Friday, March 18, 2011

Doodle: Fear is Healthy

Most people's kids are afraid of the vacuum. Somehow, the parents of these kids think this is a bad thing. They (the parents) are very careful to warn their kids about what they're going to do (clean the house, like good parents) and/or hide their kids and pretend vacuuming doesn't exist and is not, in fact, a healthy habit.

I'm here to tell you, kids who are afraid of the vacuum are a blessing. It is very difficult to successfully clean your carpets (without injuring anyone) like this:

How I ended up with TWO kids who adore the vacuum, I have no idea. But I find myself similarly hiding my vacuuming habits from my kids, if for completely different reasons. That was the case until recently anyway.

Nowadays Darcie has a healthy fear of the vacuum. Why?

Now, before you call child services, just take a minute to look at the first image. My kids LOVE the vacuum. They play with it when it's out. They hug it like it's a friend. When I'm using it, they want to stick their fingers under it (I don't let them).

What led to this traumatizing experience was a slow progression of efforts to make my daughter laugh. First I put the vacuum on my hand, then on hers. Her whole face lit up. She thought it was hilarious. Then I tickled her side with the vacuum hose. Also hilarious.

Then...well, her cheeks are just so cute and chubby! Again, I showed her what would happen on me first. Then I tentatively went in for it...bad, bad mommy! Oops.

Thankfully Darcie seems to have handled the whole experience well. Instead of screaming or hiding when I use the vacuum she just quietly turns and walks away. Now if only I could get Liam to do the same... ;)

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Doodle: Anthology of Parental Horrors

Part I: The Wrong Kind of Pride.

When Liam was about 18 months old he learned how to throw his own diapers away. This was a fantastic little trick -- the best kind of trick: a useful one. Because of this though, almost her entire life, Darcie has seen Liam running around with dirty diapers and getting praised for it. Which led to this...

Darcie fetched herself a fresh, poopy diaper from out of the trash can and pranced around with it as proof of her grown-up-ness. I suppose I shouldn't have been too surprised though, this wasn't even remotely Darcie's grossest adventure with poopy diapers. Which leads us to...

Part II: Teething Toys...Sort Of

When Darcie was just a wee little infant she would occasionally have a grumpy day (shocking, I know). On one particular grumpy day Darcie woke up early from her nap and kept up a continuous stream of fussing and grunting in an attempt to garner some sympathy. She succeeded actually, because Liam couldn't stand to hear her upset. He was getting quite antsy to go talk to her, but I wouldn't let him, in hopes that Darcie would go back to sleep. When I finally gave up I told Liam he could go to her.

Much to my delight, Darcie perked up right away at her brother's company. Even better was that Liam was making a real effort to entertain her. I even heard him dropping toys into her crib from the little toy box we had nearby. Thinking that this was definitely a kodak moment, I snatched my camera and peeked around the corner to get the perfect shot. This is what I saw...

Liam handing Darcie dirty diapers from the diaper pail...not toys. Darcie seemed to appreciate the effort regardless. At least, that was the impression I got because she was contentedly chewing on the diapers. I am super glad I put the camera strap around my neck because I most definitely would have dropped the camera in horror otherwise.

(That's me being horrified)

Still, there are worse things a kid can put in their mouth. At least the diapers were covered in Darcie's own brand of yuck.

Part III: Mini Sand Box?

One afternoon, more recently than I care to think about, I took the kids out for a walk. We ended up strolling past the offices to our condo community. I was holding Darcie's hand and we were taking our time while Liam ran ahead and inspected everything. It took me a few minutes to realize that Liam hadn't come back out of the alcove to the office doors but I wasn't too worried because I remembered there was a mail slot and name plaque that he was probably playing with. If I'd realized what he WAS playing with I definitely wouldn't have taken my time in catching up.

Yep. Liam was collecting used cigarette butts. In his mouth.
Don't let this discourage you from having kids though. Odds are your kids, like mine, will love taking baths...

Part IV: Who Needs Soap?

Yep. That's my kids bathing themselves in toilet water. Darcie is even rubbing it thoroughly into her hair. This is the sight that greeted me AFTER picking the lock to the bathroom door that I was not previously aware had a lock.

I figure my kids' blood will end up containing the cure for AIDS or cancer or something. Some type of hepatitis at the very least.