Sunday, January 11, 2009

two examples of why I like being a mom

Incidents like these:

Imagine: Ainsleigh and Donovan sitting at the table with me, coloring pictures. I'm coloring stuff to help in teaching a new song in Primary (did I mention that's what I'm doing now? Nothing like trying to keep 100 kids paying attention. I need about 4 more deodorants on Sunday). Ainsleigh informs me that I'm a really good colorer. Donovan looks over at the princess Ainsleigh is coloring and sees that she has red hair (of course) and asks if it is a picture of Ainsleigh. Ainsleigh, kind of disgusted, snorts, "No, it's not me. I don't have breastez." I guess the "sts" sound is too hard for her? Amused by that, I almost missed the next part. "At least not puffy ones." A moment passed as I looked at her picture. Could I have misunderstood? So I asked, "Sleeves?" She didn't miss a beat as she continued coloring with one hand, gesturing to herself with the other, "No. Breastez. I don't have puffy breastez." A "duh" would have fit right in there, considering her tone of voice. I couldn't hold back the giggle that welled up. That is just not an adjective I've ever heard used in conjunction with that body part.

Next. Donovan was sitting at the table finishing lunch and I was sitting on the couch nursing Gemma. I look over as he's talking about whatever and notice his left hand creeping down the back of his pants. "Donovan! How many times to I have to tell you! Keep your hands out of your pants." He was indignant at first, "But MAWWWWWM! I'm ITCHY!" I'm exasperated, "Was your hand IN your bottom?!" At first he readily answers no. "Really? because if it's itchy I'm thinking it's because you didn't wipe very well and so your hand was really in there." Again, he furiously shakes his head no. So I lay it out very clearly. "Donovan. There are germs in your poop that can get on your hand and if you use that hand to eat your food, they will get in your mouth and go down to your belly and make you very very sick."

(sidenote: when I first read the cause of hand, foot and mouth disease and it said something about ingesting fecal matter, I was thinking, "Gross! What fool is eating fecal matter? They deserve to get sick!" I failed to realize back then how, with kids, anything can and does happen.) As I'm describing how very very sick he can get, the back of his hand has come to rest at the edge of the table and he's staring at it out of the corner of his eyes like it's going to detach itself from him and strangle himself. "And you will throw up a lot and have big sores in your mouth. So I'm going to ask you one more time - was your hand in your bottom?"

He raised his huge eyes to meet mine, brows knit together, his jaw had dropped almost as far as his closed lips would allow, and he slowly, almost imperceptibly, nods his head. "And THAT is why you have to wash your hands, Donovan." He looked at me, knowing that I can't help him, looked at his tainted hand, then looked at his other hand holding onto a chicken nugget. His face relaxed into a smile as he brightened and turned, "I can eat wif DIS hand!" No, I told him. He would forget and use the other hand. He needed to wash his hands.

I'm not sure why this was so hard - usually he loves washing his hands. But for some reason that task at that moment was not welcome. I could see the wheels turning in his brain. He slowly raised his left hand so the fingertips were millimeters from his nostrils. I could see by the single abrupt chest movement that he had inhaled. I could also see by his face that he was not pleased with what he detected. "Enjoy that, did you?" He turned to his right hand, put the chicken nugget down, and sniffed. Almost defeated, he turned and said, as if hoping to redeem himself, "Yis hand doesn't smehw bad." Then he smelled the palm of his left hand, "And it doesn't smehw down heew." It was like he was trying decide just where to string up the caution tape. I shook my head and said, "No, Donovan. You need to wash your hands. Both hands. And then not touch your bottom."

Defeated, he got down and went to the bathroom. When he returned, he was much happier, telling me that the soap smells much better than his bottom. When I was younger and envisioned myself as a mother, I would see myself making cookies with them, going to soccer games, playing with play-dough, reading stories, tucking them in bed, etc. It never crossed my mind that I would be having a conversation on the merits of keeping your hands out of your bottom. Awesome.


PaloAltoCougar said...

The mental image of Donovan smelling his contaminated hand reminded me of this video:

sarah h. said...


Wanda said...

It always amazes me that you can describe an incident so vividly that I feel like I was a witness to it. I don't have to miss out on a single moment of hilarity!

Sarah Burgoyne said...

I agree with Wanda, I wish I had your talent for writing. I laughed so hard when I read this post. Reminds me of Hannah, she always has a logical reason as to why she hasn't washed her hands. Its even nastier because she sucks her fingers. Sometimes I get frustrated and ask her if she wants to have "pee pee mouth." Nasty I know.

Last week Madelynne was telling me about the changes in primary and informed me that "the one with the red hair" does the music now :) I thought that might make you laugh.