Friday, April 07, 2006

Cat Fight

Ugh, not a fun day so far. Today we weren't officially kicked out of the house like yesterday, but by 10:00 a.m. the house was a swirling tundra because we haven't had heat in a few days (on account of the furnace having been removed) and the front door was wide open so the guys could come in and out. I was shivering and wishing I could go into the bedroom and climb under the covers. Then Jarrah woke up screaming, finally, from some crash or other, and she had only napped an hour so she was rather peeved. I managed to get her changed but she was awfully curious about the nice men and their big ladders, and there was one moment when I turned my back and the next time I looked her little mouth was stuffed with cellulose insulation. I screamed, "Spit that out!" and jammed a few fingers in there just in time, which of course did not go over well and I decided that we would be dining out for lunch today.

We went to Soup Plantation because I had such a good experience there with Mary and Joy, but it's really not the same having lunch out with just a baby. In fact, I ended up feeling a bit dopey, digging through my salad with my fingers while making such scintillating banter as "You love garbanzos, don't you?" and "Red cabbage is too a food. Watch mama eat a piece. Mmmm!" Here is what it's like to eat with Jarrah: while I was wiping her down with some Huggies, having rolled up the Tidy Diner and pushed my plate to the other side of the table, she reached through my arms and extended her fingertips like jazz hands until she secured a single pea that I'd missed. Then she popped it in her mouth. A little post-prandial treat, if you will, to refresh the palate.

Afterwards, we drove to Jen's house to hang out for a while, and to feed her cat, Irv. Irv is a gorgeous black and white fluffy beast that Jarrah thinks is a dog. He's also the kind of cat that is not going to run hither and thither just because a toddler keeps whacking him; he remained regally perched, glowering, as our happy-go-lucky heroine repeatedly twirled hunks of his fur, and I'm sure you can guess this is a cautionary tale.

Jarrah was demonstating nappus interruptus by doing things like bursting into crocodile tears when her efforts to shove my sunglasses onto my face proved asymmetrical, so I decided it was time to go. I dashed into the bathroom for a quick pee, and when I came out it was eerily silent. Oh well, I reasoned, ("Oh well" seems to be my predominant thought these days) and started stuffing our strewn belongings back in the diaper bag. Then I heard a mighty scream, the kind that comes after a nasty spill. I went running, and Jarrah was sitting on the floor, hysterical. I scooped her up and "there, there'd," not seeing any lumps. But she kept screaming, out the door and into the car seat. It was when I was strapping in her left arm that I saw the blood. ACK! Two deep claw slashes, each about an inch long, on her forearm, and a lot of smeared redness. My knees buckled. I scrambled for a Purell wipe, not sure what else to do. She did seem to appreciate the gesture, and stopped crying while I swabbed her arm. For some reason I actually felt light-headed seeing her blood for the first time, and it wasn't even serious. I could tell that my crestfallen face was making her cry harder, and I couldn't seem to stop myself. I guess it's a lesson that most toddlers have to learn, though.

As you may have begun to discern, Jarrah is an indiscriminate snacker. This was proved yet again this afternoon when I brought her shopping for our dinner. My policy is to hand her items from the cart whenever appropriate, generally boxes that shake or frozen goods she can chew on, and to switch them out for "new and improved" items when she starts to lose interest. She was particularly pleased with a plastic sack of shoestring french fries, and I applauded myself on the trifecta of grocery goodness: easy to hold, pleasingly squishy, and icy cold on the gums. I let my mind wander in the frozen dessert section, and when I looked up Jarrah was holding a long french fry erect, sucking on it. "What?" I yelled out loud, snatching the package from her hands. How had she extracted the fry from this hermetically sealed package? Is she some kind of magician prodigy? Then I saw the tell-tale teeth marks, and the hole big enough to worm a single fry through. I yanked the fry out of her hand and she screamed, so I handed it back. She proceeded to chomp that frozen fry down to a nub. "All right," I told her, "if eating raw potatoes is what blows your skirt, who am I to stand in the way?" I'm getting a little nervous that it seems to be dawning on Jarrah that the supermarket is filled with, well, snacks. Tons and tons of snacks, in colorful, easy-to-reach displays. There may be a lot of take-out in our future.


Mary and Paul said...

Oh, I am so sorry about the scratches! I keep waiting for it to happen to Joy. She tried to pick up Isabella tonight and I thought it might happen. But Isabella made a quick dash for her safe zone.

I miss you guys! Let's get together soon!



Amy said...

Sam you crack me up! But I too am sorry to hear that Jarrah got swiped by the fun indeed. My playroom is almost finished. So we would love to have you guys down soon. But I will warn you my house is far from babyproofed for a toddler. Zoe is not quite crawling, but belly scooting and rolling with alaming speed. So there are some baby gates in our immediate purchasing future!
;)Miss you guys!

Anonymous said...

Nanna'a advice: never trust animal or toddler when left alone together. Our very docile cocker spaniel suddenly turned savage when a visiting toddler pushed her fingers up his nostrils. Nor is the animal safe either: as a three yearold I hugged my brother's guinea pig to death (quite literally). Love J