My five year old is an interesting kid. Nothing about her is by the book. No parenting article, wives tale, or well intended advice could ever really help me. She refused to poop in the potty until she was well past three. She'd happily ask me for a pull-up, squat down in anyone's presence and re-enact her own National Geographic tribal defecation regularly.
I tried everything. I coaxed. I offered ridiculous bribes. I made a chart. Nothing worked. Until one day, when I had her on the changing table, and I looked her right in the eye and said "Annie? This is gross. Really gross. I'd really like it if you'd go in the bathroom from now on."
She shrugged her shoulders and said, in a not-so-big-deal voice, "Ok."
And that was it.
Since we've moved, her quirks have really settled down. She doesn't insist I call her Pooh Bear anymore, she poops in an appropriate place, and she'll eat off a plate (used to be only bowls) and let's us use the words "cute and tasty" (formerly verboten).
Until today. I may or may not have mentioned that Annie has developed a deep seated fear of the Operation Game. (You know the one? Where you pull the guy's funny bone out and his nose lights up?) SHE HATES THIS GAME. Santa brought her one for Christmas, somehow thinking that given her family's livelihood, and Annie's obsession with anatomy that this will provide oodles of hours of entertainment.
Strike one for the big guy in the red suit. She gasped when she opened the box, and set it gently across the room and quietly told me that she would like to put it in the birthday closet where Mommy pilfers from when we're late for a birthday party. (Sorry five year old Heather. Hope he doesn't scare you as much as he did Annie!)
A few weeks ago, we were in Target, admiring their pool toys when Annie started hyperventilating. Tears coursed down her cheeks, and when she could finally put a word together, she trembled "operation!" in a scared, little voice that sounds strange coming from a kid with such a big personality. I mistakenly parked the cart near the game aisle, and the bright yellow box with red letters was proudly on display. Now she refuses to go to Target, which since she's home with me all summer, is saving us tons of money!
She then refused to go to Vons, our local grocery store, claiming Operation had taken a hold there as well. I told her this was ridiculous, that grocery stores did not sell games. I even took it one step further (because damn you Vons! You're the only one that carries St. Superey Sauvingnon Blanc) and called the store manager to ask him if they stocked the dreaded game. He emphatically told me no, and I visibly could see Annie breathe a sigh of relief as we piled into the car.
She even brought it up when we walked through the door. "No You-Know-What-Here Mommy!" she crowed, as she clutched my new Iphone and the killer Grocerystore IQ app that we now use to do our shopping. (she likes to check the boxes).
Things were good until we hit the breakfast cereal aisle. And then (drumroll please), that asshole Vons Store Manager neglected to tell me that they may not carry the Operation Game, but they DO carry Operation Fruit Snacks. (because what's tastier? Eating someone's gelatinous, infected funny bone?) There were a GAZILLION yellow boxes with red lettering and oversized pictures of body parts.
She totally lost it. Like, cause a spectacle LOST IT. Like, my Mommy has tied me to a chair and Freddie Krueger and Linda Blair are coming over for tea LOST it. I started giggling nervously and turned the boxes over as fast as I could. I cajoled and coaxed her into the next aisle, promising that we wouldn't have to go back there.
And like something out of a horror movie, that asshole Vons Store Manager must have decided that Operation Fruit Snacks were the item of the century. They were on display at the end of EVERY other aisle throughout the store. It was like Operation Fruit Snack was going to cure cancer. Or solve the Iraq war.
Or maybe? Maybe the Store Manager was huddled behind the customer service counter, laughing himself into oblivion. I'll get your Funnybone mister. And your little dog, Toto too.