Lessons Learned

I’ve been told I was a bit mischevious as a small person – determined, independent with a wee bit of a stubborn streak. But come on, does that picture say anything other than sweet and innocent little angel to you?

This evening I learned the past is never far behind us…

Lesson 1: There is no such thing as “child-proof.” At best, “child-deterrent.” And if it’s two muppets conspiring – all bets are off.

Upon returning home from our evening stroll, I decided to let the muppets explore the entryway while I prepared dinner. Destroy began running laps around the island, squealing his happy scream. Suddenly the room was quiet. Both brothers were standing at the bottom of the stairs, facing each other and babbling. Then, with one extra decibelled happy scream, the gate flew open. I *knew* they were conspiring against me. Both muppets cackled manically at their triumph.

This is not good. Because while they may be skilled enough to go UP the stairs, they have not quite mastered the art of going DOWN the stairs.

Feeling the best plan of attack was a stealth distraction, I enticed them toward their high chair. As I strapped Destroy in, I heard the wine refrigerator open. Excellent choice my dear sir – a fine chardonnay to accompany this evenings prix fixe menu of boiled carrots, macaroni and cheese and applesauce.

“Search!” I said sharply, before the wine bottle clattered across the floor. Without even turning, Search calmly shut the refrigerator door before looking up at me with angelic eyes. “Yessss, beloved mother of mine? Who me do anything rascally?”


Lesson 2: Forego the red sauce. I claim shenanigans that kids don’t like sauce on their pasta. It’s the parents who don’t want to deal with the fall out.

Last night we had tortellini for dinner. This is a recent discovery and the muppets inhale the stuffed pasta faster than you can cut it, howling for more. As we progress forth on our big boy food journey, adding a bit of marinara seemed like a good idea to give the boys some flavor in their dining experience.

Lesson 2.5: Any time a parenting decision involves the phrase, “It seems like a good idea,” it is most certainly NOT a good idea.

At the conclusion of the tortellini marinara flavor burst, the muppets reclined in their high chairs – stuffed to the gills and ready to embark on more mischief. The expected reaction of any third party observer would clearly be, “Was there bloodshed?!”

In the bout of Muppets v. Marinara, I’ve gotta give the edge to the sauce. (Note to self: butter, olive oil, Italian dressing – all non-blood red in color.)


Lesson 3: Karma is a bitch.

The book “The Complete Idiots Guide to Feeding Your Infant and Toddler” suggests that growing boys may enjoy full-fat pudding. It’s soft, has flavor, and might be a delightful treat. Additionally, I could enjoy it right along with them. Tonight I decided chocolate pudding would be a good idea. (See Lesson 2.5)

Before we continue with this exciting tale, please re-familiarize yourself with the Chocolate Explosion. Trust me, it’ll make sense…

After dinner, we settled down into the living room and I gave the muppets a small taste of my JELL-O dark chocolate. Apparently it was a big hit. Blindsiding me, Destroy sideswiped the container, grabbing a handful.

He rapidly shared it with his brother. Now the two were wearing war paint pudding. Little chocolate handprints were appearing on the floor. They started circling me, marching in figure eights. I was feeling frighteningly like Gulliver on his visit to Lilliput, the Lilliputians circling him with tiny wires before he came crashing down.

Suddenly the boys made a tactical maneuver and realigned their vector position. They were headed for the white couch.

“Noooooo…” Everything transformed into slow motion. I snapped back to reality. Well played, muppets, well played. But I have experience on my side. Darling muppets, in my youth, I too engaged in pudding warfare.

“Step away from the couch! Drop the pudding and slowly step away from the couch!” In hindsight, I may have chosen an alternative command to “drop,” but at this point, I’m pretty sure all they were hearing were the “Waa Waa Waa” of adults from a Peanuts cartoon. (In no way because they aren’t smart enough to understand, but because they have an inherent natural ability to studiously ignore any contradictions to their chosen form of mischief.)

Two little heads looked up at me. Two little voices giggled ominously. And my grey sweatpants were initiated into the fraternity of chocolate pudding.

I quickly counter-attacked with wipes. The muppets resumed playing with the toys an earlier Hurricane Muppet had distributed across the room – so nonchalant, as though their attention had shifted to another activity. But I heard the babbles. I knew they were plotting, only using their toys under the guise of future conspiracies.

Who them? Such adorable innocent little angels? Embrace that determination little dudes, it worked out ok for me. But the pudding skirmish of tonight goes my way.


Filed under Family Stories, Food

8 Responses to Lessons Learned

  1. Gramma J

    First lesson: I taught you how to go down the stairs on your tummy, backwards.
    Second lesson: No food in the living room.
    Third lesson: Stubborn and determined – uh, good luck with that one.

    However, what I have experienced so far with the muppets does not come close to …. well, never mind

  2. Gramma J

    go boys go grandpaStavo is on your side ha ha ha see you soon ciao love gp Stavo

  3. Holly

    Too funny. Ask me if I’ll ever give them cut spaghetti w/marinara again. Let me think NO. =) I wonder if they get tired of that stroller. Your evening walk was their third yesterday. At least they’ll soon know their way around the neighborhood!

  4. Nancy Welker

    The only thing that made it worthwhile to come back to work was to be able to view your blog again. I don’t have a computer at home – 3 months was a long time to go without it. Between your creative and entertaining writing and the pics of your precious muppets, it truly is a bright spot to read your blog. I was laid up during the muppets birthday – Happy Belated Birthday! They are getting big so fast. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Dalia

    go muppets go! keep Momma on her toes…and don’t EVER let her claim she was an innocent lil’ thing…(if she continues to claim that, come talk to me and I can tell you all sorts of stories)

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  7. Joanne Hamann

    That chocolate pudding thing is just always destined to be a thorn in your side…

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