Posted by: Hannah | 07/24/2012

working in the mines

A while back @notMaryP wrote a fantastic post about “spots“. They had appeared in her home almost overnight, and were proving difficult to eradicate.

Guess what! The Toddler Brigade has come down with a wicked case of “spots”.

“Das MAH spot!”

“You go ‘way. I’s sittin’ HEAH!”


Closely related to ‘spots’ are the possessive ‘mines’ –

“Is mine!”

“I wannit! IS MINE!”

“Das MINE!”


I’m slowly going bonkers as the Toddler Brigade fight for possession of every toy, every square inch of floor, every chair.

Pixie and Luna are easily distracted, which is a mercy. Louis, on the other hand, seems to think that possession is nine-tenths of the law. Forever. He has six dinky cars that are his favourites, and apparently those are to be always his. If he plays with them on Monday morning, you’d best believe that if Pixie touches one on Thursday afternoon he will lose his mind.

Each of the Brigade has a different way of marking their territory. Pixie yanks toys right out of other kids’ hands while saying firmly “is Pixie’s tuhn NOW. Pixie FUST.” Luna bursts into whingy, whiny tears. And Louis gathers up every toy into a pile and perches on top of it like Smaug, saying over and over “Louis toys. Louis toys. LOUIS TOYS.”

It is a barrel of 100% fun, let me tell you. I especially love it when they fight over toys that I have multiples of; Luna wants a doll but not that doll; Pixie wants the yellow ball, not the blue one; Louis wants this Lightning McQueen, not one of the other nine (Harry was born the year after Cars came out. We have all the things that are Cars).


Those of you who follow me on Twitter know about Pixie’s recent Issues (yes, it warrants a capital “I”) surrounding bugs. She has never had a problem with bugs. In fact, only a month ago she spent a quiet and contemplative half-hour on the back patio watching a clump of newly-hatched baby spiders doing their thing, fascinated by them.

Imagine my shock when a week ago she saw an ant on my kitchen floor and lost her ever-loving mind, praise Jesus, hallejulah. She screamed and sobbed for one hour and ten minutes by the clock. She wouldn’t let her feet touch the floor. Nothing – NOTHING – would calm her down. It was awful. And scary. And humbling. And infuriating.

Since that day she’s had a few more meltdowns – nothing that last quite that long, but we’ve got it narrowed down now to bugs that crawl. Flying bugs are totally OK, apparently. Snails are fine. Ditto snakes (there was a foot-long garter snake sunning itself on my crispy, drought-damaged lawn yesterday). But show that girl a spider or ant, and her panicked screaming will make your ears bleed.

On the advice of some clever Twitter friends who have anxiety-prone children, I’ve been tackling it by first acknowledging that she is afraid and then trying to get her to breathe deeply with me. I manage that trick by exaggerating the inhale and then ruffling her hair with the exhale; then I ask her to ruffle my hair in return.

It works, but here’s the thing: THE GREAT OUTDOORS IS FULL OF BUGS. We’re having the hottest, driest summer in years, and we all want to be outside. Pixie’s on board until she sees a bug, and then all hell breaks loose until I can calm her down again.

Say it with me, cats and kittens – 3 days, 2.5 hours until vacation….



  1. Oh dear. Made me think of this:

    • OH MY GOD YES. That is exactly what the Brigade are like. Hyper-possessive seagulls.

  2. Yup, yup, yup…

  3. The Smaug imagery made me laugh

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: