Sunday, October 31, 2010

Learning Curve Ahead

This week has been somewhat...educational.

I've learned all sorts of useful things about my children, myself, my dog, my carpeting, and my current state of residence (Florida, although Insanity would have also worked in this context).  I feel like some of these things I should have already known, discovered through trail and error or come to the realization of after lots of alcohol.  But still I found myself surprised over and over by things that should have been as obvious as the white powder on Charlie Sheen's nose (What?  The guy has a baking problem...right?).

But then again, perhaps you, too, would have been surprised at some of these things.  I've put together a fun, interactive quiz to find out.

1.) Your child has been quite for two consecutive minutes.  This child is:

a.) sleeping
b.) watching Finding Nemo for the nine-hundreth time
c.) rubbing blush into your bedroom carpet
d.) has discovered your stash of Eclipse gum and is busily stuffing piece after delicious piece into her mouth (or other orifice of her choosing)

The correct answer has been All Of The Above at one time or other, but this week it was c.  And a special Thank You shout-out to all my friends who came through with some fabulous cleaning advice.  A little rubbing alcohol, a little Woolite, a little hydrogen peroxide, a little warm water and a bunch of towels later, and the once gigantic, pink smear looks almost invisible compared to the other stains speckling my carpet.

2.) Before you had children, your dog's favorite food was dog food (and the occasional bumblebee). Now that you have children, your dog's favorite food is:

a.) goldfish crackers
b.) macaroni & cheese-encrusted napkins
c.) peanut butter-encrusted napkins
d.) poop

Again, each answer has been correct at one time or another in the past 3 years, but unfortunately this week it was d.  It wasn't a lot of d., but really, how much d. does it matter?  It's like saying, Oh, it's just a little hair in your soup.  At least it wasn't an entire scalp.  Sometimes a little hair is much, much worse.

3.) Which phone number should you have first on your speed-dial?

a.) 911
b.) your nearest liquor store
c.) your friendly neighborhood exorcist
d.) poison control

This answer can actually vary from day to day.  This week the correct answer is d. It actually turned out not to be an emergency, but last night as I was fixing dinner, Elsa emerged from the bathroom with a tube of toothpaste.  She sort of has a thing for toothpaste, which is why I normally keep it  in various, unreachable places: The kitchen counter behind the bread.  On top of the fridge. Inside of a balloon, which I then swallow. But this was a small, sample size tube from the dentist, which I had squirreled away in the depths of a bathroom cabinet. And Elsa can hone in on toothpaste like my mother can detect doubloons in her backyard.

So Elsa came out with the toothpaste in one hand and the cap in the other, and when I swooped down to take it, I caught a whiff of mint coming from her mouth.  The tube was still full, but because I know my daughter is a garbage pail, I was certain she sampled some before bringing it to me. Right after she rubbed some into the carpet.

On the tube are the instructions: If more than is used for brushing is accidentally swallowed, call poison control immediately.  And since I usually do what I'm told, I snatched the attorney magnet from my fridge, found the poison control number and dialed it.  (Side note: Refrigerator magnets are my primary organizational tool.  Forget my iPhone, forget my notebook with names, numbers and addresses scrawled inside, forget my dozens of photo albums and framed pictures adorning my house. Every piece of important information in my life is stuck to my refrigerator with a magnet from either a pizza place, an attorney's office, or a letter of the alphabet. Refrigerator magnets hold my life together.)

The woman from our local poison control call center was calm and pleasant. She asked Elsa's age and size, and how much toothpaste she ate in teaspoons.  I figured not even one, to which the woman said Elsa would be fine.  And cavity-free until she's 80.

Okay, last question.

4.) The absolute best, most thoughtful thing your husband can bring you home after you've had a long day is:

a.) flowers
b.) take-out
c.) an appointment card for a vasectomy
d.) work

Yes, for me the answer is d. Sometimes I really really love my husband's job: 

Who says taking work home with you is a bad thing?