Antique Embarrassment, Parenting Gone Awry

Fungicide – Not Just For Plants Anymore

Sunday afternoon, the temperature dipped below 100, so Sean and I ventured out into the backyard to putter around and enjoy some fresh air. Having been indoors since the 4th of July, we both immediately began hacking and coughing. Apparently our lungs were no longer familiar with this fresh air stuff and were trying to reject it as a foreign substance.

After we acclimated, I got busy pulling weeds and stomping down mole holes and trying to spruce up our sorry yard. Sean got busy dragging every toy he owns out into our sorry yard. I noticed that what few leaves remain on my fern, have little black dots on the back, so I foraged around in the garage until I found some sort of fungicide. I gave the fern last rights, made the sign of the cross and then anointed it with the fungicide. I don’t think it will do much to deter its demise, but I will know that I did all I could and that it’s going to a better place. And it makes me feel like I’m doing something in the same way that stomping down mole holes makes me feel like I’m doing something. The black dots and the moles laugh at me. This I know. I hear them chuckling outside my bedroom window after dark as I’m trying to go to sleep.

After administering extreme unction to the fern, I noticed my neighbors strolling up the jogging trail with their 6-week-old infant. I was at their Christmas party when they announced they were twenty minutes pregnant, so I have been waiting to see this little fella for quite some time. I set down the fungicide and ran through the gate wiping my hands on my pants as I hurried around to greet them and get a look at their new little guy.

They both sported that glazed-over walking-dead expression that all new parents wear. They proudly told me they were getting four straight hours of sleep now and how that has made them feel so much better. I told them I remembered what those first months were like — the lack of sleep and the non-stop crying. And the baby cried a lot too.

I tried to offer her encouragement, telling her that I’d been there and that I know how crazy it can be. “If you ever need a break, I’d be happy to come over and help you out,” I offered. She raised her eyebrows and her eyes grew wide, so I continued talking, thinking she must be thrilled to have an offer of help from someone like me who knows what they’re doing. “If you’re having a tough day, just give me a call and I’ll pop over and watch the baby while you take a nap or get out of the house for a little while or whatever.”

I noticed she was looking past me as I enlightened her with all of my fascinating mothering know-how, but I assumed that with so little sleep she was probably having a hard time focusing. She finally interrupted my blathering and asked, “What’s that bottle of stuff Sean is holding?” I turned just in time to see Sean spray fungicide into his ear.

“What? Oh that? That’s nothing. Just a little…um… fungicide.”

I ran through the gate and tried to wrench the bottle away from Sean. We wrestled it back and forth for a while like two actors in a bad movie trying to gain control of a gun. After a brief scuffle, I finally snatched it away from him, but not before I sprayed myself in the eye in the process. When I victoriously turned back to my neighbors, I could see out of my of my one good eye that they were hurrying on down the jogging path.

After that display of skillful parenting, I’m sure she’ll be calling me real soon to help her with her baby.

29 thoughts on “Fungicide – Not Just For Plants Anymore

  1. You crack me UP! Thanks for the laughter! As for the fern., hopefully the black dots are not in relatively regular lines down the back of the leaves…because if they are, they’re the spoor of the fern…

  2. I hear ya. I set my girl on the potty yesterday and left the room for a minute. When I came back, she was holding a spray bottle of bleach. Aaaaaah!

  3. Yep ferns are supposed to have the black dots. Too funny about the neighbors, hope they dont read your blog. LOL what do you bet they never will take you up on your very generous offer I may add?? Too funny

  4. What a clever way to get out of ever having to actually babysit the neighbors’ kids. Just let your own child look like he is on the brink of disaster and watch them flee! You’re really good! And very funny! (P.S., I didn’t know about ferns and black dots either, Mrs. Greenthumb)

  5. Hahahaha! That’s so funny. And a close save from having to babysit, too. They’ll only be horrified until they too have a toddler.

  6. Your neighbors, like all of us in the early days of parenting, were probably thinking that they would never let that happen to their precious child. They will have a toddler someday too, and then they will understand.
    Thanks for the laugh this morning.

  7. Yeah, I’m with Susan J. They will meet cold hard reality someday, and perhaps when they find their kid with, say, 3 marbles in her mouth at once, or chewing happily on a spider’s egg sac, or licking the bottom of daddy’s boots, they will have more compassion on you.
    (Above examples purely theoretical, of course…hehe)

    Mary, mom to many

  8. Oh sure, they may judge you now with their sweet little 6 week old who can hardly move, but someday they too will be wrestling a toddler for a bottle of fungicide.

  9. Isn’t that the way it goes? Just when you’re feeling pretty confident, like you have it altogether, that’s when your toddler proves you wrong. Very funny story!

  10. I had to thank you for the laugh! I can picture the whole scene! How I can relate…I have a 2 1/2 year old too and I’m 43. I wonder how many times a day I say, “Where’s E?” and “E, come here.” Did you know that you’ve helped me to learn how to LAUGH at myself and my children’s antics? Feels good.

  11. Ouch! I was thinking that ferns were supposed to have black dots too, but wasn’t sure, so good to know for next time. And I was holding my head in my hands laughing at the image of you two scrapping over the fungicide bottle.

  12. “my one good eye” so funny! I am certain, that in 2 and a half years when sweet little newborn can talk, spray, and wrestle–his mama will be looking at you through her one good eye, and wondering how you’ve managed to stay so sane, look so good, and survived to see Sean turn 5.

    We have been LOVING this below 100 weather. 90 never felt so good!

  13. OK, I needed a good laugh today and your post was just the ticket! 🙂
    (I am SO glad I’m past the toddler age…now my youngest is in the mature age of preschool. So…if you ever need a break or something…just to take a walk in the fresh air without having to rinse out an eye…just give me a call- the “expert” that I am…;)

  14. Just read your post on Moles. We have the same problem in our yard in Denver. My twenty year old quit college so we would have the funds to start and all out attack on these guys, just kidding! No seriously we have spent a small fortune on all the different remedies out there to annihilate these critters. One thing works but it’s not exactly legal so I can’t tell you what it is. We have had three funerals for the ones we’ve conquered.

  15. You always make me feel like I’m not the only one. Thanks so much — I really needed it this morning, after being sent off for a timeout by my husband last night for yelling at my 2-y-o son to stop trying to shove my big toe into his eyesocket.

  16. I had to laugh at Daring One’s comment because I thought the same thing. 20 minutes pregnant. Hmmmm. I can’t believe you’re having so much trouble getting rid of the moles. I had no idea they were so persistent. I mean, who believes Caddy Shack?

    I agree with everyone else here. Your neighbors will totally understand what they were witnessing and sooner than they probably think. I have a 15 month old around here who’s suddenly into everything.

  17. If you wrote a book I’d buy it and then I’d buy a copy for all my friends.

    Here by way of BooMama…

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