There is no better way to title this post. There just isn’t. This day will go down in family story-telling history because it has just been that comical. You may have to know my kids to get the full effect, but I’ll do my best.
We have been in the states visiting family for a couple of weeks. It’s been great and has so far resulted in only four casualties: the back of my sister’s new white dining room chairs is now an abstract pen-drawn masterpiece by my three year old, the discontinued Monster’s Inc. Boo doll that my sister had in the original packaging now has a value of zero dollars because the same toddler tore it open (it IS a toy, so you can’t really blame him, but that still doesn’t bring Boo back), and two of mom’s decorative serving trays shattered when my 8 year old literally just fell into them. We’ve enjoyed time on my father-in-law’s farm, seeing Garth Brooks in concert, a weekend at Great Wolf Lodge with the cousins, a leisurely stay with my parents out in the country, and tomorrow is the wedding of my husband’s little sister (who I met when she was a freckle-faced six year old). It’s been pretty fantastic.
But sometimes things happen on vacation that make you want to laugh and cry at the same time because they are just so random, so unexplainably bizarre, that there is no other appropriate reaction. We’ll call it craughing.
There was lots of craughing going on today.
It all started before my second cup of coffee had reached my blood stream (we all know the first one doesn’t count) and I had yet to put on concealer or brush my teeth. My little monster came bouncing right up to me pointing to his nose like he had just cured cancer. That’s never a good sign. A toddler pointing at his nose accompanied by a slap-happy grin stirs the same feeling in the gut as remembering Chick-Fil-A is closed on Sunday after driving all the way there with anticipation in your heart and a grumble in your stomach: a deep, dark devastation. So I immediately looked up his nose and what to my wondering eyes should appear, a green ball staring me right in the face. It was a piece of Mini-Trix cereal, which is about half the size of normal Trix (thank God). No biggie. It was within grabbing distance so I lay him down (mistake number one), got out some tweezers and went in for the kill (mistake number two), which ultimately pushed it so far up his nose we could no longer see it. Which meant it could get trapped into the sinus cavity, which could eventually lead to infection and ultimately the removal of his entire nose.
So the hubs and I reached into our grab bag of genius parental ideas and began looking in my sister’s house for a vacuum. Just then my sister came home after dropping her kids off at school and was met at the door by my husband who asked, “Do you have a shop-vac and duct tape?” That’s not really what you want to hear when you have people with small children staying in your home. (Later she told me that her initial mental reaction to that question was, “Oh lord, what the bleep happened?!) She rolled out the Dyson and my husband taped off the hand attachment leaving only a tiny hole for air. I’m fairly certain the next part has been forever etched into my son’s cerebral cortex. I lay him down (at this point he was kicking and screaming because the last time this happened a psycho stuck a sharp metal utensil up his nostril) and held his head still as my husband attempted to suck the Trix out of my son’s nose with the vacuum attachment. I do not recommend this approach.
Our next idea was to get him to sneeze it out. So I got some pepper in a small dish and tried to get him to sniff it while holding his other nostril closed like an addict. At this point he had lost all trust in me whatsoever and was probably contemplating his loyalty to me at all. So I decided to stick some up in his nose myself with my mom finger, which led to me sneezing about ten times and he zero. Fail.
Option 3 consisted of my husband and myself further scarring him for life by administering strong CPR breaths into his mouth while covering up the Trix-free nostril in attempt to force the Trix out of the other one. I tried to get him to open his mouth wide by making it a game. You know, the whole “Look at my surprised face! Your turn!” thing. He actually did fall for that the first time and then it was like trying to hold down a salamander in gelatin. Did not nail it.
So after finding an urgent care place that took our insurance, we headed over. The doc mentioned doing the CPR trick (hubs and I totally did a mental super parent high-five) and then looked up in my son’s nose. She could see some of it, but she said it would probably just come out on its own and to watch for signs of infection.
That was morning.
Evening rolled around and we had the rehearsal dinner to go to for my sister-in-law’s wedding. She and her fiance are getting married on his family’s ranch out in Texas. It’s a beautiful piece of land with horses, cows, a rodeo ring and a loverly brick home right in the front. Think of Texas. Yeah it looks just like that.
Before I go on let me explain that my 8 year old is not your typical 8 year old. He is quirky, and I say that with all the love that I can muster in my mama heart. He is highly sensitive, incredibly passionate about computers, and uses phrases like, “in all honesty”. Now, think the exact opposite of all of that and you have met my 3 year old. He is incredibly physical, growls at everyone he meets and laughs in the face of death. Moving on.
So we got to the ranch and my oldest went inside the house with everyone else but immediately ran back out exclaiming, “Mom! You HAVE to come in here. They have the cutest dog I have ever seen in my entire life! Seriously, come here NOW!” So I trotted inside to see the tiniest of chihuahuas looking up at me with those scary black alien eyes they have. My son had never seen this type of dog before (we prefer the kind that doesn’t die when stepped on) and was completely smitten. The groom’s mom told us her name was Fiona. Such a pretty name for such an itty bitty piece of fur. We then went back outside to explore the grounds. I walked my 3 year old around to talk to cows and look at their patties. After a little while we were on our way back to the house when I heard my 8 year old screaming bloody murder for his life. At first I thought he was playing because, I’m telling you, I have never heard that sound come out of my child’s mouth before. It was like a giddy type of scream. The kind that you cannot fake because you don’t even know how to make it. As I came closer things really came into focus, and I was able to understand what was happening. Fiona, who apparently “hates people”, as the groom’s little sister later informed us, in all of her 3-inch legged glory, was chasing my son around the back lawn in circles yapping away in true annoying-as-hell chihuahua fashion. You would have thought he was running from an angry wolf or a huge bear, but no, my son was running from a CHIHUAHUA NAMED FIONA. The rest of the scene included the men standing around with their sunglasses on and with one hand in their pocket and the other around a beer just watching the series of events play out. My husband, bless him, is the coolest cucumber you’ve ever met. He was also standing with one hand around a beer and the other in his pocket while repeating, “Stop running” over and over again in the calmest of voices. But oh, the screaming. Just then I felt this tug on my hand and my 3 year old broke free and ran toward the calamity with the same fervor as a firefighter running into a burning building or William Wallace (Mel Gibson version) as he ran in to fight for freedom from the English. I saw it all in slow motion, his blond wisps of hair bobbing in the wind, my oldest unable to be calmed and still running, running, running. (For some reason Europe’s “The Final Countdown” plays in the background as I remember all of this unfolding.) And as God as my witness, my toddler ran past his brother and straight up to that rat of a dog and roared in her face so loudly that it actually stopped her in her dead in her tracks.
Nobody messes with the toddler’s older brother.
Now I love my boys more than anything in this world and care for their feelings so very much, but it was so hard for me to keep a straight face, y’all. After the morning we had with the whole nose situation and then fiona scaring the living hell out of my 8 year old and then him getting saved my his baby brother…it was just all too much and I needed to craugh. A lot. But I took him by the hand and went on a walk to go talk it out, which is what we do best. Putting things into logical terms is key for these kind of situations, so I explained to him why Fiona was barking like a maniac and that he truly had the power because he was a million times her size. Finally he was appeased and we went about our merry business, but not without him checking every few seconds to see if Fiona was around.
I kid you not, though, the next night at the wedding he and Fiona miraculously became soul mates. He couldn’t get enough of her. She was sweet and quiet and even walked with us down the isle for the ceremony. I don’t even know, y’all. I just don’t even know. What I do know is now I have two very good stories to tell those boys over and over again when I get old and senile.
Just keep craughing!