Friday, March 12, 2010

Dangerous dancing double standards

There are some things the girls learn at school that I just don't have the discipline or energy or interest to reinforce at home. The example that sets the standard is food that falls on the floor. There is no leeway at school and the girls know that any food that falls on the floor must be disposed of immediately. At home, we often allow the five-second rule. Because it hurts a little when I chop a bowl of $6.99/lb organic out-of-season strawberries into bite sizes only to see it be overturned by an excited preschooler. Quick re-rinse, and everything's ok! And we're even more lax with dry foods like crackers. I just don't get paranoid. If the girls realized the illogic, though, they'd be right to question us. They know a professional cleaning crew sanitizes their classrooms every evening. I should probably be more worried about the floors at home.

(I'm not, though.)


L loves to help with her baby brother's diaper change. She selects which diaper will grace his bottom and she pulls wipes out of the container (one. at. a. time...) and hands them to me for use. She's involved - fantastic!

Until it wasn't.

As I do most afternoons, I picked the girls up from school and naturally I had their baby brother with me. As I got him out of the car I smelled that distinctive aroma letting me know that his nethers needed attention. This happens a lot at daycare pickup, so much so that I build enough time into being at school to attend to his changing and feeding demands. I use the infant room's changing table and rocking chair. That will be his classroom soon enough, so I figure I'm just giving him a head start on familiar surroundings. And at the end of the day, when the younger kids have all abandoned their classrooms to that noble evening cleaning crew and gathered in E's class to play together, the girls get extra time to run around, so everybody's happy.

Except for the other night, when I arrived to find L midst-temper tantrum. She didn't want to play, so she wanted to be my helper with her brother's diaper. And she didn't want to use the infant room, she wanted him to be changed on the table in her room, the two-year-old room, and she didn't want to stand by me as usual, she wanted to climb up on the table with him, because it's her table.

She loves that table because it has a pull-out ladder so the kids can climb themselves up to assume the position. She wanted G to climb up, too. She wasn't satisfied with the explanation that he'll have to learn how to sit up before he can climb up. To prove her point, she didn't wait for me as I gathered baby, diaper, wipes. She climbed up and pointed to where I should lay her baby, his diaper, her wipes.

As I nakedized his bottom I paid little attention to her actions, assuming she was opening the wipes, as per custom. Instead, to my surprise and dismay, she was donning a pair of the blue latex gloves that her teachers wear when they wipe bottoms.

The dancing double standard. I couldn't convince her that she could skip the gloves because it was an inter-family diapering event. And it took forever, because she lacked the coordination to remove the wipes while she wore gloves. So she would remove her glove, remove a wipe, replace her glove; then remove her glove, remove the second wipe, replace her glove. Unfortunately, I needed many, many wipes.

Was I entitled to my surprise? Probably not - the girls do love to adhere to the rules they learn. Was I entitled to my dismay? Yes.

Those two gloves had already been lying on the table, inside-out, when L climbed up. Those gloves were pre-used. Pin It


Nonnash said...

Funniest story in a long time!
Oh, btw, we (by we I mean G) knocked L's oranges out of the fridge and all over the floor the other day. I started to panic and then I realized they were L', so I shrugged, scooped them back into the container and put them back in the fridge. :)

Courtney said...

I found your blog today and was amazed by how similar our lives are. I just had baby #3 on February 10th and my oldest daughter turns 4 on Monday :). When is your oldest daughter's birthday. Your son even looks like my son in some of his pics. Pretty funny. Isn't life crazy now? I can't ever get a moment of rest these days :).

noteverstill said...

Courtney, our oldest turned four on January 26. I love that they'll be so close together as they grow, bit I absolutely empathize-- we're not sleeping much now, either :)

MommyWise said...

Hilarious! nicely written too