Saturday, August 10, 2013

A day in the life of Samuel Sammy Sam Seamus Samwise Gamgee Berry

He wasn’t always a naughty Sammy. He used to be a very sweet, adorable Sammy.


He pooped. In his pants.

Well, these things happen during potty training. I mean, he clearly knew better, but this was an ordinary problem with which I am unfortunately all too familiar.

Picking fights with siblings is also a familiar behavior, though I wished that Sam would go easier on Jeff, who began the day by barfing the previous night’s dinner all over the carpet.

Yanking sheets down and leaving them strewn all over the floor is also a common occurrence. I gather that Sam was trying to “liberate” the library table from Daniel’s tent; likely the sheets had been strangling the table and Sam leaped to the rescue.

The grateful table invited Sam to leap some more. Sam accepted graciously, climbed aboard, and began practicing gymnastics moves.

Mercifully, when Sam did his “dismount” jump to the floor, he avoided landing on Jeff’s head. (Very narrowly.) His attitude seemed to be that Jeff hadn’t been hurt, so why were Mom, Daniel, and Jeff all yelling at him? One must take risks on the path to Olympic gold.

I chased him out of the library. He wanted to watch TV. I reminded him that he’d lost all electronics privileges as a consequence of pooping in his pants. (He has been “earning” half hour episodes of Signing Time by a) keeping his pants dry and b) making potty attempts.)

He tried anyway. I told him "No!" firmly.

Undeterred, he tried again.
And again.
And again…

Over a period of ten minutes, I paused my participation in Dominion almost as many times. My little addict needed almost constant interventions. I confiscated a DVD. Sam snuck it back out. I re-locked a cabinet. Sam grabbed a remote and tried to bring up “Avatar” from our amazon playlist. (He was making good progress, too.) I impounded the remote.  He grabbed an X-box controller. I impounded that, as well. Sam turned the TV back on anyway. (Seriously? Spanish soap operas?) I put the TV’s nose in a corner. Sam managed to turn it back around. I put Sam in time out. He ignored me. I put Sam back in time out. He defied me.

I ordered Sam to his room. He delayed. I hauled Sam up to his room. He struggled and shouted, “Jeff! HELP!!!”

I laughed and locked his door. Three minutes later, when I found both toddlers playing in the office, I stopped laughing. I suspect Jeff heeded his brother’s plea.  This means that Sam contributed to the delinquency of a minor!

(One would think that Jeff would have declined to rescue Sam from prison and would instead have gotten revenge for the fights by seizing the opportunity to hoard the toys. I guess Jeff is just too tender-hearted. Or, like many children, he would rather fight with a sibling than endure boredom.)

I carted Sam back to his room and put a baby cover on the knob to protect it from Jeff. Jeff chose to join Sam in detention. I locked both boys in Sam’s room, went downstairs, and set the kitchen timer. Jeff promptly began screaming for rescue.

We had a lovely short period of Sammy-free Dominion play time, but all too soon, the timer beeped and Sam was free.

He asked for milk. I poured him a small cupful. He asked for a refill. I complied.

A few minutes later, he screamed in terror and came running toward me, drenched. I was amazed that a few ounces of milk could make so much mess: dripping from his hair, soaking his shirt, running down his legs…

I got him cleaned up and told him to put his soaked shirt in the laundry. He argued that he couldn’t walk through the kitchen. I investigated.

A lake of milk large enough to house Nessie covered my kitchen floor and lapped at three different baseboards. Apparently Sam had tried to pour a third helping for himself and spilled most of a gallon…

I thought of the price of milk and swore that, baby Jeff’s fat requirements be darned, I was going to switch back to powdered milk immediately.

Sam began grabbing paper towels and trying to clean up the mess. It was a gallant effort, but doomed. “As well might man hold forth his puny arm and halt the mighty Mississippi…” I grabbed an armful of towels and set to work.

Sam gave up on the paper towels and began playing the mess. It was like an improvised slip’n’slide! Sam walked, slipped, fell, almost cracked open his head, and giggled like crazy.

I handed him a towel and told him to try skating with that. I even demonstrated how to skate and wipe up milk at the same time. Sam tried it for at least 90 seconds, which gave me time to get the rest of the mess under control.

I ordered him to put the wet towels in the washer. He whined. I insisted.

Once order was restored, I called Jon to vent. As I started to describe Sam sliding all around the milky kitchen, I started to laugh and cry at the same time. Jon waited patiently for the hysteria to diminish.

It didn’t. I kept laughing and crying, crying and laughing, for several minutes.

“I would disappear and take a nap, or read a book, or do something to calm down,” I told Jon, finally, “But I don’t dare leave this delinquent unsupervised!”

I wouldn’t say that he won “The Naughtiest Boy in the World” award. I’ve endured many days with far worse disasters. And my memory of a naked little boy* slipping and sliding all over the kitchen floor, on hands and knees, covered in milk, trying in vain to stand up, all while giggling wildly…well, it is a priceless image.

On the other hand, he was very naughty.

So, Carolyn, do you still want a Sammy?

*He was wearing an extremely soggy pair of pull ups but was otherwise unclad. Yes, I took a blackmail photo. No, I will not post it here.


Carolyn said...

Of course I want a Sammy!

Jon said...

Bad Sam!