Monday, February 20, 2012


Oh mama. I really stepped in it this time. Well, actually I picked it up and smeared my whole body in it.

So, the girl and I had a really nice morning at the Canadian Museum of Civilization. We're members and we go pretty regularly, although it had been a couple of months. When I checked the website last night I noticed that they were doing a reading of Robert Munsch's Thomas' Snowsuit today, so we obviously had to go. E loves that story.

It was great. We went to the reading, we did some sewing, made beaded zipper pulls, built the bell tower in Venice out of duplo, built the bell tower in Venice out of wooden blocks (read Olivia Goes To Venice much?), threw dice around and practiced hopping on a giant board game, wrote a postcard to Robert Munsch and unloaded some seriously heavy freight from a steamship. Then we had a balanced lunch of vanilla yogurt, chicken fingers and lemon jello.

So what's the problem?

Mama and her big fat mouth, that's the problem. Just as we were getting in the car I asked E: "Now what's the Number One Rule for the drive home?" And she dutifully replied: "NO SLEEPING!" Perfect. As we were driving out of the parking garage, we had the following conversation:

E: What happens if I fall asleep?

M: I'll tickle you and tickle you and tickle you until you wake up!

E: And then what will you do?

M: Then I'll make you eat worms for dinner!

E: And then what will you do???

At this point I saw the conversation as my opportunity to keep her awake for the ten minute drive, so I dug deep into my lobe of creativity to come up with as many ridiculous punishments as I could. She seemed to be enjoying herself. I threatened to make her go skating in the freezing cold in her underwear, tie her to the roof rack, feed her eyeballs and rotten cheese...and she thought it was all funny and great until this one:

M: I'll feed you beer and wine!

E: (a hesitant pause) But babies don't drink beer and wine! (oh god, she sounds like she's getting upset) And I'm a baby so I can't do that!

M: Oh babe, these are all just jokes. I wouldn't do any of these things, I was just teasing.

E: Oh. So THEN what would you do?

M: Maybe we shouldn't play this game anymore.

E: No, I want to! I like the jokes!

M: Okay, I would...make you watch terribly boring movies (...and on and on until we got home, trying to keep them as harmless as possible...and then we were home and unlocking the door to the house when I came up with...)

M: I would make you stay awake all day and not let you nap!

E: ...crickets...

I look behind me, and E's face is contorted into the silent cry of the deeply traumatized toddler. And then:

E: But I need to have a nap! I'm SO TIRED!!!! 


M: Oh babe! I'm just joking! Of course you can have a nap!

E: Those are baaaaaaad joooookes! I don't liiiiiike those jokes!


I scooped her up, hugged her, said I'm sorry about a million times, held her like a little baby and promised to never, ever, EVER tell those jokes again. After a few minutes she was calm enough for me to read a bedtime story. I put her into bed and told her we would do something fun when she woke up, then went downstairs.

Five minutes later I hear muffled sobs.

When I go up to her room, she looks up at me with big, teary eyes and says "I'm having bad dreams." I surround her with all of her friends, sing a song, and tell her to think about something nice like baking pies with mom. She says "I liked those jokes. I want you to tell me those jokes again!"

I have officially damaged my kid.

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