Her Bad Mother

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Ooooh, She's A Little Runaway...

The other day, Wonderbaby tried to run away from home. For the second time.

I fully expected that at some point in our family life, she would make a runaway attempt. I made my own first attempt when I was about eight years old. I can't for the life of me recall the reason, but I'm sure that it was a response to some grave household injustice, and I studied The Mixed-Up Files Of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, closely, for days in planning my escape. I gave up my plans when I got to the end of my driveway and realized that I had no idea how to get to the Metropolitan Museum of Art from the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada. But, yeah, I was eight years old. Wonderbaby is 28 months old. And she hasn't even read The Mixed-Up Files yet, so how'd she know to layer her clothes and be strategic about what she stuffed in her backpack?

And why has she done it twice?

The first time was week before last. She got tired, apparently, of being bossed by Her Bad Grandma - who was staying with her while I was off doing some jet-setty momblogger shiz (which is to say, learning how to braid hair and catch my prolapsed uterus in a bucket) - and so gave Grandma an ultimatum: you go Gamma. Or I go. And when Grandma informed her that, no, she would not go home, Wonderbaby said OKAY I GO GAMMA YOU NO STOP ME and went to her room where she retrieved her backpack and open her drawers and began emptying them of her gear. Once the backpack was filled with toys and clothing, she proceeded - according to HBG, in a fit of high temper - to layer clothing upon herself, beginning with a variety of pants and shirts and finishing with her full-body-SPF-protection swim-slash-sunsuit and a pair of tights that she couldn't quite get over her layers, much to her rage.

She then - backpack pulled firmly over shoulders - tromped down the stairs and put on her rain boots, all the while shouting YOU NO FOLLOW ME at Grandma. There was further hissy-fittage when she discovered that her coat wouldn't go on over her overstuffed backpack, until she settled upon throwing a sweater over her shoulders like a cape and pulling a fuzzy snow hat - complete with ear flaps - over her head. At which point she reportedly told Grandma, again, a voce alta: I GO FIND MAMA YOU DON'T FOLLOW ME GO AWAY.

And headed for the door.

My mother, bless her heart, fought the urge to just let her go, although it was more, she said, out of fear of what the neighbours would think of a shrieking, be-hoboed toddler marching down the road than out of any real fear for Wonderbaby's safety. And to Wonderbaby's credit, she did eventually calm down and, with Her Bad Grandma's patient help, put her things away.

Thus was averted a career of boxcar-riding and panhandling for Wonderbaby. Until a few days ago, when she tried it again, with me...

Wonderbaby, in full runaway regalia (multiple layers of clothing, mismatched boots, awkwardly tied, mittens, tiny suitcase in one hand, bag of diapers under one arm, Toadstool shoved in waistband of one of many layers of tights and pants): BYE MAMA. I GO NOW.

Me, exhausted and newly retired (in my own mind) from motherhood: Okay, sweetie. Bye.


Me: Okay.

WB, turning and walking away: OKAY. YOU DON'T FOLLOW ME.

Me: I won't.

At which point she tromped down the stairs and rattled at the handle of the (locked - I know my daughter) front door. A few moments later, after much exasperated huffing and dragging of miniature luggage back up the stairs, she reappeared at the playroom door.

WB, putting down bags and affecting her most serious look: I no go find better home.

Me: Okay.

WB: Okay.

(Sweet, sweet silence for a few minutes.)






What was it that I said at the end of my last post? Oh, right... AM F*CKED.

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Blogger TZT said...


Something tells me that she wouldn't have to scrap for money in the museum fountain after hours with that face.

2:38 PM  
Blogger Mouse said...

Wow. Just wow.

What surprises me is that she obviously gets the concept too. You are definitely f'ed.

Just hope that the second one is quiet and prefers cuddling to anything else. Then you might not have to worry about them ganging up on you.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Run ANC said...

Well, here I was bemoaning that the Boy JUST figured out that he could open his bedroom door (that it wasn't locked).

You've got one smart cookie there.

3:00 PM  
Blogger Sass said...

Oh she's so beautiful.

She certainly likes the idea of packing and getting away. Got a feeling this isn't going to be her last attempt to make a break for it.

3:25 PM  
Blogger Amy Urquhart said...

I love how Wonderbaby's grandma is Her Bad Grandma. Does that mean I was Her Bad Babysitter the other night? heh


3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading that story the only thing that came to mind was:
Wow, she is really good at dressing herself...and at 28 months.

But too funny....somedays I tell the kids that Mommy is running away...but I never thought to pack a suitcase...wonderbaby got me beat on that one!

3:53 PM  
Blogger ninjapoodles said...

Oh, dear. Oh, sweet merciful heavens. Oh, wait--I know. Just tell her alllll about the "walls, ceiling and floor" DOWN THERE, and that running away cracks your foundation. That'll keep her home. FOREVER.

4:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am only 18 months into the girl experience (my boys would never leave, even if I begged them to), and I am getting a glimpse of my future.

It's going to be awesome, I can tell.

Good thing she's so dang cute, hey?

4:33 PM  
Blogger Kimberly said...

My 8 year old just read that book and had to pack a pretend suitcase as a a kind of book report. I told her not to get any bright ideas :)

4:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awww, that is too cute. I think I'm the only one that got a little misty picturing her little self all stuffed into clothes, carrying her backpack and making for the Great Outdoors. I'm glad she conceded and decided that some milk and honey might help.
And I feel for you these past few days (weeks?) I remember being in that last month and crying at EVERY freaking thing my kids/husband/cats/editors did. (They HAAAATTTE MEEEEEE!)
btw, such a cutie!

5:01 PM  
Blogger Kyla said...

Okay, okay. You're totally f*cked.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Miss Merry Sunshine said...

*snort* TWO TREATS...like you are so lucky to be my Mama or...get the snacks bitch or I'm outta here! OMG, you really are f*cked!

5:19 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

MMS - 'get the snacks bitch' is about it. MY LIFE, hurrah.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said...

I didn't try to run away from home until I was about 6? 7? I thought it was something all kids did sooner or later. Just sooner in your case ;)

Funny, I wrote something kinda similar today. Must be the time of year, maybe?!

5:31 PM  
Blogger Beck said...

That's when you pour out the ol' maternal guilt, and feign weeping at the terrible, terrible sadness you'll feel without her. It's mean but fair.

5:55 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Yeah, you've got a spunky one. Neither of my kids have attempted this yet.

I have, but not the kids. They know they have it made.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! She's quite the adventurer! And I thought it was bad when my son told me he was going to find a different mummy & daddy (and proceeded to pretend to call them on the phone and have a conversation).

Yea. Good luck with her!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh. My. Goodness. She's priceless.
And yes, you are f*cked. But I'm happy to be along on the ride!

7:13 PM  
Blogger Mimi said...

Ooh, I like Beck's plan.

Dude, you're in serious trouble.

7:25 PM  
Blogger Mary said...

She sounds like the landlady in that video Will Ferrell made--YOU GO NOW!!!

Gawd, the visual of her putting on all her clothes just about made me incontinent!

8:34 PM  
Blogger Tania said...


10:03 PM  
Blogger kittenpie said...

Okay, this time, I'm agreeing. Fucked indeed.

2:45 AM  
Blogger jess said...

That's hilarious. Wow, is she going to have fun as a big sister (minions!)

12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Definitely f*cked. This kid is amazing. I don't think my kids ever ran away from home, no matter how much encouragement I gave them, and there's one who keeps hanging around looking for handouts and home cooking even now (he's 36). I ran away once at the age of 10 but I wasn't nearly so organized as Wonderbaby, I just took off walking, didn't even pack or tell anyone I was going. My mom used cabs a lot and knew most of the drivers in our town of some 20,000, so she called the cab company and they found me. And my cousin I'd dragged along.

This little girl of yours is someone to be reckoned with. Better you than me. I'm too tired.

4:31 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

An runaway who is good at blackmail. A serious combination. Good luck! She and Her Bad Brother might take over the universe one day.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Her Bad Mother said...

mommytime - which would be fine, because they'll have been the death of me long before then. So I won't be around to wring my hands about it.

10:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh my! What a drama queen! But such a cute drama queen.

Here's to you for having the foresight to lock the front door! All Hail HBM!

9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She is certainly a force to be reckoned with! I feel like this is a glimpse into my future, with a strong willed currently 16 month old girl.

Is it bad that I laughed at the image of a behobo-ed toddler? TOO FUNNY!

PS- While I was writing my comment, my 16 month old was filling one of her shoes with oatmeal. fun.

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This kid is hilarious - sounds like you have met your match. And also sounds like you are f-ed. :)

10:55 AM  
Blogger ChicMama! said...

Am laughing so hard, I have tears in my eyes. be-hoboed? Hilarious.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

am i allowed to laugh? boy isn't wonderbaby going to be a fun teenager.but you know you'd never want to break her spirit....LAVANDULA

11:10 AM  
Blogger Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah said...

It could be worse. I used to threaten to NEVER leave home. My father is still worried I'll come back and bring the kids and the husband and the cats with me.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, you are f*cked. But just thing what havoc she will wreak on the world if it does not bend to her will. She is so well equipped to take on a world filled with bratz dolls and ms.bimbo websites. She is high functioning gal - try not cry. HUGS!

12:48 PM  
Blogger Major Bedhead said...

Yeah, you're f*cked. Sorry.

But damn, that was one of the funniest stories I've read in...well, actually, only since your last post.

1:36 PM  
Blogger Candy said...

Yeah, I think you just may be well and truly f*cked. Good luck with that.

She's cute though.

2:52 PM  
Blogger caramama said...

NOOOOOO. That is much to young to start running away. You are indeed f*cked, and I'm really nervous for my future as well!

At least she's adorable! That can make up for a lot.

3:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Start stocking up on medication now, in preparation for when she's 13. The medication is for you, of course. Either that or boarding school for her. Laughed so hard I cried.

4:09 PM  
Blogger clueless but hopeful mama said...

Oh wow. I'm laughing and giggling over here. I know it's probably not nice to laugh though, because I agree with everyone, you are f*cked.

4:17 PM  
Blogger Woman in a Window said...

Try it when they're 7 and they really do leave, take off running out the front door and down the street with hair flying out behind them. Ah, ya, then you're F*#! Oh, no that'd be me.

4:20 PM  
Blogger Maternal Mirth said...

Lovelovelovelove Wonder Baby!!!! She made my day, must to the chagrin of Her Bad Mother, I am sure.

4:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh dear, that is adorable.

and, er, yeah, you're f*cked. good luck with that.


10:35 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Wow.. those are quite the demands.

Where did she pick that one up? Hm perhaps Dora the Explorer is not such a good influence...she's always backpacking it around without *her* mom!

I grew up with Mr Dressup and Polka Dot Door... maybe thats why my rebel years came much later? ;)

7:33 AM  
Blogger Woman on the Verge said...

Holy Sh*t. That's all I can say.

8:10 AM  
Blogger b*babbler said...

Read this post after your most recent one, and all I can say is - don't you worry about commenting and such. Your hands are quite full, thankyouverymuch!

9:07 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Oh Wonderbaby. I adore you. You've got enough moxie to fill 10 grown women. (Can I have some? Will trade my treats for your moxie!)

As for the most recent post... Everyone has those weeks or months where they've got so much life happening, that there's no time for anything else. Can completely understand.

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My oldest tried to runaway from home when he was two. Packed all his stuff and dragged it to the door, he was going to live with Nana. Too bad he couldn't open the door. As a teen he ran away a few more times. He's twenty four now and he seems to have quit running.

I just realized this story probably doesn't help much. Sorry about that. Except that they do grow up, and it happens quicker than you think. Take care sweetie.

10:47 AM  
Blogger Katey said...

I just read this post and the Urinary Tale, at work, and someone walked by and asked me if I was okay! That sounds just like my daughter, who is 22 months.

OMG, I have to take a deep breath now after laughing that hard. Whew!

1:37 PM  
Blogger Phoenix said...

I have to say, I adore that she took a bag of diapers with her. I guess in her new home, someone would be nice enough to change them for her?

She's a thinker that one. My advice is put a dead bolt high up, where she'll be 8 before she'd be able to get at it by standing on a chair.

4:59 PM  

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