Thursday, May 28, 2009

Holy Holly Berries, Bat-Mom!

Written after a brazen (and premature) foray into freedom years ago, yesterday's posted Way Back When-esday images reminded me of this tale written nearly five years ago...seems like mere days ago...

Our tale begins with a gorgeous day in Virginia, and an overconfident Mommy of 30-month old twins.

Feeling proud of my twosome for their new-found adherence to correction and commands, I decided to gamely venture into our backyard for an outdoor playfest.

Ratio? One Mommy: Two 2 1/2 year-old twins. Seemed to be a pretty safe bet. I played the odds. What I neglected to remember was the house (in this instance, the backyard) always has the advantage.

We started innocently enough; happily raking, shovelling and even gently tossing sand in our turtle-shaped sandbox. We had a few minor skirmishes over prized beach toys, but no punishable confrontations. Everything was going so smoothly, I even entertained the fantasy of establishing a time-slot in our daily routine for these en plein aire play sessions.

Then, the chaos ensued.

Darren, apparently disenchanted with the diversions offered by the sandbox, bolted up and out of its confines...heading straight toward our shed. A mental inventory of the shed’s contents revealed not only the rakes (undoubtedly Darren’s desired playthings) but a Grim Reaper-esque scythe/hedge pruner. After one (firm), two (firmer), three (outright threatening), “Darren, Come Here!”-s, I realized I’d have to pursue him rapidly on foot. Scooping him up, I began the verbal correction session. We spun around to return to the sandbox area, and surprise!

Sarah had not only evacuated the sandbox, but was plucking, and to my horror, seemingly inserting, holly berries into her grinning mouth.

Like a football player, I held my bulky boy in one arm, while sprinting toward my giggling, mischief-giddy girl. Running the cursory finger-rake through her mouth, I excavated a morsel of what appeared to be the dreaded berry.

Double baby scoop, and into the house we flew. Of course by now, the decibel level was deafening. The harmonizing “I’m sorry”-s would have struck a chord, except the dreaded, yet necessary, call had to be made.

Barely able to hear the Poison Control spokesperson over the din, I asked, “Are holly berries poisonous?”

Her response, “Oh yes, definitely. How many do you think she consumed?”

“Maybe just one?” I tentatively replied.

“That should be okay.”

“What if it was two?”

“Two’s okay, too.”

“I doubt she had the time, but what if it was three?”

“That shouldn’t be a problem either.”

The screams escalating in the background forced me to ask what I was
hoping she’d reveal voluntarily, “How many is too many?”


“I’m having a hard time getting a straight answer out of my frustrated daughter. What if she did eat five? What do I need to do?”

“Take her to the emergency room immediately. How’s she behaving?”

“Well, as I am sure you can hear, she’s not exactly behaving. But she’s seems irritated in her normal ‘How dare you bring me inside?’ kind of way.”

“Then, let’s hope for the best. Can I have her name? (Answered) Your zip code? (answered) Bye-bye, and good luck!”

Good luck, indeed. It was time for the Grand Twinquisition.

“Sarah, did you eat the holly berries?”


“Did you eat 2?”


“Did you eat 10?”


“Did you spit the berry out?”


“Did you swallow any berries?”


“Did the berry taste good?”


“Did it taste iccky?”


Each of the following one hundred questions, which I’ll spare you here, caused her eyes to twinkle more & more. She had my total, atypical, undivided-with-her-twin-brother attention. And to her view, this was a fun conversation.

At this point, projectile vomit and/or diarrhea no longer seemed imminent.

Now my fear was that this trauma-created interrogation was too much fun. Surely the next time we crossed the threshold, she’d make a beeline to the holly bushes to begin the game again.

“Sarah & Darren, I want you both to listen to me carefully. You NEVER eat anything unless it is on your plate, or unless Mommy or Daddy gives it to you. Do you understand?”

“Yes!”, came the resounding, twin-unison reply.

Flash foward to the next morning. Peeking into the playroom, which looks out onto our backyard, I see Sarah. Her face and hands are pressed to the sliding glass doors.

“What are you looking at, Honey?” I asked. “Do you see a squirrel?”

“No. I am looking at the beautiful berries. And next time, Mommy and Daddy are going to give them to you.”

Suppose I am grateful we own that Grim-Reaper scythe after all. It’ll come in handy when decking our yard-waste bins with boughs of holly.
Fa- La- La- La- La.... La- La- La- La.
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Mother of Multiples said...

That was awesome. I was there by mere way you detailed the event. i was laughing and enjoyed it. It made me remember to when my twins were left alone downstairs and one ran up to inform me that the other one had eaten a dime????? He was standing on his head when I came down...hoping it would come out.. Same situation..was it a dime? I think so...was it a penny..maybe....the things we go thru

ChefDruck said...

Oh my gosh, how terrifying. what a wonderful image you painted of the two of you cutting those holly bushes down.

BoufMom9 said...

OMGosh! that had to have been so scary back then. (giving me giggles now though. What a smartie pants Miss sarah was, even back then. SHEESH!)

cat said...

Oh that sounds familiar -we had to remove a schrub form our garden with berries when the Little Miss was a toddler.

Terra said...

That was so funny, laughing at your trauma - I felt a little guilty but I could picture the whole scene, the panic, the two year old saying yes to everything...I am glad it was all OK in the end!

A little piece of 7th heaven said...

What a great story. I could envision it in my head as if I was there while these events unfolded. I have been there a time or two with my second daughter....plant food and deodorant are "our"

Missy said...

Why do they always answer yes to everything! I had a "did you throw my watch away" flashback. Yes, was the answer given with every question.
What a great story & precious picture. You have mad use-of-words skills - Ha!!!!

Dana said...

LOL!! I love this story.

Yesterday, we were at recess and had clearly set up the boundaries of where 'not' to go. The soccer ball went out of bounds and instead of retrieving it, the teachers stood by and waited to see if a child would 'sneak' out of bounds to get it or ask permission. (not because it mattered, just to see who the brave one would be) :-)
Sarah asked permission while Darren ran over and grabbed the ball. HILARIOUS reflection, IMO, of their personalities. Love your kids!

Threeundertwo said...

What a funny (in retrospect) story. I can just picture the scene.

When you're a twin mom, every little adventure is fraught with peril.

Jules said...

How that brings back memories of my little one always on the go & putting things in his mouth on the way!!
Makes you wonder how we hold up under such pressure & excitement!!

Take care!! ;0)

s.b. ellie said...

I LOVE your twin stories! They always make me smile. Your children are beautiful, bright, sweet and funny. I am so glad I get to see them everyday!

Michelle said...

OMGosh! lol I would have been terrified!!!

Thank you for adding me to your blogroll and the sweet words you posted to me. (((((((((hugs)))))))))

Barbara Manatee said...

haha! Glad you can look back now and laugh! I'm assuming nothing more came of the consumed berries? Hopefully not!!