Posted by: Joan Spiller | May 3, 2010

It’s snowing!


So I think I have mentioned already that CJ was an angelic thing as a young child. I do recall one tantrum (hers, not mine) in her entire toddler-hood. Of course, in classic CJ style: it was the mother of all tantys – it was long, loud and embarassing .. After a fairly earnest discussion with me later, it proved to be the one and only tanty she threw. Do have to give her credit for making it a goodun tho.

No, wait – I lie .. there was that one time she stood her ground: She jutted her quivering (with a mix of rage and fear, I’d guess) little chin out at me, stomped her foot and said “NO” to me .. she was 10yo and clearly feeling very brave. But more on that one later.. this is meant to be where I go on a bit about what an adorable child she was.. 

See, being an only child with a stay @ home Mum meant CJ and I got to ‘hang out’ a lot together. We were each other’s playmates, companions and friends. Most of the time..
This did mean that life was pretty tiring for me! No wonder they need naps – trying to keep up with a turbo-charged toddler is no walk in the park!

But now and then we’d do our own thing: I’d collapse on the couch in the living room and she’d toodle about playing quietly. That was the rules: I liked quiet play!

On this particular day CJ was in the kitchen playing. One of her fave things (less so my fave thing for her to do, I must say) was to haul all the pots out of my cupboards and play with them. I never was able to work out why hauling them out was so much more fun than stacking them back in?!?

At the time we lived in a ghastly little two bedroom flat in Auckland. But one plus of this flat was it had an open plan kitchen and lounge. Split by a ‘half wall’, that hid the bench from sight. It also hid the kid from sight. But I could hear her, so it wasn’t an issue. She was chit chatting to herself. Quietly. She’d hum and talk and bang the odd pot and pan about and I could hear every word, almost hear her breathing: she was only a few feet from me after all.

Without being too concerned, I listened in at one point and heard her say the usual things when playing in the kitchen .. and also: “ohh snow”. No big deal, she was learning all sorts of words and used them at odd times ..Certainly nothing seemed awry at this point.

LITTLE DID I KNOW.

Tuning her out and going back to my book, I left her to it..

mm oohh it’s snowing“..

Bang.
Scritch scriff crash.
Clonk, Clang (I do wish I had those nice silicon quiet pots back then!!!) ..

Hmm hmm la la .. happy noises .. fun times .. “Oooh .. wheeee .. snoooow” ..
La la no worries, all’s ohhh snoooowwww” ok ..

It was a good book, a Robin Cook medical thriller.
I remember it well.
Trauma does this to you, I’m told.
It must be true cos I can’t name any other book I was reading back when CJ was 2 and a half years old!

Anyway the theme word “snow” started to penetrate thru’ the painfully putrifying kidneys in my book and reluctantly I stopped reading and started paying attn to CJ in the next room..

“mm whee hee snow .. it’s snowing .. oh snow” and so it went on.

At this point I heard what can only be described as a guilty silence. Maybe even a nervous silence..

Then I heard another cupboard open.
More silence.
Scuffle, swoosh, scrape.
Hmm ..still more of that same deathly quiet and oh so nervous silence..

Cleaning” was all she said at this point, in a not so cheery sounding voice to herself.

OK – I had to go look at this stage in case she’d gotten into the verboten cupboard: the one with all the kitchen cleaners in it.

So I snuck into the kitchen, peered around the corner and there (see below) was this rotten little kid frantically wiping a damp kitchen cloth thru’ 5kg (10lb!!) of flour on the floor.
Cleaning!

Let it snow, let it snoowww, let it .. NOOO! 

Although in the pic she’s grinning, she was also crapping herself, she SO knew she was up excrement creek without even a glimmer of propulsion equipment but I guess the fact that I didn’t growl but instead ran off to get my camera meant she kinda knew she would live to tell the tale?

So, lessons from this include:

1. Flour in the washing machine = glue.
2. If your kid is being quiet, they’re bound to be up to no good.
3. When the words your kid is saying don’t quite stack up with what you THINK they are doing: DON’T delay! Check it out!

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