Newsletter, Olivia

Month 34

Dear Olivia,

We just returned from our annual trip to Nanette’s cabin and I have to admit that those four days with you and Miles were harder than labor.  Imagine if you will, a cabin with nine raucous children and four frantic mothers.  Well, in all honesty, I think I was the most frantic because I was the mother with the two most difficult children.  Either you or Miles was always crying and sometimes it was at the same time.  Miles couldn’t be put down for more than fifteen minutes and you went on a potty strike.  You took one look at the State Park bathroom facility and screamed bloody murder, legs flailing frantically in the air as I picked you up to place you on the toilet.  To be honest, I wouldn’t even use that particular bathroom last year when we were there and while eight months pregnant, decided that it was easier and cleaner to pee in a bush which ended up being right above a massive ant hill which I didn’t discover until my crotch hovered an inch above ground and I was already midstream.  The bathroom is a dank four wall cell with an outhouse toilet above ground.  There was no poo smears against the toilet this year but the same infestation of flies circled over head.  I really wanted you to use the toilet so I made the sacrifice and showed you that Mommy can use that particular toilet.  I’m thinking the visual of me holding my breath while closing my eyes wasn’t the confidence boost you were looking for.  I quickly jumped out of there and said, “See, not so bad – your turn.”  You spun around so quickly and booked it back to the river.  Ok, I’m not going to hold this one against you – that toilet was where things go to die.

I figured if you weren’t going to approve of the given bathroom amenities, I would then have to teach you real outdoor skills such as popping a squat right there in the river.  You being the subtle one would waddle over in to practically a group of people right in the middle of the river and hover over the water.  After ten seconds or so, you would declare, “I CAN’T PEE!”  You would clamor out of the water hysterical because you had to relieve yourself and had no where to go so you would just pee in your bathing suit.  We did this routine every 30 minutes or so and occasionally you would scream that you had to poop.  Lovely.  What is one to do when you won’t even pee in the water.  With a small child’s inner tube that was left behind at the picnic area, I found large rocks and used that to prop up the inner tube to create a makeshift toilet.  Bear Grylls would be so proud.  I tried to conceal you from the group of very curious boys we were bunking with but unfortunately your screams kept them intrigued.  Of course since I’m tending to your bathroom crisis, Miles has to be held by someone else and we all know how well your brother takes to anyone holding him besides me.  At one point, one of the very snarky eight year old boys runs up to me and says, “both of your children are crying – what are you going to do about it.”  I bent down and looked him dead in the eye and said, “I’m going to let you take care of it.  How does that sound?”  The boy was smarter than his question alluded him because his face suddenly changed and he realized I was in no joking mood.

Over the course of our trip, you had countless accidents ranging from peeing on the couch to full on diarrhea in your bathing suit.  At the end of our day at the lake, the fourth poop in your bathing suit was the final straw.  We were already in the process of packing up the cars at the end of the day and I had already packed the diaper bag with your change of clothes.  You had a massive blowout in your bathing suit so I couldn’t exactly make you wear a soiled bathing suit on our trek back to the car.  Miles was hysterically screaming while I allowed a nine year old to push him in a stroller back to the car.  I made the very appropriate decision to let you walk back to the car sans underpants.  You were still wearing your life jacket so I left you in that and only that.  I could hear the distant screams from your brother and I knew we had to leave and we had to leave now.  I’m balancing roughly four scooters in one arm along with an umbrella and your brother’s play tent all the while trying to wrangle you back to the car.  At that moment, I noticed your life jacket crotch strap dragging behind you so I picked it up and used it as a leash.  You would begin to wander off the path and I would tug the crotch strap to bring you back on on the trail.  I’m certain that image was well received by the numerous families enjoying a lovely lakeside picnic.  Did I mention that it was a very long four days and I reached a point where I just couldn’t and didn’t care?

I think this was a trip where you were just declaring that you’re just not an outdoors kind of gal.  I get that but I wish you weren’t so harsh in your declaration.  Besides, you were one of two girls in this dirty boy sausage fest and one boy in particular was quite the quintessential perv who seemed to be a little too interested in your nether region so I think it’s for the best you don’t return to this event for sometime, if ever.  In case you’re wondering, there was a seven year old boy who was very enthusiastic about taking you to the bathroom.  I declined his offer.  Little pervert.

You recently experienced your first midnight hippie drum circle which I think may have traumatized you.  We were at the California Music Festival which we attend every year and one night you stayed up late.  I have been to this drum circle before and knew what to expect.  I thought you may have enjoyed the sound of thirty plus drums beating in to a rhythmic trance while bodies gyrated freely around.  Apparently this was a sensory overload for you because you gripped all ten toes and fingers in to me with a grip like no other and buried your head in to my neck like a troll was coming after you.  Apparently hippie circles aren’t your thing either.  Damn, when did you become the high maintenance princess?

I have mentioned it before but your Father and I really have to watch our language around you.  You are starting a Christian preschool in a few short weeks and apparently I loosely throw around the name Jesus a little too often.  I overheard you in the bathroom trying to pull up your underwear and shorts and out of frustration you yelled, “Jesus, what’s going on here!”  Strike one.  I can just imagine how this will go over at the preschool when you spill your fingerpaint and you holler, “Jesus, look at this mess!”  We apparently have to watch how you also may interpret words.  Last night, your Father asked you to jump in to the bathtub.  Obviously he meant this loosely as, get in.  You took the words literally and stood on the edge of the bathtub and were about to actually jump in before your Father could stop you.  I was also surprised to discover how quickly you can pick up songs.  I was singing to myself a song that could be categorized as baby-making music (you’ll know what this is one day).  It’s a damn catchy song and it goes kind of along the lines of rubbing your body or something like that.  I was singing it to myself quietly while cleaning and in the other room I heard you repeat, “calm your body, calm your body.”  Not an exact translation but you’re definitely treading a little close to the exact words.  Our Christian preschool is just going to love us – with you throwing around the name Jesus, singing Ludacris and now, your sudden interest in kissing random boys.

Yes, you kiss random boys in swim class and your Father and I are thrilled.  I mean who wouldn’t be thrilled to watch their daughter tirelessly throw themselves at random children?  Even after certain boys are removed from your particular class, you will still see them in the pool and as you swim by them, you continue to bat your eyelashes and blow kisses.  It was a little cute the first time but then it was like, geez Liv – save something for the honeymoon if you catch my drift?

You continue to torture your brother with panache.  A new game you have recently picked up is to yell, “HEY MILES!” when he begins to fall asleep.  The first few times you did it in the car, I nearly swerved in to oncoming traffic.  You mock him when he cries which is really enjoyable to listen to when your brother is already hysterical.  Your vocabulary is improving but it still gets garbled when you talk really fast.  You typically garble your words when you’re talking back to me and I sense that what you’re saying is not good much the same way I know when I’m at a nail salon and the women start talking in their foreign language and you just know in your gut they’re talking about you and not in a pleasant way.  Yea, same thing.

The recent cabin trip was certainly a killer and I was horribly embarrassed by your behavior.  Unfortunately I think that just may be life with a toddler.  We have a ten day excursion to the East Coast tomorrow which I’m sure will be chock-full of cheek reddening, sweaty ass goodness.  I have determined that life with a toddler means you can never really expect anything to happen quite the way you imagine but you just have to go with it even if it means whipping out the life jacket for a little leash action. If I really want to be cruel, I will videotape it.  Hello payback!

Love,

Momma

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  • Reply Cabin Fever – HelloHappy March 8, 2016 at 6:58 pm

    […] children and not and most of my experiences have been storytelling worthy. You can read about those here and here. The cabin is just north of the delightful town of Murphys and resides in the teeny-tiny […]

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