Adventures in parenting

Avonlea woke up in a good mood this morning. 

It would not last long. 

To be more specific, her demeanor shifted right around the end of breakfast. It was around this time that Donnette decided to do her (A’s) hair, *1* and while I don’t think this decision led to the change, it certainly marked the moment when everything went south. 

As Donnette began to comb her hair, Avonlea started thrashing around in her chair like a wounded water buffalo. Upon being freed from her confinement, Avonlea ran into the next room, where I’m convinced that she used her time to converse with the Dark Lord over how to best torment me for the next hour before we left for school. From that point, it was just on, to the degree that Donnette commented that her two little pig tails *2* sort of looked like horns on her head. Then she went to work. 

Avonlea would spend the next hour engaged in what is known in Military tactics as guerrilla warfare. Take Oliver’s toys. Poke him. Scream. Loose her junk. Go to timeout. Repeat. Somehow I managed to sate her for a few minutes by letting her watch a youtube clip of the 2008 Olympic Men’s 4×100 Freestyle relay race. *3* This calmed her down some, but as no race lasts forever, I wasn’t half way through the breakfast dishes before calamity had struck again. 

Did I mention that Oliver is teething? 

We only live two to three minutes away from Avonlea’s preschool, so I don’t usually leave the house until just before nine. Everyone was dressed, we were all ready to go, we were walking out the door, except that I couldn’t find Oliver’s carseat, and while I’ve considered just leaving him at home while I take Avonlea to school, I’m pretty *4* certain that Donnette would kill me. I couldn’t find Oliver’s carseat because last night after dinner, when we went for ice cream we took Donnette’s car, and didn’t bring the carseat in when we got home. We didn’t take it out this morning either, and so Oliver’s seat was in the parking lot of Composite Resources, which is about 2.8 miles away from doing me any good. *5* 

I grabbed our double stroller and walked the kids to school, but not before I called Donnette to chastise her, ever so slightly, for leaving me in a lurch. Truthfully, that’s probably the most annoying part of this. Were the situation reversed, and i were the offending party, it would have been deemed to be nothing short of moral infortitude. *6* Years from now there would still be tales of when I absconded with the carseat. As it was, there was a quick apology, and that was that. I really didn’t have all that much to be upset about. It’s the end of June, yet it wasn’t even 80 outside when I left, and I needed the exercise anyways. Still, I hope this incident is good for a get-out-of-jail-free card sometime in the future, because, let’s be honest here, I’m probably going to need it. As I was walking home, I noticed a woman in a Nissan Sentra, with three kids, ages maybe five to two, all in her car, not in carseats, not even in seat belts, which was a good reminder that, whether in France or South Carolina, common sense should always trump inculturation. 

School didn’t seem to do much to change Avonlea’s disposition, but was good for wearing her out, and at least that’s something. I ran into a friend while I was out this morning, who commented that she was going to avoid she-devils by simply not having any girls. I reminded her that unless she planned to stop with the one boy she currently has, that the gender decision isn’t really up to her, and besides, despite the affairs of the morning, there really is nothing better than having a little girl anyways. Avonlea can be a terror, but she can also be, and far more often is, an absolute joy, sweet and kind in a way that only a little girl can be. 

I know at the very least, if you offered me another little girl right now, even after this morning, I wouldn’t turn you down. She’ll just need to come with her own carseat. 



*1* There is a noticeable difference between what Avonlea’s hair looks like when I do it, and when Donnette takes over, and with the increase in humidity that accompanies these summer months, this chore will continue to be my wife’s. 

*2* This is normally my favorite look on our daughter, but today they looked particularly menacing. 

*3* It would take over 1,000 words to explain how we came to settle upon this video. 

*4* Quite

*5* Before I go any further, I want to point out that I was not the one who left the seat in the car. When we got back to the house, I took Avonlea to see the bunnies that live in the yard across the street from us while Donnette brought Oliver inside. In all fairness to Donnette, Oliver + carseat weighs more than 30 lbs, so she is justified in not wanting to haul that thing in, but still, all she had to do was ask!

*6* This is not a word, but it is a thing. 


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