It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Parental Blindness?

Some children are pretty criers. Their enormous round eyes well up with tears, the lower lip pops out and sweetly trembles. Without being clutching and clinging, they are the very picture of pathos, and you just want to scoop right up and make it all better. Okay, me being me, depending on the reason for the tears, I might laugh at them instead, but you get the drift. Some kids are just so damned appealing when they cry.

And some kid? Some kids, there is no way around it, are not pretty criers. Their eyes go red, their face goes blotchy, their mouth goes square, and the snot and drool flow as liberally as the tears. Snot and drool which get smeared on your clothing as they cling and scratch, scrambling up your body. Of course I respond to their tears, just as I would to the Gerber baby’s tears, but appealing? Not so much.

As far as I can make out, their parents are oblivious. To them, their child’s tears are sweetly adorable. But who knows? If you were to watch me with the less-than-adorable child, you wouldn’t know that, deep down inside, part of me is going, “Ew. Can you just swallow all that drool, please??” So maybe the parents are having a layered response, doing the right parenting thing even as they think less worthy thoughts.

I dunno. How would I find out? Can you picture that conversation? “So, your kid’s really pretty gross when she cries, isn’t she? How do you deal with that?”



My own kids? They were all pretty criers.

Sez me.

But now I wonder. I don’t have any videos of them crying. Maybe they were all horribly unappealing criers. Maybe they grossed people out left, right, and centre. Maybe they were blotchy and whiny and snotty and drooly and just overall ‘bleah, ew, step back from my shirt, kid’ … to anyone else but their besotted mummy. Maybe mother love protects our children, and prevents us from seeing what is obvious to the rest of the world.

I think I’m pretty objective about my kids, all in all… but of course, you can’t be 100% objective.

When my eldest was a mere day or two old, I was presented with a passport-sized photo of my new baby girl. It was the practice of that hospital to take a picture of the babies, so that the parents could put them in birth announcements if they liked.

I looked at the picture in dismay. “They can’t be serious!” I thought. “Put THAT in a birth announcement?” When I described it to the grandparents a week or so later, I said, “They made her look like a slug with eyeballs!” And we all leaned over the cradle and agreed that our preshush sweetums did NOT look like a slug with eyeballs, oh no, she didn’t!!!

But now I wonder… It’s just possible that, 24 hours after her birth, she was not the beautiful girl she grew to be. Maybe, 24 hours after her birth, that picture was an accurate representation of my sweet daughter. Maybe, 24 hours after birth, the picture made her look like a slug with eyeballs… because she looked like a slug with eyeballs.

So I wonder about the generous blindness mother nature gives parents (and grandparents).

What do you think? Do you know any kids who are just, well, kind of ugly criers? And do their parents know it?

September 27, 2011 Posted by | eeewww, parents | , , , , | 14 Comments

Travails of a Puppy

My baby is growing up! Daisy will be six months old on Sunday, and so, to celebrate this momentous event, we

gave her an extra-juicy bone
took her to an exciting new dog park
bought her a new collar and leash

took her to the vet to have her reproductive organs yoinked.

Poor Daisy!

Now, if my surgical experience is anything to go by — which, I hasten to clarify, is NOT the same one Daisy has just endured — the actual surgery was a non-event. You go to sleep, you wake up. You wake up not even knowing you’d been asleep. Odd how that, when you sleep, you’re aware in a general way of the passage of time, but when you’re knocked out, you are not. Not at all. Weird.

But then you wake up. Which is when it gets yukky. And for Daisy, I am very, very sure that the worst part of the yukky is The Cone.

She does NOT approve of the cone. The vet calls it an “Elizabethan collar” or “E-collar” for short. Amongst dog owners in our neighbourhood, it’s known as the “Cone of Shame”, the shamelessly anthropomorphic myth being that “all the other dogs will laugh at her”.

I’m sure there’s no shame in her heart, but there sure is weariness and misery. Here she is yesterday, still all drugged up, in pain, and absolutely bewildered. “WHY are we DOING this to her? WHEN will it STOP???” (That is Indie’s crate she’s in, since she can’t get into her own. The door’s too small, you see, to admit The Cone.)

Look at her! Isn’t that pathetic? Don’t you just feel so sorry for the wee mite?

All she wanted to do was creep away someplace quiet and be miserable, but all her usual hidey-holes were banned by virtue of That Damned Collar. In the corner behind the chair? Nope. Her crate? Nope. Under the couch? No way it would fit. And yet at a certain point yesterday afternoon, she vanished.

It took a minute of rather anxious searching before I found her. She had managed, somehow, to squeeze herself under the end table beside the couch. I’ve no idea how. And awwww, more with the pathos.

My poor baybeee! That doesn’t look comfortable AT ALL. I managed to coax her out, then lifted her onto the couch. There. She at least looks comfortable now. (Depressed, but comfortable.) It might be my imagination, but it seems to me there’s a little less pain showing in her big brown eyes…

Here she receives comfort from Emma.

That orange thing against Emma’s face? It’s an ice pack. Yes, Emma does indeed have an ice-pack held against her jaw. That is because yesterday was not only The Day Daisy Lost Her Lady-bits, but also The Day Emma Lost Her Wisdom Teeth.

Whee!! do I know how to plan FUN EVENTS for my HOLIDAY!!!, or what?!?!

Now, lest you all be shocked and horrified that I am giving the DOG more post-op love and attention than my DAUGHTER, let me remind you that Emma is eighteen now. While, yes, I had lots of opportunity to take “awww, lookit my poor baaaybeeee” photos, I think I could safely put myself on Emma’s “People I NEVER want to speak to EVER AGAIN” list were I to have PUBLISHED any of the pictures.

So yes. I love my daughter. I love my daughter SO MUCH that, not only did I not post pictures of her in her swollen, blotchy, drugged-up state, I DIDN’T EVEN TAKE ANY.

That, my friends, is mother love.

But if I had taken pictures of Emma yesterday, she’d have looked much like this:


September 1, 2011 Posted by | health and safety, my kids, the dog | , , , , | 5 Comments