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Truth in advertising doesn’t apply to kids

Christina M. Currie

There has been a, let’s call it a “misinterpretation of the facts” here.

The truth is my husband did put a bib on Katie the night she had ravioli-stained everything.

Evidently I missed it because a bib is a sad guardian against … well, everything. It just doesn’t work when she uses it to play hide-and-seek and it sticks to the tomato paste on her face.

In that instance, it pretty much does nothing to protect her shirt.

If parents designed bibs, they would be body suits made of Saran wrap a little freezer baggie with a head hole.

But the point is, as my husband reminds me constantly, he did use a bib.

Evidently I’m being taken too literally here and my children’s reputations are at stake.

Yes, Katie does throw amusing, sometimes ear-threatening tantrums. But, she doesn’t do that ALL the time, as I patiently had to explain to the woman I asked to baby-sit the day after she heard about Katie’s Ocsar-worthy performances.

I don’t lie about my children and I don’t make up stories about the things they do. BUT, that doesn’t mean they do some things ALL the time.

And the bad, most parents will agree, no matter how long the fit or how shrill the scream, is always outweighed by the good.

When we lay the baby down on the floor, Katie gets a blanket her favorite blanket no less and carefully covers her up (head included). She tries to give her a bottle. It’s not always the right bottle. Sometimes it’s a bottle that has spent some time in Katie’s secret hiding place but it’s a wonderfully sweet attempt nonetheless.

Sometimes, all right, most times, she can’t hit the baby’s mouth and Nikki gets a nose full of milk, but she is so enthralled with getting attention from her big sister, she doesn’t care what form that attention comes in. Or with what pain.

Sometimes, Katie will be so intent on giving you a kiss, she’ll follow you around, lips pursed and sticking out about an inch. She also kisses every object once she learns what it’s called. This includes bruises and scrapes (kids have this amazing flexibility. A scrape on the knee was made better by dozens of kisses that can only be done after the age 6 if you’re a yoga guru).

Sometimes she says “bess yoo” after you sneeze (or just pretend to sneeze).

When she pees on the floor, she uses a towel to clean it up and she’s getting the hang of putting diapers, and only diapers, in the trash can.

She enjoys helping around the house. She uses a golf club and pretends to mop and vacuum and she’ll wait until you have cleaned the entire window before putting two sticky hands on either side and giving it a kiss.

She’ll pick up a toy and put it away, but usually when she gets to the toy box she sees 12 other toys she absolutely must play with and brings them out.

She sits on the linoleum floor and scoots across it on her butt not a bad broom if I do say so myself. She does that when you’re mopping, too, so although your floor is clean (excepts for the tiny footprints), Katie is not.

As far as my husband goes, I couldn’t do it without him. He’s always willing to get up in the middle of the night to comfort a baby. His hearing, which is usually perfect, doesn’t work as well when the sun goes down (or so he pretends), so I have to jab him a few times and then push him out of bed.

Usually, he’s halfway through packing a lunch and the diaper bag before he realizes it’s not time for work and his only responsibility is to quiet a crying baby.

He doesn’t mind changing diapers, bathing babies or spit-up stained shirts and he’s the best non-mother vomit catcher I’ve ever seen.

The baby, now 7 months old, doesn’t know many tricks yet, but she smiles at the least provocation, like when you walk in the room.

The point is, when I call looking for a baby-sitter, you really have no reason to say “no.” At the very least, you’ll leave with stories to tell.

And that’s the truth.


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