Wednesday, January 26, 2005

It takes a village...and a straitjacket

The middle child gets a bad rap - not the biggest, not the smallest, always ignored. At our house, the middle child is quiet and independent and falls right into the stereotype, though we tried to avoid it. While Riley talks his way into trouble ("Well, second of all, I am just going to eat this one pub (??) of candy before dinner"), and ensures that I am enforcing my own punishments ("Mommy, you forgot to take away this action figure"), Bella does whatever she chooses without drawing attention to herself. It's pretty easy for her - the girl will not utter a single word to someone unless she's known them for a full month. An old friend of mine who recently relocated to the area once probed my neighbor, "Have you ever actually heard Bella speak? Because Lisa insists that she can..."

Anyway, she talks, she's just selective.

So we were at $100 playgroup yesterday at my friend's home. Not a good friend, mind you, just a friend whose home is much larger and nicer than my own. She has three children as well, though her house is not terribly childproofed for young ones...I suppose that's because her oldest is five, and would never dream of pursuing the antics that my middle one thinks up.

So here we are, sipping tea and eating hors d'oeuvres and being decidedly civilized on a Tuesday afternoon while the testosterone flowed freely (Eight boys, and my two girls. Eight.) and from upstairs I hear...well, I hear nothing from Bella, which is definitely trouble. So I go upstairs and there is my daughter, along with two other little brothers (yes, but she was the ringleader I know it) feeding massive quantities of food pellets to two guniea pigs. OK, the boys were mostly throwing massive quantities of food pellets though the air and all over the room. Bella, however, had opened the cage and was attempting to brush these two little guniea pigs just like she does with her My Little Pony dolls at home. With the little girl's hairbrush. You know - the kind with little rubber ball tips that hurt when you press too hard and that get hair all wound up in them? Like, guniea pig hair? Yeah, those.

The poor little things didn't know what to do - here they are standing in the largest pile of food they'd ever seen - a windfall! - but at what price? Bella is no budding cosmotologist, I can tell you, and I have the brush scars to prove it.

So, after about 10 whole minutes with three grown women, a vacuum cleaner, a hefty bag and a dustpan and broom, we managed to make the room presentable again. Sort of.

Now here's the goofiest part. The baby was due for a nap right smack in the middle of playgroup, and I needed to go home to put her down. I asked my next door neighbor if she would bring Riley home, since, well, testosterone boy loves playgroup and so do I. She offered - can you believe it? - to keep Bella too.

"Really?" I asked. "Are you sure??"

There were some jokes tossed around about how many grownups it takes to watch Bella, haha, but yes, they would collectively watch my daughter and I could come home and clear the dishes from two days ago (hey - Vincent has the flu, give me a break).

About 45 minutes later, Bella walks in the door covered in magic marker. My neighbor proceeds to assure me that it is washable marker at least three times before I ask, "Hey, why are you so sure it's washable?"

Well, because she drew all over the oldest daughter's bedroom door, her carpet, and her doll collection, that's why. And they were able to wash it out.


Playgroup is at my house next week. I hope no one is plotting revenge.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, its Allie. This thing won't let me post with my name unless I open a blog account which ain't gonna happen as I already have 2 journals going. Love your blog. Glad (or not?) to hear that other moms experience the unpleasantness of parenting. Tell Mo that it isn't always perfect! HA!

You have a faithful reader here. Keep it up. Allie

11:34 AM  
Blogger Stolidoli said...

You have 2 blogs going? Are you writing more than I know about??

Yes, yes, I am far from perfect, but you knew that because you lived with me.

You can imagine the mess it is here right now, I am sure.

I'm glad I have one constant reader! ;)

3:34 PM  

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