Weekend Reality Check

August 19, 2006

There has been much waxing poetical ’round here recently, and much deep thinking inspired by motherhood. One might think that the Bad Mother household was a haven of blithe domesticity, a tranquil domain wherein mother wiles away the hours in cuddle and play with an angelic baby, pausing only to reflect upon the sweetness of maternal love.

One would be mistaken.

WonderBaby is a lovely, lovely child. I adore her. But she is not remotely angelic, unless we understand ‘angelic’ in the strict Old Testament sense of mighty and punitive and very often bearing ancient weapons of mass destruction.

It may not LOOK like a flaming sword, but trust me. It’s an ancient weapon of mass destruction. You do not want it in your home.

She capable of the greatest sweetness, but she is heaven-bent on destroying me. Every exercise of our day involves a mighty struggle, an intense battle of wills that I, inevitably, lose.

To wit: the thrice-daily Battle of the High Chair. WonderBaby has decided that high chairs are for chumps. WonderBaby has decided that she, mighty being that she is, should not be restrained in a high chair. WonderBaby has decided that, should she deign to eat, she should not be expected to do it in such ignominious conditions.

She has further decided that she should not be expected to do so while fully clothed.

So, last night, WonderBaby took her evening meal while standing, facing backward, in her high chair.


While I crouched on the floor behind the chair, plying her with toast and yogourt.

(No, there is no picture. My nine-month old baby was balancing naked, on two sturdy but nonetheless unreliable baby legs, in an assembly line high chair. You want that I should have run for the camera?)

(Fine. I was tempted. But I resisted.)

I think that we can safely say that it is now official: I am her bitch.

Guided by the not-so-benelovent spirit of Michael Landon,* WonderBaby’s quest for world domination proceeds apace…

*With thanks to the Junipers for iconographic playwear.

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    Dana August 19, 2006 at 11:36 am

    She’s such a sweet, adorable little darling. But yes, I remember the resistence days. Those babies rule our lives don’t they?

    Karen August 19, 2006 at 12:05 pm

    Now that one can anticpate such meals a la nude-y, perhaps the camera should take up residence in the kitchen so as to be fully prepared.

    She will be strong. You will glad for it.

    Granny August 19, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    Why is it the best photo ops take place with the camera in the other room? I’d loved to have seen that one.

    Mother August 19, 2006 at 12:48 pm

    Ha. I like your Old Testament reference. Nicely done.

    And the Michael Landon shirt? LOVE IT.

    metro mama August 19, 2006 at 12:57 pm

    I’ve resorted to begging and pleading while Cakes tosses her food hither and yon.

    Finally, I let her out and let her eat off the floor.

    Mother Bumper August 19, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    I don’t know where to start, I’m laughing so hard that I have tears coming down the cheeks – big fat tears like the ones Bumper had during her meltdown during our coffee time the other day.

    You know that I know what you are talking about. WB seems to be the only worthy playmate – strike that – opponent for Bumper’s Mexican wrestling moves. If only we had the video on them. Next time, next time.

    Anyhooo… I’m Bumper’s bitch 100%. Gotta love our little angels. Thanks for making me laugh!

    Laural Dawn August 19, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    We gave up on our highchair!
    Matt hated it. And now, at 2, he has a strange fascination with them and it is our bribery tool at restaurants.
    I heard the other day that the strongest willed children end up being the easiest teenagers. So, in like 13 years the battles will totally be worth it :)

    mothergoosemouse August 19, 2006 at 2:37 pm

    Would’ve loved a picture, but I understand your reasoning.

    CJ prefers to treat the booster as a buffet table. She doesn’t want to sit there, but instead likes to wander up and grab a bite whenever the urge strikes her.

    kittenpie August 19, 2006 at 2:45 pm

    Yeah, we moved into a booster that had all the mama-soothing frills of seatbelt and tray, but felt oh-so-big for a good length of time, perched as it is on a regular chair.

    Just this week this has now given way to using a grownup chair, with much exhortation about what a good job she is doing and how she must continue to do so should she not want to return to high-chair hell. So far, so good. We’ll see.

    She totally sucked Misterpie in this morning, though. Apparently he was too out of it to resist the siren song and let her go back to sleep. Fool.

    Lena August 19, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    Hmm, might Wonderbaby be a wee bit feisty?

    I’m pretending the shirt is David Hasselhoff instead. Because that makes me laaaaugh.

    Melissa August 19, 2006 at 3:45 pm

    Ha. They’re all sweet and innocent…at least while sleeping. Both of mine love to be nekkid.

    Battle of the wills:

    HBM: 0

    Wonder Baby: 1

    But don’t worry, tomorrow is another day. ;)

    HeatherJ August 19, 2006 at 4:49 pm

    My kids have a way of driving me crazy most of the time. But sometimes I just stop and watch and am truly amazed at their steadfast determination to only do what they want. I have had moments with our youngest where she refused to sit in her chair and eat. She preferred to stand, but hey it got her to eat which for a toddler is a good thing.

    Mom101 August 19, 2006 at 5:00 pm

    I’m still mad that you beat me to that Landon shirt.

    Gabriella August 19, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    that was hilarious! It’s funny how something so small has complete control over us!

    Mrs. Chicky August 19, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    What if you wore a likeness of Michael Landon as a mask? Would that make her sit in her chair and take notice? She might not eat her food but she’d probably be stunned into sitting by the beauty that was Pa Ingalls.

    Her Bad Mother August 19, 2006 at 8:56 pm

    If I had a David Hasselhoff shirt for WB, she would be in it ALL THE TIME.

    Her Bad Mother August 19, 2006 at 10:06 pm

    Oh, and Mrs. Chicky? I would try that Michael Landon disguise strategy, but it would be HERESY.

    And I would surely burn for it.

    nonlineargirl August 19, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    Are you sure she isn’t just punishing you for making her wear a Michael Landon shirt?

    Elizabeth August 19, 2006 at 11:07 pm

    HA! Kaitlyn has decided that she has better things to do than lay still on the changing table, like twist and writhe and grab onto the railing and try to chew it. I’ve given up, and now change her on the living room floor. It’s a battle I just won’t win.

    penelopeto August 20, 2006 at 12:31 am

    better stick to cold entrees for a while.

    and why don’t i have pa on a t-shirt?

    Christy August 20, 2006 at 7:08 am

    Good morning!!! Let the games begin. It sounds like it is time for a booster seat on the floor with a tray on it. I saw your letter to the editor in Today’s Parent. Thanks for sticking up for us!

    sunshine scribe August 20, 2006 at 8:44 am

    That is why they make them so cute. So irresistibly cute .. you can’t get mad or stay mad. She’s got your number mama bitch. Sigh.

    My son used to insist on eating naked and never getting wiped off afterwards. His highchair was really just decoration in our place. He preferred to sit on my lap. Ug.

    This too shall pass. This too shall pass.

    But she *is* so adorable.

    TB August 20, 2006 at 11:27 am

    Furiously taking notes…. keep it coming.

    creative-Type Dad (Tony) August 20, 2006 at 12:21 pm

    Love that t-shirt!!!

    And it looks like the “Highway to Heaven” Michael Landon too – sweet!

    Psychobabble August 20, 2006 at 12:58 pm

    Naked makes for easier cleanup. Just throw her in the bath and hose her off;)

    Andrea August 20, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    There truly is nothing like eating naked. Though one must watch with whom they eat in such arrangements. If the nakedness is not that of a spouse or child, loss of appetite can be a side effect.

    Just kiddin’. We don’t eat nekkid in my house. Just the boy, sometimes. But he’s a prude and gets mad if we de-clothe him for any reason other than bathtime. Yesterday, I took his shirt off at a haircut place because he refuses to wear the cape. Shirtless, he’s easier to clean up. Maybe it’s because it was public that he got so mad that I took his shirt off.

    But then again, when we’re in public and someone he doesn’t know is making googly eyes at him, his shy reaction is to lift his shirt and show off his belly. Hey, to him it makes sense.

    julia August 20, 2006 at 3:09 pm


    Hopefully that link works. 3rd item down. You’re welcome.

    Suburban Turmoil August 20, 2006 at 3:42 pm

    Ha! Gurl, I have been there. It will only get worse, I assure you… ;)

    beth August 20, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    We are all their bitches. I hate meal time. So exhausting.

    LOVE the Michael Landon shirt!

    exiled to canada August 20, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    When our little guy decides to lay waste to the household we call him “Destructo Boy”, makes him sound like a comicbook super villan, no?
    That’s what we get for naming him after barbarian king….

    Tracey August 20, 2006 at 10:37 pm

    I am so lovin the visual I have of her nekked and facing backwards! Hysterical!

    Krisco August 20, 2006 at 11:35 pm

    I’m glad you put up this post because, you know, I was getting fooled.

    (not: )

    Haley-O August 21, 2006 at 12:05 am

    It’s so funny that you wrote about this now. I feel like the monkey’s bitch, totally. And, like your situation, my prime bitch moment revolves around the damn high chair. Queen Monkey sits on high flinging her food everywhere, throwing her sippy cup so vigorously that its contents spill all over my floor. I, meanwhile, am on hands and knees, picking up the food, wiping up the mild. I am undoubetedly her Bitch. Capital B. Oh, this is the stuff of a new post (perhaps tomorrow)…I need to VENT! ;)

    Haley-O August 21, 2006 at 12:06 am

    Umm…by the way? WonderBaby is ADORABLE! :) What a ponum! ;)

    Lisa b August 21, 2006 at 12:49 am

    oh yeah I feel like the bitch too
    well put
    I loved your quote in the globe about mothers telling it like it really is

    Jezer August 21, 2006 at 6:55 am

    My computer just did that thing again where it makes all my favorite blogs look like they haven’t been updated in days and then finally, BOOM! I have a week’s worth of stuff to read. I’ve got a little catching up to do around here, but wanted to pop my head up to say that the image of WonderBaby dining on her feet, backward, and naked is enough to get me through anything today, including the First Day of School and the remnants of Gastrointestinal Hell.

    And to remind me of the virtues of hitting “refresh” every now and again. Gah.

    Waya August 21, 2006 at 10:16 am

    Oh boy Mama, you’re in a for a treat when she can actually TALK!! Go out and buy her some pimping hats. ;-)

    JennC August 21, 2006 at 10:24 am

    What goes around, comes around… Take comfort in the fact that she too, will have children.

    Who’ll be the bitch then, I ask you?


    Pattie August 21, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Hey, do those shirts come in adult sizes? I might want me one with Mr. Olsen on it… :)
    She sure is one little cutie!

    virtualsprite August 21, 2006 at 12:08 pm

    Wow… Ubergoober is much the same way. I was convinced before he could talk that he was plotting world domination, much like Stuie on Family Guy. Yep… you’re her bitch, as all we are. But she sure is cute!

    Kristen August 21, 2006 at 12:54 pm

    Oh yeah. Just wait. You think you’re her bitch now. Can we say “language development”? Specifically, the words “NOW” and “NO” and “MINE”?

    Just the beginning, my friend.

    Christina August 21, 2006 at 1:47 pm

    I’m late to this party, and much has already been said. I gotta agree that naked dining makes for easier clean-up and less laundry. And yeah, just wait til she’s screaming “I nee muk!” at you.

    Stacy August 21, 2006 at 3:41 pm

    I’ve completely forgotten how obsessed I used to be with Michael Landon! Whenever he cried on “Little House”, I’d picture him naked. Weird, I know… but it used to make the prepubescent me so hot!

    something blue August 21, 2006 at 4:34 pm

    What does WonderBaby have in common with Uma Thurman? They both dine in the nude and can kick some serious butt. Kill Bill: Vol 3 watch out!

    Jenn August 21, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    Oh honey, that is frickin hysterical!! I love this: But she is not remotely angelic, unless we understand ‘angelic’ in the strict Old Testament sense of mighty and punitive and very often bearing ancient weapons of mass destruction.

    But you do need to remember to have a camera ready at ALL times. Life with children is about pictures to blog not safety. Jeeeez! You should know better!

    Petra August 21, 2006 at 6:39 pm

    Ours prefers his nekkid time after bath time. We spend quite awhile coaxing him into jammies. As for the high chair, he didn’t hate it but he’s never been much of an eater. We spend our evenings asking hi if’ll eat x, y, or z and he says “NO!” Then a few minutes later demands that we feed him “y”, as if we’ve been slacking around long enough. He has a rather imperious air about him then.

    h&b August 23, 2006 at 7:33 am

    Must .. own … that .. t.shirt …

    Too cool. Michael Landon. Most excellent ;)

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