Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A "tail" of two donkeys. Plus, vomit!

That's Coco yelling at a brick wall.  She really gave that wall an earful.  Poor wall is stuck in a shame spiral and seeing a therapist now.

I'm back from Bruges.  I have once again survived traveling with my children, though this one was a really close one.  I don't have the energy to write my planned "Bruges: Friend or Foe?" post, so I will instead write a couple other things, including a delightful tale of vomit, and then go to sleep on my floor because my bed is too far away to be useful.

The day before we left for Bruges I took the kids to the park.  There's a spinny thing at the park Lucien loves because it's always full of his rowdier friends.  I usually don't let Coco ride it but she was pretty insistent this time.  She wants to do everything Lucien does, so I figured what the hell, what could possibly go wrong?  (Moms should never ask themselves this question because it's just begging for trouble.)

After I convinced the other kids to settle the eff down and stop turning the thing at warp speed, Coco got her turn.  She didn't seem to enjoy it;  she looked very serious and her brow was furrowed.  I tried to pull her off but she kicked and yelled and made it very clear she didn't want off.  It was then I realized her serious look was because she was concentrating on having THE BEST TIME OF HER LIFE.

She twirled and twirled.  I pulled her off every few minutes so the bigger kids could go nuts.  During these resting periods, she pummeled me with her tiny fists until she was back on.  And as nearly everyone but me could have predicted, after a few hundred turns in spinny thing heaven -- vomit everywhere.

Parents immediately grabbed their squealing kids and fled.  One mama stayed with me to slow the spinny thing so vomit would stop swirling all over it like a Spin Art kit.  I lifted Coco, grabbed my baby wipes and started to clean it all up.  Coco staggered around behind me like a dizzy drunk and continued to throw up on herself.  Then she walked back over and flung her leg up on the spinny thing.  My God,  she wanted back on.  Coco is determined and focused in a very scary way.

 You talkin' to me?

I didn't let her back on, of course, so she pummeled me again, only this time her fists were pretty gross.

I called Alex to tell him I was never leaving the apartment again and he reminded me I say that about twice a day and I always end up leaving the apartment again so he doesn't believe me anymore.  But really, I just shouldn't leave. 

I left again this evening for Lucien's end-of-year school fair.  (Who the hell has a school fair on a Tuesday night??  Our stupid school, that's who.)  I'd signed Alex up to work a booth from 7:30 to 8:30p.m.  My thinking was he'd have plenty of time to get there after work and I could abscond early with the children who are still tired from Bruges so are cranky and horrible. 

Then suddenly Alex got on a plane and went to Spain for work, leaving me alone to face the late shift at a Pin the Tail on the Donkey booth while keeping tabs on two ticked-off children, both of whom have proven to have poor self-control, overwhelming independent streaks, and zero boundaries.  Giddy-up.

I knew going in I was not going to man the Pin the Tail on the Donkey booth very well.   I also knew I could approach it in one of two ways:  I could give everyone the full American -- run in with a big smile and profuse apologies for not giving my undivided attention to the donkey's ass and then distract them all by writing my name with sparklers. Or I could give 'em the Frenchie -- work my booth for however long I felt like working my booth, then wander away.  If anyone said anything to me, shrug.

Gaspard's mom was scheduled to work the donkey booth with me.  I've never made an ass of myself in front of Gaspard's mom so was excited for the opportunity.  She looked mystified as I blubbered something about trying to help, but husband in Barcelona and daughter in the middle of the wading pool at the fishing game.  Gaspard's mom didn't understand me, but she felt sorry for me and gave me a few encouraging words as I ran past her time and time again chasing Coco, the BEAST.  Coco dove in water.  She grabbed rings and balls straight from kids' hands.  She took their toys.  She took their food.  She made them cry. 

I SAID, you talkin' to me????
Dang, she has big eyes that see into my soul.

Lucien, happily, surprisingly, was an angel.  He had fun with his friends and was a big help to me;  when I asked him to bring Coco a plate of food, he returned with a plate of five hundred marshmallows.

I couldn't even remotely help any kid pin the tail on on the goddamn donkey.  I gave up and wandered off eventually but did it with a big American smile -- and I shrugged at people as I carried a wriggling, screaming child under my arm out the door with a sparkler between my teeth.  I'm really feeling the combined influence of both cultures now. 

Vomit.  Donkeys.  Marshmallows.  I feel good about this one. 


carina@a punk, a pumpkin and a peanut said...

What is the deal with these tiny ones and their fists? My smallest is a slapper, and it's usually in public for my total humiliation. He is so charming when we are in our own home. Rascals.

I loved your post and applaud you for even attempting to man a booth with little ones in tow!

g said...

mj -too damn funny!! always a good chuckle...but this one--- out and out laughing to myself-you know i check in daily, but comment infrequently- couldn't let this one go!

Kiki said...

I am embarrassed at how long I laughed at this. Laughed so long and so hard that I cried. I can only imagine how the French parents responded, because, *le gasp*- French kids NEVER vomit. ;) Bless Coco, and her naturally amusing self.

MJ said...

I have not been good at replying to comments lately. I am going to try harder.

Carina! Hi there! Coco, too, usually saves her worst stuff for public. I was promised an "easy" kid the second time, after having such a challenge with the Loosh, but that doesn't seem to have happened. I guess none of them are really "easy" anyway.

Hi G -- I appreciate you stopping by to say hello. Nice to know you're around.

Kiki, now that you mention it, I've never seen a French kid vomit. Yet another cultural difference!

Sometimes I feel like one of those overexposed reality TV stars. Everyone's staring at me and watching what I'm doing, but they all really, desperately want me to go away.

Bye, everybody. Have good days or nights or whatever it is wherever you are.

Duchesse said...

I shudder when I think of Coco´s terrible two´s...;)

Like every self-respecting French Canadian, I like me a good scatological anecdote:) This whole story about vomit made my day (while making me a bit queasy):)

So you went to Bruges, eh? Pretty and quaint, isn´t it? I´ve been three times, so I think I´m all Bruges´d out:)

debbie in toronto said...

Any blog with vomit is okay by me...cant believe how big miss cokes is now....what a cutie!

The picture with the wall ...priceless

DaVicious said...

Adorable pics. She should be in commercials somewhere. Modeling some tough baby biker wear or something.

Scott said...

Reading this post reminds me of life as a college freshman:

1. Doing new things that you think are fun;
2. Becoming ill;
3. Repeating steps 1 and 2;
4. Eating lots of food of dubious nutritional value; and
5. Looking up words like "scatological."

MJ said...

Duchesse! I can't even think about Coco's Terrible Twos. It will age me greatly.

Debbie -- love that you and Duchesse are so supportive of the vomit. Appreciate it.

Thanks, Davicious. Coco would definitely be at home in biker gear. She's a pistol. Not a bad thing.

Scott -- right on. Excellent.

Steve said...

Just in case anyone still doubt it, I can confirm French kids *do* vomit. At least my daughter does. She had a very very nasty habit during her first year at la maternelle: Every single day, during her 3 or 4 first months at la maternelle, as soon as a dog poo was at sight during our way to l'école (and God knows how this is predictable in Paris streets), she was vomiting.
The poor thing finally got accustomed to this fun part of parisian folklore, and eventually stopped spilling her petit-déjeûner on the pavement.

MJ said...

Hi Steve! Vomit! The tie that binds us all!

(indeed, dog poo's a tough one to avoid. Yikes...glad she got over it...)

Anonymous said...

You live the LIFE girlfriend! Woo hoo!

Thank God there is wine.

I'll join you next week and we can swap puke stories. Let me know if you want me to ship any Oxyclean!

Take care,

April said...

Cokes gives new meaning to the phrase "It's like talking to brick wall". And I am sure that somewhere it is written that marshmallows are good for you. Great post as usual. I LOL'ed for real.

likeschocolate said...

I would be in trouble if I had a little girl with such giant eyes. What is with Bruges? It seems like everyone is writting about it these days.

Beth said...

You've never seen a French kid vomit? Well, maybe not, but who the heck invented "le gastro" ?? There have been no butt-shots for nausea or Smecta packets in our lives since arriving in Great Brittin.

Just sayin'.

Hey, nice hoodie, Cokes!! xoxo NYM

Danna said...

Okay... I haven't had this experience (my baby turns 30 in December) but this made me laugh out loud. "Like a Spin Art Kit" Priceless. Thanks from Northern Minnesota.

Leif Hagen said...

Salut MJ,
I found your fun, sassy, interesting blog through Virginia's "Paris through my lens" blog. She's a fellow "City Daily Photo" blogger. We're hoping to take our 3 little darlings to Paris next summer - you know, see the Eiffel tower and hit a few other touristy places, visit two French families and their kids 'a Paris....
Bonjour d'EAGAN daily photo blog in friendly Minnesota


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