Archive of ‘Fun with Baby’ category

The Log in the Pool.

Once upon a time, in a land not so far away, a young family sat in their family room, staring grumpily at each other.

The temperature hovered somewhere around 109 degrees. The air was almost too hot to breathe. It was much to warm to be outside for more than a couple of minutes at a time.

But after the 500th whiny chorus of “I want to go to the Big Pool,” the mom looked pleadingly at the dad and said, “should we?”

“I guess. It’s either that or start wearing ear plugs.”

So the weary threesome donned their clammy swimsuits, packed their last swim diapers, and headed off to the public pool.

It was packed. Dozens of  families jammed themselves, shoulder to shoulder, in the two-foot-deep  kiddie pool.

people in a crowded pool

Photo credit: Let Ideas Compete via Flickr

But while the water looked wonderfully inviting, it took the parents only seconds to realize that it was, in fact, just as hot as the air heating it (i.e. miserable).

However, all those under the age of four sparkled and pranced and splashed and kicked, showing more life than they had in days. So the parents sucked it up and sat in the swirling cesspool of overheated germs, fake smiling whenever their progeny looked their way.

Eventually, our dad went to soak himself under a Hell-hot fountain, leaving the mom to watch their tutu-suited munchkin.

She dared to close her eyes for just a second, wishing with all her might to be transported to an ocean beach, with a cool sea breeze dancing in her hair.

Seconds later, though, she realized her tiny dancer was strangely quiet.

Glancing over, she saw her daughter arranged in her signature half-stoop, a look of concentration on her face.

“NOOOOOOO,” she shouted, feeling time slow down as she slogged through the sucking water toward her child.

Seeing her mommy, the child grinned. “Look at my new trick, mommy!” she said, proceeding to bounce and twirl at the same time.

Knowing gravity and centrifugal force were not her friends at the moment, the mommy cried, “Stop!”

And reaching her child’s side, she unceremoniously snatched her from the water, saying quietly, “It’s time to change your diaper now, sweetie.”

Not understanding the delicacy of the situation, the child struggled, shouting, “NO MOMMY! I don’t want to change my diaper. I DIDN’T POOP!”

Silence descended on the pool.

Just then, the lifeguard’s whistle shrilled.

“Everybody out!” she yelled.

And then the mommy saw it. A tiny brown log, floating in the area where her daughter had been moments before.

The whistle shrilled again. More insistently this time.

“Everybody out! There’s poop in the pool! Poop in the pool, everyone out!”

Dying inside, the mommy very quietly made her way through the undercurrent of snarling parents over to her husband.

“I think it was her,” she whispered.


“It was her,” she hissed. “She pooped in the pool.”

A look of horror dawned on his face.


“Yep. I’m going to go get her changed now.”

He just nodded silently and started packing up their stuff.

In the changing room, the mommy discovered her intuition was right. Her daughter’s diaper was full of poop.

“I thought these things were supposed to hold it in,” she grumped to herself.

Quietly, she stowed the offending diaper in the trash, and quickly put street clothes on the both of them.

Head down, she snuck back to the pool to get her husband.

The lifeguards had descended en masse on the pool, galoshes, rubber gloves and blue buckets in hand.

The steaming hot families just glared from the edges.

“Let’s go,” she whispered.

He nodded and they ran for the car, hoping no lynch mob would follow them.

Once safely ensconced in the air conditioned vehicle, she turned to look at him, anguish in her eyes. “Do you think we can ever go back there?”

“I-I don’t know. Not for a while,” he sighed.

“Damn,” she said. “Damn.”

And so they lived, sweatily ever after, fondly dreaming of the cool blue waters they were now voluntarily banned from.

All characters are figments of my imagination, and details resembling real people are, ahem, coincidental.


My New Favorite Phrase.

“Mommy, why do I have to take a bath?”

“Because you’re dirty and we have to wash the gack off.”

“Why am I dirty?”

tori in a puddle

This is why you're dirty, kid.

“Well, because you painted your hands. And put stickers up and down your arms. And then went outside and played in the dirt. And somewhere in there you had some chocolate.”


“I have no idea why. Why did you put stickers all over your arms?”

“They’re my arm necklace. But why can’t I be dirty?”

“Because it’s gross.”


“Because when you stay dirty for a long time, you get stinky and smelly.”


“Because that’s what happens. Kinda like when a dirty diaper sits around, you know?”

“Why can’t I be stinky?”

“Because if you’re stinky, no one will want to be around you.”


“Because it’s no fun to be around someone who smells.”


“Because it’s stinky and icky.”


“Because I said so. Now get in the bathtub.”

That, my friends, was an actual conversation.

It’s why getting anything done in my house now takes ten times longer than it used to (and let’s face it, we were never setting any speed records).

It’s also why “because I’ve said so” has become my favorite phrase. Along with “just do it.” And “go ask your dad.”

But mostly that first one.

I remember when my mom said it. And man, did it infuriate me. I always thought “because I said so” meant she had no real reason for what she said. That she just wanted to make me do stuff for her own benefit.

In fact, I remember vowing that I would never say those words.  I remember thinking that I would never make my daughter do something that didn’t make sense. That I’d always take the time to help her understand what I was asking of her.

Silly, silly me.

Mom, the kid I was owes you an apology. And a big bottle of wine.

Feel free to tell me you told me so.

Testing, Testing, 1,2,3.

Tori has a look. A defiant sideways glance that says, without words, “Look, mom, I’m about to do something just to piss you off.” A look that then changes into a stare/glare that says, “See? I’m totally misbehaving. What are you going to do about it, b***h?”

That leaves me with only three options. I can:

a) Gently but firmly say, “no, Tori, we don’t do that because…”

b) Throw the offender into time out.

c) Forget everything the parenting books ever taught me and yell my fool head off.

Sometimes the offense is relatively minor, and I can easily solve the issue with option a. For instance, when she peels off her diaper and runs through the house naked, there’s no real reason to get upset. In fact, the only reason admonishment is necessary is that I really don’t want her going commando in the middle of the mall.

More often than not, though, more discipline is necessary.

Today alone, we had nine time outs. Nine. Twice because she hit me, three times because she pinched me, once because she decided to throw her toys at the wall—hard—and…well, that’s enough. You get the picture.

That little girl of mine is testing me. Frequently and obnoxiously. Even so, most of the time I can remain calm. It’s natural, I know. She has to test her limits. Find out just how firm the rules we’ve put in place for her really are.


Sometimes she does outrageous things. Things like get up off the potty, trot out into the hallway and—slowly and deliberately—pee on the floor.

Is she still testing me? Sure. Do I remain calm, cool and collected? After 12 hours of similar tests, no. That’s when option c is the only choice my brain can embrace.

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t scream at her. But neither am I rational. Or quiet.

So, sure, I yell. As did my mother, and my mother’s mother, and her mother before that. Can someone please tell me why, exactly, that’s so incredibly damaging?

Or better yet, introduce me to a mom who’s gotten through every one of her child’s 18 years without raising her voice? Because I don’t believe that person really exists.

Suck it, Dr. Spock. I’m going to do this parenting thing my own way.



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