Sunday, May 06, 2007

What Doesn't Kill Us...

I have had a great weekend. Friday night we had a couple beers and snacks with some friends from JeepMan's work. I hung out with the kids yesterday (JeepMan was in the garage most of the day, surprise, surprise!), went shopping for clothes and plants, then went out last night with some friends to a wine-tasting/hors d'oeuvres event. Today I got most of my new plants put in, and did some transplanting as well; it should be cool and rainy for the rest of the week -perfect for the plants to get established. Then it started raining right on cue after the last of my plants were in, so we went out to Spiderman 3 (average, but passable as entertainment).

Unfortunately I haven't felt too good since, probably some GI bug, but then I am not complaining. It's been a relaxing and fulfilling few days, and I am thankful for that.

Speaking of thankful, I have to give thanks for the safety of my Grandma. She is 84, and still drives wherever she wants to go. Apparently she was driving back from church this morning on the gravel (which she has been driving on her whole life), hit some ruts, and drove the car into the ditch. She said she was going about 35, but the police wonder if she was going faster. The car popped out of the ditch and flipped end-over-end. Amazingly, the airbags didn't even deploy. She crawled out the passenger window, and a neighbor called 911 for her. She had a laceration on her temple which was stapled shut, and possibly some fractured ribs. I imagine she won't be feeling too well over the next few days and weeks. It's amazing to me that she could survive a crash like that at all, especially at her age. She must have a vigilant guardian angel...

Now, speaking of what doesn't kill us...

I have never been one of those moms who is a dirt-and-germ-o-phobe. I subscribe to the theory that exposure to a variety of germs at young ages actually strengthens a child's immune system. Really - it's not just an excuse for me to be a lazy mom! I mean, I still want my kids to wash up after using the restroom, and I always use a paper towel as a barrier between myself and a public restroom door handle...it's just that the "usual" dirt, drool, and other nastiness that kids manage to get into from day to day doesn't faze me too much.

So Lulu was sitting next to me in the theater this afternoon. The lighting was dim (as it generally is in a movie theater). We were waiting for JeepMan and Plato to return with from the snack bar with the pop and popcorn. Lulu asked me where Daddy and "Pwato" went. I said they were getting snacks. She says, "I hope dey bwing mo pock-own."

More? Popcorn?

I mentally slapped myself in the forehead. I looked over at her and yep, you guessed it. She was chewing a piece of mysteriously acquired popcorn. OK, that's gross.

But that was nothing. I have had one instance for each child that I was viscerally disgusted over. I still get queasy thinking about each one.

When Plato was about 14 months old, we had taken him to a Chinese restaurant. I remember he was toddling, but not too well. We ate supper, walked around the mall a little, then piled into the car to head home. He was sitting in the middle of the backseat in his carseat; he was old enough to be facing forward. Usually he would chatter up a storm in the car, but this night he was quiet. Too quiet. We looked back and there he was, happily picking rice off the bottom of his shoe and eating it. I looked at JeepMan, he looked at me, and we shared that oh-so-bonding sensation of mutual nausea. Suddenly his sharing of mouthed toys at daycare and picking his nose seemed positively sanitary.

Which leads me to two days ago. I mentioned that we had gone to a restaurant with some of JeepMan's coworkers? We had been sitting there for a while, too long in retrospect, chatting with another guest. Now, normally we are extremely strict about restaurant behavior with our kids: we stay in our seats, we don't run around, and we use our best manners. This night however, we were unusually slack - basically because JeepMan still had a full beer to drink and I was tired of wrangling the monsters. So we were letting them walk around, a little, in the area of the table. Well, around the table led to under the table before long. Pretty soon, JeepMan asked me what was in Lulu's mouth. I looked and told him she had a piece of popcorn in her mouth. "From the floor?" he asked (Deja Vu, you say?). I said no, it was from the table (indeed there was popcorn strewn across the table). About 5 minutes later, Plato asked me if he could have a piece of gum. I told him I didn't have any and he whined, "No Fair! Lulu has gum!!"

The horror of it all dumped over me like a watercooler full of ice cold gatorade...

I looked at her and there she was, sitting under the table, chewing gum. Gum I had not given her. "Where did you get the gum, Lulu?" I demanded. "Wite dere..." she told me, offering The Grin (at once so self-satisfied, innocent, and strangely evil), and pointing her chubby finger at the underside of the table.

I took a big breath, swallowed the dry heave, confiscated the gum, and repeated silently the mantra of many a sane mom:

What doesn't kill them makes them stronger, What doesn't kill them makes them stronger, What doesn't kill them makes them stronger....

7 comments:

Tiff said...

Mmmm...gum!

If it makes you feel better, that's probably not the worst thing she could be eating! (But it is right up there.) Oh, how I look forward to the day when I have evil-grinning children eating things of the floor and shoes and undersides of tables. Right now I just have cats that lick ... well, you know.

And the next wine-tasting (whenever it is) I will be home for so I'm inviting myself along! :)

Mom In Scrubs said...

Consider yourself invited...unless you start working on adding more than cats to your family before then!!

And I'm sorry you haven't heard about my blog till now. It's lame, but I forgot to tell you until I started sending out actual invites to it...

love ya!

Monnik said...

Let's see if I can post a comment now...

Monnik said...

yay!

Anyway, what I was going to say was that I love this post. It makes me kind of nauseous to think of what has gone into my kids mouths. I heard somewhere once about a kid who popped a recently unattached umbilical stump into its mouth thinking it was a raisin. Now that's gross!

Tiff said...

eeeewwwww!!!

Now that beats the popcorn, noodles and even the gum. Hands down!

krobzoo said...

Annalise was sitting on the concrete in front of the bleachers at Katie's game tonite, playing with the sand. I look down and wondered what she was messing with, walked over, and found her trying to pick off an old piece of gum that was stuck there. No where close to the mouth, but still gross!

Monnik said...

Love the new procrastination image. That cracks me up!