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This week's Laurel escapades.

For the past week, I've been holding down the household in Mom's absence, so I've gotten delegated not only all the cooking/cleaning duties (usually I cook a few times a week and do the cleaning jobs Mom doesn't like, as well as miscellaneous painting, tiling, etc.) but taking care of the 12-year-old and keeping tabs on the 19-year-old. Normally, this wouldn't mean much, but Laurel's been into everything in the past few months.

The highlights (or lowlights) of this week...

- Laurel reached through the bars of her crib when she was supposed to be falling asleep and unloaded most of a family-sized box of tissues on the nightstand. (While we share a room, my bed and the crib would meet at a perpendicular angle except for a small nightstand separating them.)

- While I was washing dishes after dinner, Laurel asked for a snack and the 12-year-old gave her some dry cereal in a cup. Apparently the box wasn't properly put away, for when I was finished and went into the living room (separated from the kitchen only by a partial wall the refrigerator, oven and pantry are set against), Laurel had spread the ENTIRE BOX OF CEREAL all over the loveseat.

- Laurel picked up a splinter (don't know where, since she's gated off from the deck and there are no other wooden floor surfaces in the house) but wouldn't let me touch her foot. After a day of listening to her intermittently say "owie" when she stepped on her right foot and screaming whenever I tried to look at it, I finally held her down and pulled it out. (I used sterilized tweezers, swabbed the site with peroxide both before and after extraction, and finished up with Neosporin + Pain Relief and a band-aid, but she still howled like a banshee.) The 12-year-old actually came upstairs from the cooler refuge of the family room to see what all the noise was about.

- Laurel found a set of rubber stamps that someone had used and not cleaned off after use. Before I wrestled them from her (she's got a wicked grip), she managed to taste a few of them and get blue ink all around her lips and nose. It cleaned up with a wipe, but it looked pretty bad until I got it all off.

The real piece de resistance of the week came less than half an hour ago: after being in bed for 45 minutes and being told repeatedly to go to bed (all the lights were off and I'd just gotten the computer on and connected to check e-mail and my usual daily reads), she started quieting down. I thought she was finally falling asleep, but movement in the edge of my peripheral vision made me turn -- just in time to see her manage to make it over the side of her crib. *sighs* No injuries to her other than her pride, but I'm about ready to get a tiger cage for her to sleep in since she won't settle down to sleep at normal times.

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Melissa, starry-eyed soy-lovin' Expatriated Zulu

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