Friday, February 22, 2008

The Handoff

I think Peapod is trying to kill me.

In the past week, she has kicked me in the face twice (once with shoes on), bitten my leg twice, and stabbed me in the neck with a chopstick. The kicking, I get. I can even sort of reconcile the biting. But the chopstick stab seems particularly malevolent for someone who hasn’t quite logged 17 months on the planet.

What was Peapod doing with a chopstick in the first place, you ask? Well, we were at a Japanese restaurant and she snagged it off the table as we headed off to the bathroom for a diaper change. I didn’t think much of it at the time, but when I swung the bathroom door open to discover yet another dirty bathroom without a changing table, I should have known I was in for a trouble. Fortunately there was a small, wobbly wooden table that looked promising, so I made due and got to work.

Once I had The Pod situated and stripped, she started her new thing where she kicks her legs furiously and laughs this alarmingly sinister “heh heh heh” type of laugh. Not funny. Ok, a little funny. But this new act makes it really tough to get the job done without costly restraining devices. Or getting kicked in the face, which is precisely what happened. Actually, to be more specific, it was in the nose.

Now, if you’ve ever been hit in the nose, you know it’s a weird phenomenon. First, even before any actual pain sets in, you’re totally surprised. It’s as if your physical being needs a second to register that someone would have both the gall and precision to hit it precisely in the nose. Next, the pain and anger set in simultaneously. If the culprit is some thug who also happens to be making off with your wallet, anger is appropriate and even helpful. But when it’s by your own sweet-faced toddler, the result becomes a confusing emotional soup. You’re mad; you’re worried; you’re worried that you’re mad.

That all went down in the nasty bathroom stall and so I was still a bit discombobulated as I carried Peapod back to our table. Which is when – whammo! -- she followed up with the chopstick-to-the-neck stab. At that point, my eyes bulged out of my head and I completely disengaged emotionally. The Esposo was peacefully munching on some appetizers when Mom-Zombie with the scratched neck and her toddler arrived at the table. He looked up and immediately, without words, we completed the Silent Toddler Handoff. The one where one parent is just done and the other one picks up where they left off, no questions asked.

A few sips of hot green tea later, we were once again a happy, peaceful family. Single moms, I take my hat off to you. Thank god for The Handoff.


Jodi said...

Hi Wendy,

Tanya pointed me to your blog. It is awesome and so true! We went to Ike together...back then, I was Jodi Zmick.

Anyways, I have a 6 year old & a 16 month old--I so get the dirty bathroom thing. Try changing the baby in the middle of the restaurant. Tell them the bathroom is too disgusting for the baby. While you will probably be asked to leave, your meal will likely be free and the next time you go back (if you do!) you will find an amazingly clean bathroom. ;)

Please, do not ask me how I know...

Wendy Mihm said...

Hi Jodi, what a hilarious story! Is it really so hard for these restaurants that spend $30,000 on the fancy Budda fountain in the lobby to pony up an extra $27 for one of those fold-down changing tables in the bathroom? Sheesh. Thanks for the read! Best, -W