Tuesday, June 23, 2009

All the King's Horses

Have I ever mentioned that my daughter loves Humpty Dumpty? She’s particularly fond of the climactic moment where the innocent if reckless egg shatters into a million pieces. Irrevocably. That’s the kind of girl she is. I’ve talked about her schadenfreude before here, and frankly, I don’t mind it. I think it’s kind of cool she’s brave enough to face the harsh realities of existence. What I do mind is when she brings the nursery rhyme to life in my kitchen.

These things always happen in the morning. That’s because my daughter is clever and she knows that first thing in the morning is the best time to undertake her shenanigans because I am half-dead with exhaustion since I’ve usually been up with her two or three times a night. Peculiarly, these same night-wakings have no sedating effect on her.

So yesterday, I’m taking the first few sips of my coffee (trying to drink as much as possible before she dunks a crayon or chunk of Play doh in it) and I’m flipping through the Tivo to put a Miss Spider episode on for Primo, so I can have the time to make breakfast, when I hear a strange, ill-boding sound come from the kitchen. Hard to describe the sound – kind of a squishy yet crackly plop! followed by Seconda announcing, “Uh oh. I made a big mess.”

“What did you do?” I ask, still flipping through the Tivo. She’s my second-born after all, and if I dropped everything whenever she caused a weird noise in the other room, well, I’d never get anything done.

“Humpty Dumpty broke is a MILLION pieces!” she explains.

I walk in the kitchen and of course, there on the floor is a 12-pack carton of eggs smashed to varying degrees, and oozing out their yolky gooey mess.

“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men—“ Sec starts.

“Yeah, I know, they can’t put him together again. And neither can we,” I inform her, getting down to her eye level like Super Nanny advises, “Sec, look, you can’t touch the eggs. Not for kids. You get it? Do. Not. Touch. Eggs.”

The fact that this has happened two more times will indicate to you how effective my parenting is.