Ode to Pests

WrenEatingAnts

Photo: Paul Dinning

 

For the pests

Who won’t rest

In their quest

To infest:

I suggest

You divest

Lest

I’ll wrest

Back my nest.

I don’t jest

It is best

As would surely attest

The unblessed

Who’d transgressed

And I had ‘addressed.’

 

 

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Bumble Dog

http://www.redheart.com/free-patterns/dogs-crochet-bumble-bee-costume

Photo: RedHeart.com

 

“Our puppy is drunk!” The four-year-old announced mid-session.

“Drunk?” Their puppy was a five-month-old rescue mutt named Rooky, all paws, mischief and licking tongue. Still, surely I misheard. I looked at the mom.

“Well,” she clarified, her color rising, “he isn’t anymore!”

“But you said!” the boy accused.

“He was yesterday …” she conceded, redder still. “Drunk, I mean. He’s okay today.”

“Rooky drank Mama’s beer,” the boy offered helpfully.

Her blush intensified. “It’s not like that …”

“Mama had to pee and Rooky knocked her beer over and then he licked it up and he maked nasty burps and he walk funny. His burps smell like Mama’s beer,” the boy was on a roll. “Mama called the vet and he said Rooky is drunk. We taked him to the vet. Rooky even barfed.” The boy pointed out, impressed.

“Gramma said beer makes ‘bumble bee idiots dogs or not’,” he added in what I thought was a very grandma-like tone.

I’m considering the odds I might never see that mother in session again …

 

 

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Meddling

cherry tomatos

 

It took a full sixty seconds before she could get hold of her giggles long enough to tell me why she called.

“What’d he do now?” I smiled.

You see, she has a four-year-old and an 18 months old. Both precious. One precocious.

The preschooler omits some speech sounds and makes a salad of most others. He knows what he wants to say (and has much to impart from dawn to evening), but the production message from his brain to mouth muscles doesn’t always come through organized. We’ve been working on improving motor planning and sound production, and he’s been making steady progress. He is a studious little dude and follows instruction well enough, but what he really adores is experimenting: With his father’s shaving cream and his mother’s makeup, with his little brother’s haircut and diaper-rash cream, with words and their meaning.

“I was making him a salad,” the mom hiccupped, still not quite over her laugh-a-thon, “and silly me, I thought I could slip in a tomato.”

I grinned. Silly indeed … This boy loves some vegetables … but he is also the kid who declared “tomatoes are mean because they look like cherries but they taste yucky.”

“So, he takes one look at the plate and shakes his finger at me, saying ‘Mommy, I told you five times already. Why you meddling my dinner?'”

 

 

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Natty Patty

fashionista stool

 

Her closet is a playground. Her vanity and mirror reflect paradise. She prances with a feather boa. She jingles bangles, beads, and bracelets. She twirls her skirts and points her toes for glimpses of a toenail polish. She sings as she applies her makeup, adores her hair elaborately done. She claps at tutus, ribbons, purses. Has ensembles de rigueur for the library, parties, park benches. She dresses up for the bathroom. She spruces up old pajamas for pizazz. Savors weekend deliberations for outfits in the days to come. She dreams of owning a boutique and her bedroom offers a perpetual rehearsal: dots and stripes, waves and glory, gold and hearts, purple and pink. Her shirts have flare, her shirts can sparkle, her shoes light up, her ribbons glitter, she is a glory in the sun.

She’s the family fashionista, put together to the ninths.

 

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“They did it!”

Goldfish

 

“It wasn’t me!”

The potbellied cookie-jar was stranded sideways on the kitchen floor amidst small mountains of spilled cookies in various states of broken. The jar’s lid wobbled under a chair a few feet away.

I looked at the small face, cherubic auburn curls surrounding dimpled cheeks. The forcefulness of the denial belied the crumbs around the lips, the sticky hands, the guilty blue-gray eyes.

“It wasn’t, eh?” I worked to keep my eyebrows in line.

The preschooler squirmed but didn’t fold. She shook her head emphatically, looked around, and tapped her lower lip with a (suspiciously chocolatey) finger.

An idea dawned into her face and she pointed said finger at the aquarium where three goldfish lazed. “They did it!”

My eyebrows escaped. “The fish?!”

A wholehearted nod. She was warming to the thought. “Yeah! They don’t like fish food every day every day anymore … and … and … it the fish birthday …” she swung her finger from one idle swimmer to the next. “Um, this one! See? He didn’t even want fish food for his birthday!”

 

(Thank you, A.J.!)

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Minimal

black-dot

 

“What is that?” I asked about the dot the four-year-old had just purposed onto the page.

We’d been talking about living and non-living things, sorting pictures and ideas.

He looked up at me. “It a minimal.” His tone stated this was obvious.

“A what?”

He raised a small eyebrow, slowed his speech to meet my apparently plummeting intellect. “A Mini-Mal. A very teeny teeny animal.”

 

 

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Biggest in his eyes!

Giraffe

“My daddy is more bigger,” he announced after examining a photo on my wall of my niece and her (rather tall) husband. His curls bounced in certitude and his tone spanned the space from pity to challenge.

“Is he?” I noted, winking at the boy’s mom.

I know the father. Objectively this little guy’s dad isn’t particularly tall, but this wasn’t about being objective … To his son, the father may as well be the giant of all giants.

“Yea,” the preschooler nodded emphatically. “My daddy is even more bigger than …” he scanned the room for inspiration, “… a whole Empire State Building house or even more bigger than …” he narrowed his eyes in concentration, opened them wide, “a giraffe!”

 

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Expectant

 

“My mommy have a baby in her tummy!” she announces even before her little feet clear the steps.

“How lovely!” I’ve known for a while, but delight never gets old.

“But the baby not coming out yet,” she clarifies soberly.

“Oh,” I match my tone to hers.

The girl nods sagely. “It not ready yet.”

“I see.”

She shrugs out of her coat and wriggles a bit as she lets me help her remove her snow boots. She pauses mid-wriggle. One socked foot liberated.

“Will mommy have to blow?”

“Blow?”

“Yeah,” the almost-four-year-old cocks her head with bewilderment at my lack of immediate understanding. “When the baby come out.”

I look up, slightly flustered. Someone did a tripe-knot on that other boot. Fort Knox.

She stares at me.

It is one of those times when I have a feeling that my hypothesis about her question is quite different than what she is actually asking about.

“What do you think?” I default to my when-in-doubt-return-the-question-to-the-kid.

She nods vigorously. “Yeah. Because when the baby finish cooking it going to be too hot.”

 

hot-food

 

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I Mean It!

 

He plopped himself on the rug and pulled his sock on, tugging on the elastic till the fabric stretched to his knees. He gazed down at a bump. Scrunched his forehead, patted the bump down. It flattened but not all the way.

The furrows in his forehead grew. The bumpy bit was connected to the sock … like always … but something still seemed wrong.

He twisted his foot. Examined the sole. No bump there.

He pulled harder on the elastic. Re-examined. No change.

He shrugged.

Somehow when mommy or daddy did this, the sock looked different. No bump on the bottom. No bump on top.

He stood, took a step and stopped. Another step. Stopped.

The bump bunched. It felt funny when he walked.

He sat back down. Stared at his feet. Wiggled his toes.

It felt funny again. He bent his foot. No good.

Maybe the sock was broken.

He pulled it off.

Took a look.

The sock appeared completely normal now. Just like always.

He pursed his lips, pointed his toes into the sock and tried again.

The fabric bunched. A bump.

He moved his foot, paused, narrowed his eyes, and sighed. Tugged the sock off and held it between thumb and finger.

“Be good boy, Sock,” he admonished. “No more no-sense. I mean it!”

 

toddler-putting-on-socks-wearing-winter-water-factory

Photo by: agirlnamedpj.com

 

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I Know You!

As told to me by Mom-of-Three-Under-Six:

“So there we were, on our way to what feels to me like the 100th birthday party of the school year, and possibly the real cause for childhood obesity driven by absolute overload of pizza, cupcakes, sweets and other junk food … (I’m almost — almost — considering serving celery sticks, kale-chips, and wheatgrass juice in my son’s upcoming birthday. What stops me is knowing he’ll need about a decade in therapy to deal with the untimely exodus of little feet and the almost guaranteed desert of future RSVPs to his parties …).

In any event, there we  were, cranky baby squirmy in the carrier and the hand of a squirmy already-hyper-on-the-thought-of-sugar preschooler slipping in and out of mine. When we finally arrive, the door is opened by the somewhat stooped and Old-Country dressed grandma (or great-great-grand …) of the birthday boy.

My boy takes one look at her and announces, full lungs: ‘I know you! You are Nanny McPhee!!’

I think I need about a decade of therapy.”

 

nanny-mcphee

 

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