Well, well, well. What do we have here?
It's our favorite floozy, in quite a state of dishabille. Her tresses are tousled because..look! She's out of the box! She's out of the box! That means that pooping on the potty has occurred!
I repeat. Pooping on the potty has NOT taken place in our home, at least by one little girl named Annabel. So save your high fives for someone else.
If you don't know the Barbie back story, or what I'm talking about, then click here.
Why is Babs out of the box, you ask? Do you want the long version, or the short one?
I guess you don't get to choose, so you're getting the long one.
I was making dinner one day last week, and Bill got home from work while I was doing so, gave everyone hugs and kisses and retreated to the bedroom to change out of his work clothes. Not more than two seconds later, Annabel started crying. "My nose!" she whined. I looked over at her and absentmindedly said, "It'll be okay," as I kept stirring the pot on the stove. She had had a runny nose all day, and I thought she was just moaning about it. "MY NOSE!!!" she kept screaming, as I continued cooking and wondered when she would stop crying. "It's okay, babe. Your nose will be fine," I told her one more time.
"MYYYYY NOOOOOSSSSSSEEEEE!!!!" she insisted.
Okay, I guess her nose is bugging her. Enough already.
That was when I froze in my tracks and saw the popcorn bowl that the kids had been eating from earlier. It was empty on the floor of the family room, and little unpopped kernels were strewn on the carpet.
Unpopped kernels. Annabel complaining about her nose. Crap. Crappity-crap crap.
"BILL!!! COME HERE NOW! HELP! ANNABEL PUT A POPCORN KERNEL UP HER NOSE!!! HURRY!!! 911!!! I NEED YOU!!!"
Seriously. That's pretty much verbatim what I said. I'll admit that I'm a little overly-dramatic in emergencies sometimes, and Bill is the calm one, so I need his level head. Can you see why we balance each other out?
Bill came barreling down the stairs in just his boxer shorts. I guess you didn't need that detail, but I'm just setting the scene. Chaos. Me yelling for help. Annabel crying. Boys gathering 'round because they think popcorn up the nose is cool. Bill barely dressed.
I was holding Annabel as she was screaming and rubbing her nose. I felt her nose right near the bridge, and sure enough, just as I thought, I could feel the hard, oval-shaped kernel firmly lodged in her nasal passage, creeping up to her sinus.
Please don't make me go to the emergency room. Pleeeeeeeease. I hate it there. The long wait, the fear of one of us contracting swine flu just by breathing germ-ridden air, the long wait, the sight of sick people vomiting into little kidney shaped containers in their laps, and of course, the long wait. It all sucks.
We can do this. It's just a kernel. We can get this thing out of her nose. We're two smart, capable parents. Right. Right?
"Blow your nose, Annabel, and the popcorn will come out," we begged and pleaded repeatedly. The boys starting clapping and chanting, "Blow your nose! You can do it! Blow your nose!"
"NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!" was all we heard over and over.
Bill googled, "how to get popcorn kernel out of nose", and before I continue with this part of the story, let me just preface this by saying I am married to a very intelligent man. He has a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan. He has an MBA from Northwestern University, one of the top business schools in the whole country. I don't tell you this to brag; rather, to let you know that smart people have very stupid moments too, and this was one of them. It's really stunning how stupidity just took over his brain for a few minutes. My usually level-headed man actually believed the advice he read on Google.
I laid Annabel down on the couch so he could get a better look at her. Then. Then. Then, and I SWEAR to you that this is 100% true, he pressed down and closed the one unaffected nostril with his finger, leaving the other one open, and then he blew into her mouth, so as to BLOW THE KERNEL OUT OF HER NOSE and across the room, just like some idiot on Google suggested. Some Google-dummy-liar swore it actually worked for him. Eff you Google. Stay out of my baby's nose.
Did you get that? Baby crying on the couch, holding her nose and screaming. Clare following along, desperate to avoid taking said baby girl to emergency room at any cost. Bill, well-meaning daddy, but momentarily struck stupid by Google, blowing into the baby's mouth, hoping that the sheer force of his breathing will blow the kernel out. Think mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, only our victim is fully conscious, screaming, and dripping with snot.
I think the above was actually the plot of a Bugs Bunny episode, and the idiot who wrote this dumb advice on Google put it there to mess with the minds of gullible and desperate parents. I half expected an anvil to fall on Annabel's head as the "Looney Tunes" theme song played. Seriously.
Annabel was still crying as I snatched her up and out of the clutches of the Google-believer, boxer-wearing, Daddy-fool. She was crying so hard that snot was flooding out of her nose, but of course, no kernel. I was simultaneously laughing and wanting to cry at the sheer hilarity and exasperation of it all.
I resumed negotations with Annabel, hoping that I could convince her to blow her nose. No such luck. I couldn't crack her.
Daddy-the-boxer-wearing-not-a-doctor-but-trying-to-play-one-in-real-life comes up to Annabel and I with a handful of black pepper in his palm. Pepper. To try to make her sneeze. Just like Tom and Jerry used to do. Um, has anyone seen my husband? This tomfoolery has gone on long enough.
I flipped his hand up, dispersing the offending spice through the air, and I told him where he could put his pepper. And then I banned his ass from Google, for the sake of our daughter.
More chanting from all parties involved. "Annabel! Blow your nose! You can do it! Yay!"
And then I saw it sitting on the kitchen counter. My last hope of an emergency-room-free-evening. Barbie. Beautiful Barbie. Pooping-on-the-potty-bribery be damned.
"Annabel! If you blow your nose, Mommy will give you Barbie!" I said desperately. There was no going back anymore. I knew I would just have to find a new form of pooping blackmail.
Still crying, but interest piqued, Annabel turned her head and thought about it for a moment. Barbie? For blowing her nose? Not having to poop in a bowl in order to get Barbie? I could tell she was definitely thinking about it.
Alas, she still refused to blow her nose. Charlie, Henry and George were hardcore interested at this point. Boys love this stuff. Boogers, snot and popcorn? Right up their alley. "Annabel! Blow your nose! You can get the Barbie! Woo! Woo!" they begged and clapped.
Defeated, I gave up. I slumped my shoulders dejectedly and went to retrieve my purse and cell phone. Off to the emergency room I go. Forget catching up and relaxing with my DVR-ed shows later in the evening after the kids went to bed. Forget the nice family meal I was preparing. Hello sick people in the emergency room. Hello H1N1 virus. Hello holding my screaming little girl as a doctor poked and prodded up her nose. Hello long hours of waiting with promises of discharge papers that would take eons to prepare.
Bill sat with Annabel on the couch, and calmed her and held her as I gathered up my things. "We're backyard friends, the Backyardigans!" played in the background. Suddenly, I heard Bill say one of the most beautiful things he has ever said to me. "It's out, Clare! The kernel came out!"
My heart just skipped a beat at the memory.
When Annabel finally calmed down and stopped crying, the kernel just slid out in a sea of snot. No mouth-to-mouth-to-nose resuscitation. No pepper. No blowing into a tissue necessary. Just snot, beautiful snot, thank you very much.
And no more stupid husband. All earlier stupidity was forgiven. But he's still banned from Google in emergencies. We need all his brain cells intact.
Of course, the first thing Annabel said was, "Barbie! Where's Barbie?" and I handed her the doll. She didn't exactly blow her nose to get the thing, but the kernel was out, so I couldn't renege my offer.
But here's the bone I have to pick with that hussy. She couldn't motivate my girl to poop for weeks, but in about 5 minutes, she manages to coerce a popcorn kernel out of Annabel's nose? Thanks for nothing, Miss Plastic. I should leave you in the hot sun so your boobs will melt right off your chest.
I guess it's easier for me to blame Annabel's poop fears on a hunk of plastic with hair rather than myself, or Bill. Every parent needs a scapegoat for their personal failings. And Barbie is mine.
I'm going relax and chill out about that though. Annabel will poop on the potty when she's good and ready. The more I battle her, the more she digs in her heels. She'll eventually do it in her own time. I just hope she's not in college and I'm bribing her with a new Coach purse in exchange for a bowel movement in the dorm toilet. This bribery thing could get expensive as we up the ante.
Every day is interesting around here.