Recent Splats according to Miz Yank

If You Ask Me, It Doesn’t Take A Village

Five days into my stay at Camp Wipe Me, I had thought everything was going well. Only last night did I realize the inmates had been lulling me into a false sense of security, waiting for me to let my guard down so they could pounce.

The toddler went for the kill first.

Things started out innocently enough when I drove him to daycare yesterday, a function Daddy normally performs but couldn’t do because of a work obligation. B and I had an absolute blast on the drive, laughing, singing and acting silly. I enjoyed it so much that I could hardly wait to see him again in the afternoon. When I showed up to pick him up at 5:30, he was beaming and holding a little bag of Teddy Grahams as proudly as if it were the Stanley Cup. Things were looking good.  We had a great ride home, too, and the word “Daddy” did not even come up until we were less than two miles from the house. When B asked where Daddy was, I explained that he had to work late.

B said, “But it’s not late,” in a tone that conveyed indignation at being left in the hands of someone who is clearly a big dope.  His comment reminded me toddlers basically exist in the present and have very little use for the future.

To create a diversion, I pointed to a nearby construction site and said, “Look! An excavator!” My gambit worked but I knew B had fired a warning shot.

We got home and B was excited to see Mommy, which restored my optimism; however, the balance shifted as I was getting ready to handle his dinner and he realized that Daddy, who often takes care of dinner while Mommy feeds the baby in another room, was absent.

Nature may abhor a vacuum, but B didn’t mind the absence of real authority one bit. In fact, he exploited the daylights out of it. He decided he was not going to deal with some low level scab trying to buckle him into a high chair and demanded attention from someone higher up the ladder.  B began to wage a hunger strike, and it wasn’t one of those quiet ones, either.  Mommy heard the commotion all the way in the bedroom and had to swoop in.  She whisked B upstairs and handed the baby off to me.

Finding myself in charge of an infant whose feeding had been interrupted felt a lot like holding unexploded ordnance. My only defense was a set of decoy boobs, which I knew wouldn’t give me much cover.  I prepared myself for the worst and proceeded with caution.  After a few quiet moments passed, I started to relax, which, of course, was precisely when detonation occurred. In Baby C’s diaper.  I didn’t grasp just how bad it was until I unfastened the snaps on the side of his onesie and saw that the devastation of the blast had reached as far as his armpit. The baby began to cry along with B in a wailing duet. I considered throwing myself on the floor and adding my voice to the chorus but decided to mouth-breathe and stick it out.

Somehow the other warden and I managed to quell the rebellion and restore order, at Camp Wipe Me, but the whole episode caused me to reflect on that African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” I’m not so convinced that it’s true. What we really needed last night instead of a village was a HAZMAT team to manage the cleanup and a SWAT team to subdue the terrorist.


In the hands of an amateur like me, this can only do so much good.


  1. Better you than me!

    Besides, I’m relatively certain my tv is louder than a screaming kid.

    • Ha! That does work for a while, until the smell overwhelms you. By the way, a reader in London emailed to say, “Over here we have a term for that. We call it a poo-nami. Welcome to the club!” Ewwww.

  2. Merely reading that made me want to hurl myself off a bridge….

  3. “Nature may abhor a vacuum, but B didn’t mind the absence of real authority one bit. In fact, he exploited the daylights out of it.” So true. I volunteered to watch a first grade class 2 hours once a month while the teachers were in planning.

    It scared the freaking daylights out of me. Suddenly there were tummy aches that needed a visit to the nurse. Lots of boys and girls wanting bathroom passes. Trips to the library to return books. It was a field day for their little creative scheming minds. You actually sounded like you handled things like a pro. Bravo.

    • You give me too much credit, Jamie, but I’m not afraid to take it! As I do with so many things in life, including cooking, I bluffed my way through it and passed it off with arrogance. Voila!


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