The phone rang right as I was in the middle of washing Natalie’s hair.
This meant that she was screaming at the top of her lungs. Natalie hates having her hair washed. I’ve tried several tactics to make the event more appealing but nothing works.
One time I started singing as I poured the water on top of Natalie’s head. My thinking was that she’d be so enthralled with the song that she’d forget that I was lathering her hair up. It seemed to work at first. I started pouring the water on her head and I was singing Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Natalie was grinning up at me—probably inwardly mocking the fact that I can’t carry a tune. But still, the point is, she wasn’t crying and busting my eardrum so I was thrilled.
But then it seemed to hit Natalie what was going on. I saw her eyes bug out in recognition.
My hair....it’s wet....I don’t like my hair to be wet. Why is my hair wet? I don’t care if my hair smells like a foot. I don’t like this!
And so, Natalie screamed as I was bellowing, “Like a diamond in the sky!”
Natalie was all, “WAHHHHHHHHH!”
And I was all, “TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR!” trying to get her mind off the hair washing.
Needless to say, it didn’t go over well.
The next time I washed her hair I tried speaking to her matter-of-factly. I think the experts are always saying that it’s best to inform your kid what’s about to happen in a no-nonsense voice. So I said firmly, “Natalie, I’m going to wash your hair now. I understand that you don’t like it but you don’t want to be known as the toddler with the rank smelling hair, do you?”
Natalie stared at me as though I were a complete idiot.
“So....” I continued, unsure of what her blank stare meant. “I’m going to wash your hair now. I’ll go quickly and it’ll be painless.” I grabbed the tiny container and filled it with water and slowly dumped it on her head.
“FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, WOMAN!” Natalie shrieked.
Well, not really. She really just screamed but she might as well have said that.
I tried the bribing.
“Natalie, if you let me wash your hair without making my ears ring in pain I’ll give you chocolate!”
She didn’t fall for that.
So I’ve basically just given up and come to the conclusion that ear plugs are the way to go when it’s hair washing day. I keep a pair by the bath and they help dull the pain.
So anyhow, as I was saying, the phone rang. I always keep the phone beside me. I took out my earplugs and when I answered I heard my husband Tom’s muffled voice on the other end.
He was all, “HELLLLOOOOO!”
Right away, I knew something was up. For starters, Tom never goes “HELLLOOOO.” He’s just not a peppy person. He usually grunts out a greeting.
“Hi,” I replied suspiciously over Natalie’s crying.
“What’s that noise? It sounds like an angry possum,” Tom said.
Excuse me? A what? An angry possum? Since when do possums scream like that? And when has Tom ever been around a possum?
Something was up.
“Tom,” I said. “Are you drunk?”
Tom started to giggle. You have to understand, my husband doesn’t giggle. He laughs. He chuckles. But he only giggles when he’s drunk. He sort of makes this high pitched “he he he” sound.
“I’m not drunk. I just had a few beers. But no, to answer your question, I am not drunk,” Tom gushed. Which basically means that he IS drunk because Tom doesn’t gush either.
I managed to quickly wash Natalie’s hair as I cradled the phone against my ear. This was not easy. Washing Natalie’s hair reminds me of what it’s like to wash a cat. Only instead of using claws on me she uses her teeth. So there I was trying to keep the phone to my ear while Natalie thrashed and tried to bite and all along Tom started shouting to someone that he could really go for some sweet and sour chicken.
“Dude! DUDE! We need some sweet and sour chicken!” Tom was yelling.
I was instantly insulted. I’ve been wanting sweet and sour chicken for months now. We used to have a Chinese food place that delivered but they had to shut down due to the economy. Yes, I nearly cried when I phoned them up to place an order and the message that clicked on told me that they had closed.
“My been lomein!” I had screeched. “Noooooo!”
“You’re having sweet and sour chicken?” I casually asked Tom as I scooped Natalie out from the bath. She was so busy throwing a fit that I don’t think she realized I had finished washing her hair. So she was still flailing her limbs all over the place and her foot kicked me right in the gut.
“Yeah. We’re starved,” Tom told me seriously.
I’m starved! And I’ve just been kicked in the gut rather fiercely by a two-year-old! Suppose I get internal bleeding?
“I hope you enjoy your Chinese food. Natalie, for goodness sakes, I’m DONE washing your hair. You can calm down now,” I said and Natalie suddenly ceased in her fit and gave me a grin as though she hadn’t just completely freaked out on me.
She is SUCH a girl.
“I will enjoy my Chinese food,” Tom said, not catching my sarcastic tone.
I got Natalie dressed and carried her downstairs as Tom prattled in my ear about the new dog he had gotten to train with.
(He’s currently on TDY at military dog training school.)
“His name is Racks,” Tom said as I sat Natalie down on the couch.
“Rex?” I replied.
RACKS!” Tom repeated.
“REX?” Surely a person wouldn’t name a dog Racks. I mean, were THEY drunk when they named the dog? What kind of name is Racks?
“RACKS! R-A-C-K-S!” Tom practically screamed. Then he giggled again.
I was losing my patience quickly. It must be nice to sit around with people who don’t try to bite you.
I switched on Blue’s Clues for Natalie so I could talk in peace. Natalie was insulted because Steve was the host and she wanted Joe.
“JOE! JOOEEEE!” she bellowed, pointing wildly at the TV in anger.
“WHO is Joe?” Tom demanded, instantly sounding all suspicious.
Oh for---seriously? Does he honestly think a man would step foot into this house of insanity? I mean, I have a daughter who bites and I have a son with ADHD who has a fascination with the human body and enjoys telling people that their food is churned up in their stomach and goes through their intestines and oh, here’s the best part, then you POOP it out.
I’ve explained to Tommy that that’s the sort of thing that people like to forget but he doesn’t seem to comprehend this.
“Joe. From Blue’s Clues,” I assured Tom.
“How do I know?” Tom wondered in a wary tone. Ever since he made friends with a guy whose wife cheated on him, Tom assumes that I’m going to do the same. But again. What man would set foot into this house? Plus, I have something called a conscience and I giggle when I tell a lie.
“Would you just TRUST me, Tom? I trust you,” I reminded him. Probably because I know he could never cheat on me either. Plus, I don’t think any other women would put up with his picky eating, the fact that he doesn’t understand what a laundry basket is used for and his empty soda cans that he litters all over the house. It’s like, Tom, dude, you know that black container in the kitchen? It’s not for decoration. It’s called a trash can and, here’s a shocking concept, we put our TRASH in it.
“I trust you,” Tom finally said though I’m not sure how serious he was.
We hung up a few minutes later. He went off to enjoy his sweet and sour chicken and I went off to enjoy watching Steve from Blue’s Clues practically leap out of his pants over the excitement of vegetables.
I think I need to get out more.