Thursday, September 10, 2009

Those Monkeys Just Aren't Bumping Their Heads Hard Enough

Today you get to meet one of my new dear friends. "New" because we just met 6 weeks ago. "Dear" because we clicked right away and have talked on the phone/ e-mailed around 182 times since then.

Mary writes the blog Giving Up On Perfect and also writes for (in)courage, Blissfully Domestic and instructions for babysitters. She has a daughter who shares the exact same birthday as Henry, so we speak the same toddler language.

She is lovely, witty and fun and you will love her like I do! I'm so sure of it that I am giving her my blog today. And she has given me hers.

To catch up on me and my DMV experience, hop over there. But first, read below and leave Mary a comment. Let's give her a nice Rydell High welcome, friends {and not a hickey from Kenickie, kay?}.

Photo by lopolis
You don’t know me, so I feel like I should offer a disclaimer right now: no monkeys were harmed in the writing of this blog post.
There. Got that out of the way. No need to alert PETA after all.

But here’s the thing: those five little monkeys that keep jumping on the bed? They need to stop. They need to get off. They need to sit quietly and read books. They need time out.

Whatever they need, I need to not hear about them for a good long while.

“What’s with the monkey animosity?” you ask.

Well, let me just tell you. Last weekend, my husband and I had the grand plan of packing ourselves, our almost-two-year-old daughter, a diaper bag, a backpack, two suitcases and enough snacks and toys for a week into the car and drive for four hours.

Looking back, though I thoroughly enjoyed catching up with our college friends and watching our kids play together, this may not have been the most brilliant idea we’ve ever had.

And we’ve had some whoppers of ideas, let me tell you.

I remember, back when my sweet, innocent little pumpkin was just months old. I remember how she’d sit quietly in her car seat, entranced by the whir of the road or entertained by whatever music I played on the radio. Sometimes she got restless, but it was nothing a small toy or rousing rendition of Jesus Loves Me couldn’t cure.

And then she turned one. [Please read that in your most melodramatic voice ever.]

With her first birthday, along came hair and one nap a day and finger foods and talking and how to put it? Oh yeah: attitude.

Actually, that didn’t show up until around 18 months, but you get the picture.

So about that time, car rides started getting dicey. Sometimes trips in the car were no problem at all, but other times, it was a nightmare getting from point A to point B.

Saturday’s four-hour drive was one of those other times. It started out well, because I caved like a good mom and let her play with my cell phone. It was locked, of course, but that brilliant child of mine figured out the exact button-pushing combo to dial my emergency contacts. Those contacts, of course, are my husband – who knows to just let those calls go to voice mail, so he gets a cute babbling message – and my mother – who had to call Grandpa over to the phone so they could take turns saying, “Hi, baby. Give the phone to Mommy. We love you! What’s your name? Awww! Please give the phone to Mommy now.”

The kicker is that I don’t always realize right away that this is happening (because, yes, it has happened a time or twenty before). So I thought she was just having a good time playing by herself.

Uh, no.

Over the next four hours, we went from the Oopsy Game (You know the one, right? The one where she begs us to contort our bodies in order to retrieve her favorite toys from the backseat and hand them over – only to have her drop them into the canyon between the car seat and the door? Yep, that one.) to the Cheerio Game (That would be when Mommy and Daddy breathe a sigh of relief, thinking her silence is an indication of contentment and good behavior, only to realize it was just a result of intense concentration on dumping Cheerio crumbs all over herself and the car.) to pouring all the water from her sippy cup onto her pants to chanting her new favorite phrase over and over (That would be “poopy poo.”).

My husband thought perhaps things would work out better if I sat in the back seat with her. Sure, I said, rolling my eyes as any good wife would do. And it worked for about 2.4 minutes, until that sweet little pumpkin decided she needed to climb out of her car seat’s harness.

[Please insert the heaviest sigh you can imagine right here. But whatever you do, don’t imagine me shrieking at my sweet little baby and threatening to have Daddy “pull this car over.” Because I would never do that.]

Despite this excitement, we finally arrived, in one piece and with some sanity intact.

But when we climbed into the car on Monday to head home, you better believe I gave in immediately and played her favorite song. And played it again. And sang it. And sang it again. And – well, you know.

Five little monkeys jumpin’ on the bed. One fell off and bumped his head. Mama called the doctor, and the doctor said, “No more monkeys jumpin’ on the bed!”

Is it any wonder I’m ready for those monkeys to take a hike? Or that my daughter has added “jumpin’” to her vocabulary?

I suppose it could be worse. She could’ve started singing 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall . . .


The Incredible Shrinking Woman said...

LOL, that sounds like the last 9 years of my life!!!
At least (deep breath here...) they aren't playing the "Get your body off my part of the car seat" in a sweet Ford Escort Coup that smells like fish and grease because your roomy van exploded and you are forced to fit 3 elementary age kids in the back where they do nothing but taunt each other and make Mommy forget she is driving a stick shift and then she kills the car in the middle of traffic, while nicely saying to her problamatic youngins "So help me, if you don't stop fighting and make me blow up this car too you are all going to eat navy beans until you decide to get along!" which would be in exactly never.
Gotta love the kids in the car dilemma! Great post! Thanks for sharing your new friend with us, Hillary!

Lydia said...

Welcome Mary! I thoroughly enjoyed your post. I have a 21 month old and we totally play all of those horrible games in the car. I haven't introduced the monkey song-yet. I'm sure it's time is coming!

oh amanda said...

You've just described my day---only I'm not even in the car! *sigh*

Hillary @ The Other Mama said...

Love it! Our game is with goldfish instead of Cheerios, though, and I have thrown my shoulder out of socket several times. They don't cover this in the parenting manual!

I'm so glad you're here, Mar!!

Erika@MeSoupBlog said...

so funny that my son is SOOOO into those damn monkeys right now too. Luckily we have the book he can look at and I have the song (I am a preschool teacher) and those monkeys are EVERYWHERE!! we even sing when they are swinging from a tree teasing Mr. Alligator. (then they get gobbled up!! ;)

VanderbiltWife said...

Oh, Mary. I love you dearly.

Libbie already plays the Oopsy Game. She is a paci addict and WHILE DRIVING I contort myself to find hers--then she throws it across the car and wails for a few more hours. AGH.

ben and erin said...

haha... 99 bottles of beer. that'd be a fun one!

ummmm, after reading all that i only have one thing to say: i'm SO glad you guys didn't have car trouble and get stranded on the side of the road! :-)

amykat said...

I can totally relate to this!! My parents live 8 hours away from us....Once we drove to see them when Luke (my now 3 1/2 year old) was 18 months old. emphasis on ONCE. We had always flown in the past (when it was just my husband and me)- but lugging around the dumb stroller and car seat (to use when we arrived) plus the additional diaper bags, etc. just didn't seem worth it. Oh it was so worth it. I will never drive from Houston to Poteau, Oklahoma EVER again.

Kim H. said...

Having all our family out of town, I can surely relate to doing whatever it takes to entertain toddlers in carseats.

I hate to say that now, our feisty travelers, have become the older ones. After our last road trip (which was just for my sister's wedding in August) I'm seriously re-thinking car travel at Christmas. The two little ones were great. The two bigger ones not so much.

Hang in there -- the monkey phase will pass -- and then they'll be the next phase! :)

Friday HUGS!!!

LauraLee Shaw said...

Oh my goodness, Mary, this is GREAT! The perfect way to end my day!

The Bucklers said...

Hey girl! Your blog is awesome!! I just love it, and you have quite a gift. :) So glad I "found" it through a trail of other blogs... :)

Rachel @ CrazyTown said...

Love the story. My 3 year old likes to play the "Rub my Leg" game. Especially when she's tired and then take until my arm dies from lack of circulation to actally fall asleep.

I know one day we'll all look back and miss all this but in the moment we just wish for peace and quiet.

Jenn McPherson said...

Can I just tell you how much you crack me up?!?! Nothing changed sinced you & Meg were across the hall!!

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