Friday, December 9, 2016

Toddler Mondays

My son has an intense dislike of round breakfast cereal. He will not eat it, and finds the thought of even touching it to be repulsive. Once when we asked him to clean up some plain Cheerios that he had knocked out of his sister’s hand, he retrieved a napkin so that his hands wouldn’t touch them as he picked them up and deposited them in the garbage. This is important because it provides the foundational irony for the following story.

It was a typical Monday morning. My wife was in the bathroom getting ready for work and the kids were eating breakfast while I was making sure everything was in my work bag. Suddenly, our rather large dog walked into the living room and proceeded to deposit the contents of her stomach on our carpet. My verbal reaction was loud and immediate, which drew a “What’s wrong?” from my wife in the bathroom. As I turned to address her question, my son declared that he wanted to “see dog throw-up first” and in his haste to dismount the bar-stool chair feel onto the handle of his sister’s ridding toy sustaining a rather painful injury to his rib-cage.


This turn of events caused me to stop my explanation mid-sentence and rush to my son’s aid who was sobbing on the floor. At this moment, my daughter decided to take advantage of her brother’s unforced error and broke out in a run for the puddle of half-digested dogfood. As she was the only member of the family who was fully dressed for her day, I could foresee her slipping in the mess thereby necessitating a wardrobe change. While still cradling my weeping son, I began loudly instructing her to “stop right there and don’t touch anything!”

My wife - having determined that whatever situation was occurring in the living room had escalated exponentially – ran out of the bathroom toward the exact same spot. I then switched from talking down my daughter to warning my wife not to come through the bedroom door (as the digestive incident had occurred between the two rooms). Suddenly my son’s despondency began increasing and I feared that either I was squeezing him too hard or his injuries were far worse than I initially thought.

I was finally able to make out enough of his words to realize that he was no longer upset about his fall. Instead, he had become inconsolable over the fact that everyone else had gotten to see the dog vomit before he had. To be fair, this was his second bodily-function disappointment of the week as he had been out of town with my wife when his sister pooped in the tub. He requested that I Facetime the aftermath and was rather crestfallen to learn that I had already removed the offending turds.

After some time, I was able to ease the pain of missing the premier and he calmed down on the promise that he could see the dog vomit next time. Meanwhile, our dog had begun her own recovery procedure leaving behind a large discolored spot in the carpet. I retrieved the carpet shampoo device from the garage and began the process of extracting what was left. As a consolation prize, my son requested to see the contents of the machine’s “recovery tank” before I emptied it. It was only then that he found himself able to finish his breakfast.


Thankfully the dog hadn’t consumed any Cheerios or else someone’s meal might have been ruined.    

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