liquid courage

I’m thirsty.

No, I’m not stranded in the desert. I’m sitting in the comfort of my air-conditioned home with plenty of beverage options. We have milk, multiple Pepsi products, apple, orange, and grape juices, tea and coffee, plus good old-fashioned water. Heck, I could even pull out my infusion pitcher and add some strawberries to dress up that tap water a bit. I’m not lacking in things to drink, I’m just afraid to pour myself a glass.

Philip has become interested in the study of gravity’s effect on liquids. When I say it like that, it seems so noble. He’s being scientific.

Unfortunately, it’s a less noble thought that stops me from popping the tab on a Wild Cherry Pepsi: Philip is being a pain in the ass.

Philip has poured every possible beverage on the floors, tables, and us over the last month. Peter and I now chug and hug our drinks as if they were the last liquids on earth. We hide half-empty mugs in places we hope Philip can’t reach. We stash partial cans of Dr Pepper in the back of the fridge behind foods he won’t touch. Vigilance is imperative. On Sunday, when I left a tumbler unattended on my desk, Philip dumped its water on my laptop. Since that incident, I’ve just been going without.

It’s not only potables that pique Philip’s interest. When we cleaned the fish tank two weekends ago, I was in charge of capturing the fish and putting them in a bucket. And watching Philip. The last two fish were especially fast and refraction wasn’t helping me net them. I was staring intently at the aquarium when I heard a splash beside me. Philip had tipped over the bucket. I quickly grabbed flopping, gasping fish off the carpet. I yelled; Philip squealed with delight.

Our poor dog is suffering, too. Philip loves to pour out Roscoe’s water bowl. He also enjoys studying surface tension by adding bits of kibble to the water and watching them float. I either have to leave the water dish dry or move it behind a closed door. Even if I leave it accessible for Roscoe, Philip always leaves it empty. It’s lose-lose for the dog.

Because of Philip’s experimentation, I can’t even relax and consume a cola when he is in another room. Left unattended, he seeks out the easiest source of water in the house: the toilet. Last week, I arrived home to find the ceiling of our master bath looking like that of a boy’s reformatory. Philip discovered that he could wet the toilet paper and fling it up. Tissue wads now dangle from the ceiling and decorate the walls. We went through three rolls in as many days. Also, he decided that our tooth-brush holder was an ideal scoop. When I later found the missing toothbrushes on his bedroom floor, I threw them away. I wanted to burn them first, but I knew if I they had previously soaked in eau de toilette it was too late for me anyway.

Oh, crap. Wait - I should be happy it ISN'T crap.

Oh, crap. Wait – I should be happy it ISN’T crap.

I hope with nicer weather that I can take Philip out to splash and pour in his plastic pool to get this experimentation out of his system. I’m letting him linger at bath time so he can float toys to his heart’s content. Of course, when he’s accepting his Nobel Prize, maybe I’ll look back on these times with appreciation. Right now, I’d rather not have to say, “Don’t put your foot in the toilet!” ever again.

It’s enough to drive me to drink.



44 thoughts on “liquid courage

  1. Wow, I can’t imagine in this heat having to go without drinking or having to “sneak” it. Here’s to it getting warm enough for him to splash and pour outside soon.


  2. Cynthia, I am rolling on the floor here. Which hurts, thankyouverymuch, but it’s worth it. Having two boys of my own, I completely understand. My younger son has an unerring eye for anything small and inappropriate for a three-year-old to touch. It’s gotten to the point where we use him as a kind of metal detector for small objects. “C’mon, honey, find the screw mama dropped. Good boy!” But I can’t wait until we can stop hovering over him, ready to snatch away choke hazards at any moment. *sigh*


  3. I’m going to go write my Mom an apology, for the days when it was I who was the beverage bandit. I shudder to think how many dollars in toiletries I threw down the commode.


  4. Yep…my son keeps trying to drink from the dog bowl and play “splash bath” as he calls it…in the toilet. Shudder. He licked watery mud outside. He wants, no, demands a sip of every drink so, no wine for this mama. And yes the spills oh my… I happily keep plastic drinks with lids, no open cups here.


  5. I’d like a nice cold Pepsi now, please. 😉 That is my fear; that either one of my kids or I will spill a drink all over the laptop. This morning I was afraid it would be my coffee. What you need is an adult sippy cup that no one can spill. Or a flask? 😉


  6. Have you tried the cornstarch-and-water goo?
    It’s not as messy as it seems, it’s wasy to wipe up, if the container tips it doesn’t spill right away, and it’s a sort of endless physics experiment. My mom used to make up a little bowl for us and we had to play with it in the dry tub so she could just rinse down our area after… but it kept us busy for many many hours. (you can add food coloring, but for god’s sake don’t, that crap stains)


  7. Loved the post and I have tears of silent laughter streaming down my face (my 2.5 yr old is asleep and I don’t want to wake him by laughing)! I can empathize with the pouring/dumping! My son loves to watch the effect of the object falling and the effect the act itself has on Mommy and Daddy. My reaction is usually one of half laughing, half crying – especially when we just finished cleaning up the last spill! We are optimistic that it is just the scientist in him experimenting! Here’s to hoping for warmer weather for all our little scientists!


  8. I don’t have kids, so I hope it isn’t wrong that I find the exploits of other people’s kids amusing…I admire your way of storytelling, you really have a talent for this! And I think your son is a wonderful “muse.” 🙂


  9. I am laughing so much over your turns of phrase! “Vigilance is imperative.” “Potables.” It just all goes together so nicely…so see, sometimes the most irritating things turn into the best blog posts. 🙂


  10. OMG I totally remember what it was like when my kids were at that stage. Don’t worry, I feel you, I know what it’s like to be severely dehydrated but the good thing is, he’ll get over it. And next thing you know, he’ll start sharing your drinks with you and leaving you food (at the bottom of the glass) to go along with it. 🙂


  11. I know this phase of Philip’s has got to be frustrating, but this essay is really funny! The toilet paper wads on the ceiling picture is hilarious. You should probably go out for a beer, or a nice luxurious cup of coffee at a coffee shop.


  12. This was a great read! haha I’m sure in a couple of years this is where I will be with my daughter. Right now she is getting into the “I must grab EVERYTHING and shove it in my mouth” phase. Yesterday she grabbed a wad of my dogs hair and shoved it into her mouth. =/ That was gross to fish out.


    1. Since my son is a sensory seeker, we still face grabbing things and putting them in his mouth. I caught him eating crayons yesterday. It made for a very colorful diaper change today.


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