Monday, February 14, 2011

True Story Tuesday - The L-O-V-E Legend

True Story Tuesday time y’all!

Did you have an awesome Valentine’s Day?  Or did your special V-Day plans go hilariously awry?  Got anything to share that is outrageous, miraculous, amazing and (mostly) true that has happened to you?  Just grab the code from below the True Story Tuesday button below, copy and paste it into your post and come back to link up for some comment love!

(copy and paste this stuff below)

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Ready?  For our annual reposting of the story that kicked off the entire “shopping with kids” series?  For the tale that makes every parent or babysitter flinch?

I give you:


It started with an innocent photo from long before my photo editing days, and shortly before I trashed those drapes for good:


It was also apparently, long before I learned how to handle Itty Bit’s “strong willed” hair.  It is rather obvious that I still haven’t learned how to handle his hair, but I digress… on to the post from Valentine’s Day 2009:

Awww... you guys are so sweet for making me feel craft-worthy with your comments on the last post.   Seriously... I'm almost embarrassed (okay, I am) to admit just how easy it was. And I'd say it was foolproof too, except that nothing ever is when you involve an almost-2-year-old.


First off, go to your nearest craft store. Go back to the section that has those thin wooden letters. Get the biggest ones you can - those will show up best in pictures.

I picked black spray paint because I figured as long as I dressed the kiddo in light colors, the letters would show up even if I messed with the photo tones.

So... head to the paint department, but do not, I repeat, do NOT get distracted like I did. Do not start to browse through the colors while the liquid craft paints are within your toddler's reach. Seriously, check to make sure he's strapped in (he was), and that he can't lean over to grab bottles of paint (he couldn't... I have no idea how his little body stretched 4 feet across the aisle).

Do not let the aforementioned child hold a bottle of paint, even if it is sealed in a wrapper. Those things are insidiously deceptive!

And 1.14 seconds later, do not screeeeeeam when a fountain of gooey white paint spurts from the said "sealed" container and covers your child.

Do not waste any time freaking out about the actual outfit he is wearing (and the possibility that he has just ruined an adorable matching shirt and pants that he is wearing for the first time). Just get the child to the bathroom quick.

While racing through the store with a cart that has 3 squeaky wheels and one stuck one... do not let the little darling touch you with those ooey-gooey hands. Stand three feet back and push the cart with your index fingers if you have to.

And when your child looks down at his hands and says, "MESSY!", by all means scream hysterically when he begins to run his fingers through his hair.

This may or may not startle him into stopping (or freaking out and crying), but by this point you should be pushing the cart fast enough that he has to hang on with those messy hands anyway.

Find the single-stall bathroom and wait 4 long minutes for the employee with the newspaper to exit. Do not pay any mind to the line of people around you who are gasping and staring at the child who now looks like some kind of tribal mascot.

Claim the bathroom and try to figure out how to unbuckle the sticky mess without actual contact. Also try to figure out how to pull the slimed shirt over his head without sliding it all up his nose and in his mouth. This is the part where you kick yourself for not carrying those little folding scissors in your purse. (No Mr. Daddy, I do not need a Swiss Army knife :)

Get the kiddo stripped down somehow and stare in horror at the stuff that leaked under his shirt. Like all over.

And on skin, this stuff dries like nobody's business. Those pieces of brown paper that they like to pass off as paper towels... grab those and wet them down. Seriously, you'll have to scrub and the kid will scream. He'll end up with a pink tummy and face and white streaks in his hair.

Now this part is important folks. I cannot stress how imperative it is.

Whatever you do... do not look in the mirror.

I guarantee you that you cannot clean up a disaster zone like this without taking some collateral damage. I cannot describe the devastation. It is sealed away in that special little part of my brain labeled "TRAUMA".

Get the kiddo dressed in his spare outfit and throw away the 32 pieces of wet paper towel. Try to exit the bathroom quickly and quietly and find the nearest checkout line.

Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.

Have exact change ready and beat feet to your car. If you must, reapply lipstick for a semblance of normalcy, but avoid looking at your hair or the white handprints on the front of your shirt (yes my friends, they looked quite obscene and rather deliberate).


Here's the easy part. Unload the kid and immediately put him down for a nap. Take the spray paint can and go over the letters with a couple coats. You can seal them if you plan to use them more than once. If you're really crafty, you could do patterns with scrapbooking paper or ???

But you know, I'm not really crafty - I mean, I can't even go to the craft STORE without some kind of fluke drama that only happens to me.


Find a spot with good natural light, and consider putting your kiddo on top of something they're too afraid to get down off of. Like a blanket chest or something. Umm, not like I did that or anything. But if I did... it would have at least kept the kid in camera range.

Start clicking away. Thank the good Lord for digital and the increased odds that you'll get a decent shot without spending $26.97 on prints.


Folks, I tried everything to keep this kid's attention. Do what you must. For two shots, making monkey sounds worked. One was playing peek-a-boo with the letter. For another one I told him it was a phone. Yeah, it didn't make sense to me either.


Be prepared that the letters may not survive unscathed. As you can see, Itty Bit was in a snacking mood. As well as a launch-them-across-the-room-and-giggle mood. So the "E" is currently an "F". *sigh*


Trust me, this doesn't work in just 5 shots. Take a look at a few of the ones we DIDN'T use!






Somehow... don't you just feel so NORMAL after reading this??? :)


And now for your turn!  Got any legendary family stories that are begging for a post of their own?  Link them up below and we’ll be around to laugh or flinch or celebrate with you!


Shana said...

I want to leave a great comment but have to run back to the bathroom. What?!? You didn't need to know that? Guess I need to borrow Tiffany's moniker for a while...ugh. Be back soon. I just linked my post to TST also.

Kmama said...

I remember, and love this post. I mean, I find it funny. I mean, how horrible for you. ;-)

Adoption of Jane said...

Too Cute! I love the Letters!

Beth Zimmerman said...

You ARE crafty, in an artistically talented kind of way, Rachel! You ARE! I almost want to borrow a toddler so I can do this photo shoot ... ALMOST!

Michelle Pixie said...

This story is still one of my all-time favorites! ;-)

Kelly said...

LOL _ That is too cute and I love the letters...too bad there are no pictures of him in his "war paint"

GunDiva said...

I'm gonna come back and read this; just wanted to let you know I linked up and it's another Nebalee teaching story :)

Furry Bottoms said...

I would say that craft project was a success, and I so agree with you-- thank god for digital photos!

K- floortime lite mama said...

OMG this is CRAZY funny
the things that happen to you !!!!
love the pics
and this made me choke on my black bean burger ( for I am reading you over lunch )
Ignore my FB message - I just tried getting on your blog thru Safari and it works great
"yes my friends, they looked quite obscene and rather deliberate)"

Beth Zimmerman said...

This is an awesome (and hilarious) story ... sharing on FB and Twitter! :)

Tiffany said...

Ok, I love this story. Every time. Because it reminds me that other moms have these traumatic moments too. And, what's that I read in the comments? Someone else taking my nickname? I must investigate!

Foursons said...

Yup, this is definitely one of your best! How can I not love that kiddo? One day I'm gonna woosh down on him and smother him with hugs and kisses and he will freak.the.heck.out at my completely inappropriate "stranger danger" behavior.

kc said...

I LOVE this post. So funny!!!! I mean the pictures are so cute (they really are!!!! But, the story cracks me up...)

As far as talented, I would say yes! I would have never attempted that.

Life with Kaishon said...

That is the best story Rachel. You are a wonderful story teller. And he is the cutest Little thing. I can't believe how grown up he looks now compared to then!

Amy said...


Bwahahahahahahaha! Life with toddlers is ALWAYS exciting!!!! ALWAYS!!!

I would have been in tears if this was me!!! Totally breaking down in public would just be a thing I would do.

Your photo shoot was a huge success, even if you don't think so ;-) I love it!

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