Suburban Snapshots

Withholding

Monday, July 12, 2010

Remember how Anna was acting out, having a hard time adjusting to her new room in day care (Come to think of it, I might not have mentioned that. The past week has been what a good friend of mine might call a 'shit storm.'), and generally causing me to suspect that she'd been body snatched? Apparently the hand we were dealt — the one with the horrible cough causing her lack of sleep, leading to bleary-eyed misery throughout the land, exacerbating the tough day care transition and thereby increasing the household alcohol budget — were not quite the whole deal.

On Thursday, after an unpleasant toilet experience, Anna decided to exert whatever will she wasn't using to slowly kill me to become the boss of her bowels.

All weekend we watched her — mid-sentence or play — bolt up on tip-toes, clutching her cheeks, wiggling uncomfortably, whining, then insisting she lie down. From the backyard pool she'd sprint to the living room, "Read a book!" At her easel, she'd drop her brush, leaving another potential masterwork unfinished, "I want to go to bed!" She'd even double-tantrum me, clinging to my leg screaming for popsicles when suddenly, "I want to snuggle on the couch!" She is the definition of agitated.

Today I phoned her pediatrician who recommended a laxative powder, which I added to straight apricot nectar. At this point I just want it out, and I want her to see that it doesn't always hurt, and of course, I don't want her to know that I had anything to do with it.

Finally, in the midst of an Oscar-worthy fit performed exclusively for my in-laws (again, shaving years off their lives), something dropped. I turned the corner to find my mother-in-law snuggling a quivering Anna in her blankie, "She needs a wipe." Upon removing the blanket, I discovered she needed something more like a Silkwood shower.

I did a quick clean up with all the battle I had left in me to chase her fish-flopping, squirming little body around the bathroom floor. I could still smell the poop as I lowered her into bed.

Finally the house is peaceful, I have photos I've been dying to edit and a nice, cold glass of chardonnay at the ready. My dogs have calmed down and are all splayed on the guest bed that shares my office space. Bert, the youngest, yawns. But he's not yawning at all. Before I can act, he's dumped what looks like Cujo's last stand onto the bed and down to the rug. As I fetch cleaning supplies, he skulks into the living room and leaves another hot pile on my brand new goddamn rug.

People, there is not enough chardonnay in the entire world.

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