Thursday, October 10, 2013

Zoe vs. Mommy, the Physical Assault

Note: I'm specifying "physical assault" because the case can be made that all the previous posts catalog Zoe's mental assaults on me. I'd be the one to make that case.

Survivor of an attack by a
featureless orange toddler.

Last week's post detailed the ways in which Zoe likes to get up close and personal. But sometimes it's not just too close for comfort. Sometimes it's downright painful. So today I list the ways in which Zoe's love hurts. From head to toe.
Hair: she likes to pull it. Hard. She likes me to put a "bow" (translation: ponytail holder) in my hair so she can yank more efficiently. Ow factor: high.
Eyes: poke! If my glasses are off. Irony alert: if my glasses are on, my eyes are protected but my glasses are in danger. Ow factor/threat to expensive belonging: high.
Nose: you pick mine, I'll try to pick yours. Ow factor: low, really more annoying.
Cheeks: pinch! Ow factor: medium.
Mouth/lips: the making out gets violent. Ow factor: medium, depends on how bitey she gets.
Teeth: I'm separating this from "mouth" because we have a history. When I was pregnant with Zoe, I had pregnancy gingivitis, meaning my gums bled. A lot. Since her birth my teeth are just a mess and my dentist is sick of seeing me. While Zoe's first year was full of the usual milestones like smiling, supporting her own head, walking, for me the year was marked by one dental appointment after another to deal with toothaches that ended in root canals, crowns, and even one apicoectomy when I still had pain following one of the root canals. Ow factor: high, and expensive.
Chin and jaw: let me set the scene. Every morning I sit on the floor behind Zoe trying to get her dressed for day care as she flails around whining. After I finally manage to shove one leg into whatever pants she doesn't want to wear, she launches herself violently upward into my chin and I see stars. The head under chin contact from a blonde, three-year-old missile is unbelievably painful. This has happened more times than I can count. Sometimes I bite my tongue because I'd been in the midst of begging her to stay still. Ow factor: highest.
So let's see, how far have we gotten?  Still above the neck. We have a lot more ground to cover.
Speaking of . . .
Neck: pinching. Similar to cheek pinching, however, there's not as much to pinch so it's more like yanking on skin. Also, passionate strangling. You know how it is. Sometimes the excitement is just too much and then you have to strangle someone. Ow factor: high.
Torso: general jabbing with knees and elbows as she tries to get comfortable. A prerequisite is Mommy must be making that Ow sound. So soothing! Ow factor: medium to high, depends on target area.
Hands: Zoe, as you might imagine, objects to having her nails cut so right away let's add scratching, full body. Her only takeaway from my eventual trimming of her nails is that Mommy's nails are too long, and since she's not allowed to use the scissors (wonder why) she tries to use her fingers to pull my own nails off. As I read her stories as night she works from one nail to the other, digging and pulling until I yank my hand away. Ow factor: medium.
Groin: The Husband would have volumes to say here but he's sitting on the couch whimpering with a bag of frozen peas on his lap. So I'll just paint another scene: I've collapsed on the floor on my back because sometimes, wherever you are and whatever is happening, you've just got to lie down. Zoe comes over and lies down between my legs then squirms her head up into my groin. I think she's trying to get back into the womb and/or re-enacting a breach birth. I keep telling her she can't get back in but that doesn't stop her from delivering her intimate head-butting. Ow factor: eh. Awkward and weird factor: high.
Butt: she likes to bite it. To be fair, I've bitten her butt. It's just so cute. Guess she feels the same way. Can't really blame her. It's my best feature. Ow factor: silly.
Legs: in the mornings, when she's AWAKE and I'm NOT, she wants to sit on my lap on the couch watching TV, and constantly shift her weight. It's not just shots and jabs to the chest and stomach (see "torso" above), it's also the skin on my legs that gets mauled and pinched amid her shifting, or I get scratched by her toenails. Ow factor: medium.
Elf Toe Syndrome. Needs its own telethon.
Feet and toes: First I must explain. I have ingrown toenails. They grow down and in. Also, I have this weird issue where the bones of my big toes grow upward. There's probably an official name for this foot condition but I call it Elf Toe Syndrome. Except instead of delightful little bells at the ends of my big toes, it's bone. I recently had one of my toenails removed, as in permanently. But before that, when Zoe used to stamp down on my foot, I'd lose my ability to process language, entering the Realm Beyond Ow. Think of a room without windows where three of the walls are painted bloodred and the fourth is an accent wall covered in a repeating pattern of Edvard Munch's The Scream. Ow factor before surgery: Infinite. After surgery: I have another toe, so it ain't pretty.

He thought he had problems.

That complete's my head to toe survey. In terms of pain management, I feel like Dr. House. I went from someone who took one Tylenol at a time to swallowing two Aleve . . . dry.
Zoe: 16; Universe/Mommy: 0
Postscript: This post is a day late because Zoe gave me her stomach virus. Ow factor: dry heaves.


  1. Bwahahahahaha. I can't stop laughing. Love hurts...but then on top of all of that.....THE STOMACH VIRUS?! Motherhood is not for the weak of heart (or body!) --Lisa

    1. Sure isn't. Not sure if motherhood is exposing my strengths or weaknesses some days!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.