Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Lion's Den

This morning I was loading the dishwasher - a chore that was definitely overdue - when an ominous silence filled the house. Jamie was in his crib, napping, but Cody was up and about, as he always is. I had a nagging feeling that I should check on him, but in the spirit of denial, I decided to ignore it and finish what I was doing first. Make no mistake, I knew that he was up to no good, but I also knew that whatever he was doing he would still be doing it when I finished the dishes. So, I hurried to finish loading the dishwasher, squeezed in some soap, slammed it shut and started it, and then ran into the living room. Cody was there and his mouth was all red, and he had a piece of Trident cinnamon gum part way into his mouth. It was not the kind that come in sticks, but more like little squares with a red candy-like coating on the outside. In short, they are perfect for a kid to get red food coloring all over his face, hands, clothes and pretty much anything that he comes into contact with for the next little while. Well, I personally am of the opinion that two year olds are much too young to be chewing gum. Isn't that a choking hazard? I might be paranoid on that, but my kids are not allowed to chew gum at this age. The thing is, I don't even know where he got it from. I asked him that very thing, and all he would say was, "Yeah." After badgering him for a while, he finally led me over to the couch, and with a feeling of dread, I pulled the back cushion off and gasped. Down in the back of the couch I found his stash. This was his lair. He had a package of gum in there...empty of course. The gum itself was in there too. Some pieces were chewed, and wedged into the crevices. Some pieces were not chewed and were clearly being saved for a more opportune time. And some of the pieces were partially chewed, with some of the candy-coating intact, and the other end all mangled, like some kind of gruesome roadkill. The gum was obviously there as a second course, because the couch also contained a substantial supply of Arrowroot cookies. There were probably eight or more in there, but it is hard to say for sure because most of them were not in one piece. I told him in no uncertain terms that we NEVER put food in the couch, and then I gathered up all the carnage to dispose of it. He then had the audacity to tell me to vacuum the couch. This is how he keeps himself from starving when he is up every morning in the wee hours before Mom and Dad are willing to get out of bed. They are awake...just not up.

That was this morning, and it was frustrating and gross, but also undeniably funny. The day went downhill from there until it hit bottom at suppertime (doesn't it always hit bottom at suppertime?) and I am now hiding in my bedroom so that I can try desperately to claw some of my sanity back from the dark vortex that is sucking it down. My dog is having a barking fit outside my window, so that is messing with the whole "peace and quiet" concept that I am going for here, but at least I don't have to issue any commands or enforce any rules for the time being. I can even hear happy sounds coming from the other room where Mike is singing Jingle Bells, with Cody adding enthusiastic "HA HA HA"s along the way. So here is hoping that this evening brings rejuvenation and that tonight I will not be woken up at 3:30am by a one-sided conversation across the hall between Cody and Thumper the bunny.

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