This morning Rachel woke up. I don’t know when she woke up, not exactly, because instead of being noisy she played quietly with her dolls in her bed. It’s not that I mind being left to sleep for a few minutes longer, it’s just that Rachel, like most normal people, has to go to the bathroom upon waking up. When she calls out to me, I can get her up in time to make it to the potty. Otherwise she ends up doing it in her diaper, which bothers me because she basically potty trained, except for nighttime and naptime and I just wish she would let me know.
So this morning when I finally woke up and went to check on Rachel, who I thought was still sleeping, I found her wide awake, sitting up in bed. She had all her toys (2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 Poohs, 2 baby dolls, 1 rag doll, 1 bear) arranged in a way that made me sense an extravagant story line, but she was still happy to see me.
I was less happy to see her. She smelled, which meant she had pooped her pants. Gross.
So I took off her diaper and washed her bum. Since we use cloth diapers, the next step is to do the “potty fling,” but Rachel was demanding breakfast, so I left the diaper on the bathroom floor and went to scavenge some breakfast for her.
When I got her breakfast, she wanted me to hold her while she ate it, so I obliged. I like cuddling Rachel.
Breakfast happened to be the snack container from the diaper bag because that’s what I happened upon first. It was full of goldfish. And apparently there was a little piece of paper in there as well, which was greatly distressing Rachel. I told her to go throw it away, so she hopped off my lap and headed toward the garbage can.
First I heard the swish of the garbage can lid swinging back and forth. And then I heard her potty scraping across the floor. Ugh.
She has this new habit of dumping out her potty instead of letting us do it. It’s horrible. She spills half the time. I think we’ve mopped our bathroom floor 5 or 6 times this week. And it’s only Monday.
I ran into the bathroom to find that Rachel, indeed, was holding her little potty over the big potty.
When she saw me, she dropped the potty. She knows she’s supposed to let Mommy and Daddy do that. To avoid repercussions, she tried acting cute.
“YAY!” she cheered, clapping her hands.
I surveyed the scene. Her diaper lay empty on the floor. It’s contents were in Rachel’s little potty. Her clapping hands were spraying particles of said diaper contents all over the bathroom.
I shuddered. She’s so helpful. Too helpful, really.
I suppose I could have taken care of her business earlier, but how was I supposed to do that with her playing the role of a rather whiney shadow? I don’t know.
She also has this weird diaper rash. Weird because she is only in diapers at night and they come off first thing in the morning. And then she’s free as a bird. So I don’t really know where this rash is coming from. We tried Balmex, but that wasn’t working so we switched to Lansinoh. She likes that a lot better.
At night when we put her diaper on she always reminds us that she has a rash and brings the Lansinoh over.
“Rash!” she says.
This morning I was getting ready for the day, as most people do in the morning. I’m one of those people who keeps ChapStick with my makeup, which may tell you exactly how much makeup I wear on a regular basis. Rachel walked in and saw that I was in the makeup area (I happened to be fishing for a hair elastic at that exact moment).
She pointed to her lips and then to the makeup drawer. She loves ChapStick and wanted some.
“No, baby,” I said, “This is Mommy’s ChapStick. Go find your own.”
She loves ChapStick, and she destroys ChapStick. So she has her own ChapStick. That poor ChapStick. Its life is agony, I’m sure.
“Rash,” she explained, pointing to her lips again, “Rashtick!”
How could I not give into that request? Her lips were rashy and she needed some rash-stick. I’m kind of sad that she doesn’t say bapstick anymore, but rashtick is just as funny, really.
I’m just glad that we’re having a better day than yesterday. And, yes, flinging poo all over the bathroom means we’re having a good day today. So that might tell you just how well yesterday went. Basically, it didn’t go well at all.
When Andrew got home from school, I mentioned, offhandedly, that I might make some cookies. I completely forgot that I had lent our baking powder to Jaehee and I don’t like substituting soda for powder. So that meant cookies were out.
However, Rachel overheard me say “bake cookies” and kept insisting, rather dramatically, that she needed to help do that.
“Cook! Cook! Cook! Cook!” she pleaded, and demanded, and screamed, and cried, and insisted, and whined.
This went on for probably 20 minutes.
“I don’t know what to cook, Rachel,” I said. “Stop screaming. Just stop. Screaming isn’t going to make me cook. Stop. Stop. Stop!”
Andrew could tell I was about at the end of my rope, so he took over.
“I’ll cook something with you, Rachel,” he suggested, leaving his homework at his desk.
“What are you going to make?” I asked.
“I don’t know. We’ll make something up.”
I let the two of them wander into the kitchen and stewed for a few minutes, trying to regain my patience. After breathing deeply I decided that I should go and see what their experiment was. Kitchen experiments are sometimes not the best idea when Andrew is involved. Let’s just say he gets a little too creative.
To my relief, I found that they had found a cornbread mix in the cupboard that Karen had brought out with her in October. They were mixing that up.
“Stir! Stir! Cook!” Rachel was chanting happily.
I went to have a nap. A few minutes later Andrew came out to the living room to find me,
“You can go have a nap,” he suggested as he walked out to the empty living room.
“Unless you already are?” he added quizzically.
He walked into the bedroom where I had already set up to take a nap.
“I’ve got things under control,” he said.
And so I fell asleep, knowing that things were under control.
While I was sleeping, they finished up the cornbread and put it in the oven. That was difficult for Rachel. She wanted to eat them right away, not wait for them to cook. Andrew gave her some peanuts to tide her over.
She’s good with nuts if she takes a few at a time. But if she gets too many in her mouth she won’t swallow them. She’ll chew them to smithereens, but she won’t swallow.
It so happened that she took a whole handful of peanuts on this occasion and stuffed them in her mouth before Andrew could stop her.
“You have to swallow those,” he warned her.
After she chewed for a few minutes she tried to spit them out.
“You have to swallow those,” he reminded her.
She started to spit them out, again.
“Swallow…” Andrew said.
Rachel started to cry.
“Rachel,” Andrew explained, “It isn’t fair to throw food away like that. Other people would have liked to eat it. So you have to swallow it because you took it.”
Rachel started to cry harder. Her nose started to drip.
Andrew wiped it.
It dripped some more.
He wiped it again.
A little light turned on over Rachel’s head. She started crying harder and breathing heavily through her nose to force as much snot as possible out.
Andrew got out a new kleenex. He went to wipe her nose.
Rachel took that opportunity to spit all the peanuts out into his hand.
“Rachel,” he said, “I told you not to spit those out.”
He sent her to her room and told her it was time to get ready for a nap. She insisted she had to go potty. So instead of getting her ready for a nap he started taking her to the potty. While he was carrying her, she spat more peanuts out on him.
“Rachel!” Andrew said, “We don’t spit food on people!”
And then she peed on him. Looked him squarely in the eye and said,
So…that was his half hour with Rachel. And my day yesterday was similar, only it lasted the entire day. And so I’m glad that today is going better.