Life is a classroom.

Beth, with her faux medical bag in hand, explains “this will just take a minute daddy.” She opens her bag and produces a stethoscope. She puts the ear pieces up to her ears, pulls up my shirt and reassures me, in her best bed-side manner: “this won’t hurt daddy, this won’t hurt, this will just take a minute daddy. . . .There, you feel better now daddy?”

Where does she come up with this stuff?

No laughing matter, really.

What do you get when you don’t take a crap for a week?

I’m afraid that there is no punch line to this one. But it does describe Beth’s condition last week. She was full of crap. As of Friday, she had not moved her bowels since the Friday prior, and she was not happy. We went to see the good doctor, and he had us give her two (yes two) enemas per day for the duration of the weekend (Friday – Sunday). Adding insult to injury, he also prescribed a prescription strength laxative which made her throw up. Beth, still wary of things being poked into any of her body cavities, particularly those south of the navel, was not pleased by this solution.

The phone rings. . .”Hi, I’m Elizabeth Kauffman’s mother. She’s a patient of Dr. Hennessey. . . .The prescription he gave her seems to be making her throw up.” “Well, throwing up is not a side effect of that medication.” “Well, she was not throwing up before she started taking it, and now that we stopped giving it to her, she isn’t throwing up any more. . . ”

Beth did have several industrial sized deposits in her diaper throughout the weekend, so hopefully the bank will continue to except regular withdrawals without such drastic measures in the future. We therefore did make it through the weekend, aided by plenty of KY Jelly.

The phone rings this evening. . .


“Hi, this Marie from Dr. Kornfeld’s office. Can I speak with Elizabeth please?”

“Ah. . . well I guess you could, but it wouldn’t be a very meaningful conversation. . . .”

(As it turns out, they were just calling to confirm an appointment, but I thought it was funny that they asked to speak with Beth. It was a first.)

A Lesson in Physics

Beth, doing her best impersonation of Isaac Newton, reaffirmed a couple of principles this evening: mommy and daddy’s rules are for good reason, and gravity plays no favorites.

Beth was in the family room when she decided Stuart Little was no longer worthy of her undivided attention. “Daddy, could you please give me my balloons?” I promise you I handed them to her innocently, with no idea what she would do with them… despite a couple years of practice as a parent.

Beth has taken to throwing things since staying in the hospital, in any direction that is convenient. Tonight it had unintended consequences.

Back to the balloons. Balloons in general, particularly the large foil – helium filled variety, are not very good for throwing. They’re all surface and no mass. Enter the rock ballast. Wrap it in foil, tie a couple of foil balloons to it with ribbon, it’s still a rock; and it still hurts when its dropped on your scull from 2 – 3 feet in the air. This is just what Beth achieved when, from a lying position, she awkwardly heaved the foil covered rock in the direction that tragically was most convenient at the time – straight up. Actually, I’m not sure if the rock technically hit her in the scull – unless the jaw/mouth is considered part of the scull (high school anatomy escapes me at the moment). Since teeth don’t bruise, and none of them were knocked out, the mishap left no visible marks or scars. There was just a bruised ego (if a 3 year old’s ego can be bruised), and hopefully a lesson as to why she should listen to mommy and daddy when they tell her not to do something.

Anyone got odds on wether I’ve learned anything?

You must be proud. . .

Today, Beth and her classmates did face painting in class today. The only problem was they were not using paint, the activity was not sanctioned by the school, and Beth was the leader. And to top it off, it turns out Beth contributed more than her leadership skills, she also “contributed” the “paint”, obtained “south of the border.”

Snapshot of an evening

DADDY: “Beth, are you going to say goodbye to mommy, she’s going to exercise.”

BETH: “Bye daddy.”

DADDY: “Beth, I’m not going anywhere.”

BETH: “I’m going to go exercise with mommy.”

MOMMY: “I’m sorry Beth, you can’t go tonight. You can go this weekend. Can you say goodbye to mommy?”

BETH: “Goodbye Beth.”

MOMMY: “I’m not Beth, you’re Beth.”

BETH: “Bye Beth.”

MOMMY: “Bye Beth.” (mommy goes out the door)

DADDY: “What’s your name?”

BETH: “John Jacob Jingle Smith.”

DADDY: “Did you learn a new song in school today?”

BETH: “My name is John Jacob Jingle Smith.”

DADDY (singing): “John Jacob Jingleheimer Smith, his name is my name too.”

BETH: “No, my name is John Jingle Smith. You’re daddy.”

DADDY: “You’re silly.”

BETH: “No, I’m John Jingle Smith”

A Little Helper.

There was a little girl in church today helping her mother usher. We’ll call her Beth. Now Beth was having a grand time helping hand out messengers to people as they entered the church. Her mother, we’ll call her Cheryl, was impressed that Beth was so good at this task. Beth stood at her post, with a stack of messengers in her hand, and dutifully handed one to each person as they approached. Beth delivered each messenger with a big smile. Uncharacteristically, she was very responsive to people when they asked her questions. She just loved all of the attention that the people gave her. She got to like it so much that she got a little impatient when someone lingered at the door with the greeters. She walked up to the tardy party, straying from her post, and thrust a messenger into their hand saying (with authority), “here.” When these people took notice, and paid her the attention she felt she was due, they asked her, “Are you helping your mommy?” “No”, she answered, “My mommy is helping me!”

This morning

Picture if you will, a three year old child. . .
A child standing on the arm of a futon. . .
A child standing on the arm of a futon with her knees bent like a coiled spring.

Now picture in your mind this child, under these circumstances, bouncing slightly and saying (with little evidence of restraint in her voice), “ready, set, . . .”

Welcome, to my morning.

Beth Finds New Ways to Get Into Trouble

A little while ago, Beth decided she didn’t like having to wait on us to get her food for her. She is, as you know, a big girl now. She is capable of many things, including opening doors, especially the pantry door. Beth subsequently learned the joys of getting her own food when she is hungry. This lead to Beth getting all kinds of things out of the pantry, including things we wanted her to eat, as well as those we didn’t.

Being the logical, thinking parents that we are, we decided to put a stop part of this behavior, while still encouraging her independence. We merely took the things that we didn’t want her to eat and put them on a higher shelf.

Being the logical, thinking child that she is, Beth figured she could fetch the broom and use its handle (or for that matter anything that might extend her reach) to poke items she is not supposed to have (candy and the like) off of the upper shelves.

While part of me was upset seeing this take place so soon after we moved all of that food, I had to suppress an urge to laugh out loud, thinking to myself, “that’s my girl!”