The blame game

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I looked accusingly at my husband when the foul smell reached my nose.

He had that guilty look in his eyes, said "don't blame me" and pointed to Katie.

That's not always the truth. Katie is responsible for her share of noxious odors, but not all of them. But, until she learns to talk and get an understanding of the English language beyond "booby" and "no, no, no," she takes the blame for things that aren't always, technically, her fault.

Grandpa came over unannounced the other day.

"All this mess from one little Katie?" he asked.

We told him "yes," shook our heads, and sighed.

He failed to marvel that Katie evidently cooks for us, fits into my clothes and chews up diapers.

We all contribute to the disaster area (including the dog), but I still maintain that Katie's to blame.

She doesn't cook, but she managed to pull a can of powder off the counter, open it and spill it all over herself and the carpet (freshly shampooed, I might add) and used her bottle of apple juice to wet it down.

I missed the show, so did my husband. She can be very discreet when she wants to be.

When I brushed her off and picked her up, two totally clean size four footprints remained.

I got the dustbuster, but that's all the headway I've been able to make on the mess so far.

Katie, about three times a day, has this need to see every one of her toys all spread out in front of her. That's the first thing she does at the baby-sitter's house. She goes to the toy box and takes out every single thing.

The baby-sitter thinks it's because Katie wants to make sure everything is still there.

I think Katie's not big on clean.

When I clean, she follows me around and undoes everything I do. Literally, EVERYTHING. I stack her inflatable rings, she unstacks them. I pick up the movies and put them away (and, because I'm a glutton for punishment, I organize them by size and content).

I have plenty of time to wash the glass in the coffee table because Katie is busy flinging out movies.

Once she gets to the coffee table, she's in a more helpful mood. She tries to scrub just like momma, but she uses her bare (wet and sticky) hands. If I'm lucky, she wants to taste the window cleaner so she'll lick the table, too.

Then, it all starts again. We did the circuit about three times until I decided it just wasn't worth it.

She can decorate any way she wants to.

Most days, my only goal is to keep the floor picked up long enough to quickly vacuum. That's a challenge in itself.

It's Katie's fault we don't have any toilet paper and also that we can't flush the toilet (could the two be related? Yes. Katie's the reason people decide to become plumbers. Upon further investigation, we also found a popsicle stick and some plastic wrappers. She's learned to flush the toilet, and considering how hard it is to get kids to flush a toilet, we don't want to discourage her. That's not the best news for the baby-sitter's new kitten).

You can't find anything in our house. That's definitely Katie's fault (OK, a little part of it may be because my husband and I have different ideas about where things should live).

Katie's not completely without fault. She, too, has her own ideas about where things should live.

I've found Easter candy in my bed and Easter candy in her bed (which is very strange because we didn't give her any candy for Easter this year). I've found her milk-filled bottles in the cupboard and a jar of pressed garlic (which is supposed to be refrigerated) in her toy box. I've found toothbrushes in every imaginable crevice. I was searching for my toothbrush, mumbling about Katie and her inability to leave them alone and asking my husband where he thought she could have hid it when I found it in her dresser (OK, so it got there because I was brushing my teeth and packing the diaper bag at the same time).

Don't visit my house unannounced, Katie won't have enough time to shove everything into the closet.

We're were late because of Katie, of course it's not because of poor planning. We can't make it because Katie is sleeping, not because we're too lazy to make the attempt. Laundry isn't folded, because of Katie. What's the point? She spends half the day pulling it out of the drawers anyway (and when I can find the time and the energy to even fold the laundry, I have to sit on each piece as I finish it. One of Katie's favorite games is grabbing newly-folded shirts and flinging them across the room. She doesn't care about the unfolded stuff.).

I was going to write this column last night, but Katie wouldn't let me use the computer by myself. It's not my fault it's late.

Let the blame lie where it should (and I hope you're thinking it's Katie's fault).

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