takes a quick run around the house after having a cuddle in bed with us and we get up a couple of minutes later.  That morning he was unusally quiet.  I'm on the high alert about that. "Honey," I said to Adrian, "can you just check on him? He's awfully quiet." From the other room we hear Tall make an excited noise. "He's alright," says Adrian, "he's making noise again." Tall reentered our room and handed his father his object of delight.  It was the arm of my glasses, snapped clean off.

Today I Taught My Son to Use a Pitchfork
(My husband assured me after reading this that what we have is in fact a "garden fork" which is nowhere near as pointy as a pitchfork, but I think "pitchfork" sounds cooler.  But Tall was always supervised, so stop worrying.)

Yesterday evening the pitchfork made it out of the shed via a very helpful Tall, but it didn't make it back in.  Today when we were playing outside, Tall was fascinated with it and kept pushing it around and making tractor noises.  I suppose this says good things for his imagination, that he was using it as a combine (cultivator), but I didn't feel that it was a good plan to be pushing pointing spikes about the place.  Instead we took to aerating soil patches, using it like a shovel.  It was so cute the way he put his little foot up on it, believing that he was pushing it into the ground while I pushed hard down with my hands on the handle.

I'm a little tired now.  We dug for a couple hours over the day.  Had we had a haystack, we probably would have dug into that, but that perhaps would have been too much like work for Tall and not enough like destruction.

I hope you've had a laugh at my expense.  If not, you may want to get to the doctor and get your funny bone checked out, or you could watch or read one of the following:

Frasier, Season 4, Episode 18 "Ham Radio"; Season 5, Episode 14 - The Ski Lodge
Corner Gas, Season 4, Episode 15 "Lacey Borrows"
Miranda, Series 1, Episode 3, "Job"
Noises Off
The last chapter of Bridget Jones, The Edge of Reason
Anything by Dave Barry
The Luck of the Bodkins by PG Wodehouse
The Cowboy Way


  1. Sounds like Tall and Small make life full, fun and eventful. Thanks for sharing the stories!

  2. Awesome read Rebecca; brings back memories! And that thing with boys and destruction....it never goes away.

  3. I love your Tall and Small stories. They brighten my day, even though I know they've put more grey hairs on reserve for you! Hugs to all. (Maybe storing towels in the bathroom - just a couple- could help!)