November 16, 2006

In Which I TOTALLY Rescue a Baby Goat. OH YES I DO!

And here YOU are, already thinking it must be metaphorical. Sez you.
I was on the earwig with Mir---

IMMEDIATE Digression: I love the earwig. I can screw it into my head and talk on the phone while in the car without endangering other motorists OR setting off Maisy Jane’s HIGHLY ATTUNED DANGER ANTENNA, because talking on a cell phone in the car is a SAFETY VIOLATION!

I think they must have had SAFETY WEEK at preschool. I lived through Sam-at-four’s SMUG reprimands every time I looked like I was about to imperil America by leaving a parking space at Target…

Him: MOMMY! You went back out of the parking space and did not LOOK BACK! That’s not SAFE!
Me: I DID look back.
Him: Well you didn’t look back ENOUGH.

Yeah. Thanks, kid.

I SWORE a MIGHTY OATH that any subsequent babies of mine would be SICK for all of safety week. Alas, that’s one of the downsides of having babies 5 years apart. I forgot about safety week in the ensuing years, and now Maisy has been SOAKING in it.

Four is an officious age, and safety week gives them the tools to find those glorious small moments when MOMMY is wrong and someone, SOME educated brave soul who understands the RULES OF SAFETY must sally forth and CORRECT Mommy in the smuggest, most insufferable voice IMAGINABLE. They take such UNBRIDLED RELISH in KNOWING the rules and quoting the rules and seeing no exceptions or gray areas----you know, MOST four year olds would make admirable DMV employees.

The other day I California Stopped my way through a DEAD-DEAD-DEAD intersection, and Maisy’s prim little voice came piping in from the backseat:

“MOMMY! You did not stop at that red! That’s … a SAFETY VIOLATION!”

It was almost physically impossible NOT to blurt out, “I totally paused!”

AND YET I MANAGED. I AGREED it was indeed a TERRIBLE safety violation and told her I hoped she would never perpetrate such horrors after she turned 27 and was allowed to get her drivers license.

I award me 50 mother points.

Anyway, so I was on the phone with Mir having a typical GIRLFRIEND conversation. They go something like this--- though this is the “Recently Engaged to Marry Otto” edition.

Her: Otto! Otto! Croon! Croon!
MeL Deadline! Deadline! Panic! Panic!
Her: Otto!
Me: …Michael C. Hall!
*pause for dreamy sighs*
Her: Question about anthologies?
Her: …Michael C. Hall!
*dreamy pause*
Her: SO anyway, Otto---
Me: WAIT! Can I call you right back? I have to go rescue a baby goat!
Mir: … um. Okay?

Granted that last is not the general way the conversations end. BUT there was a Baby Goat! And he was IN PERIL!

This is the same road I go down to get Sam every day----the road with the YARD CHICKENS, remember, and further down it, someone has put a goat pen in their front yard, right out in front of their craftsman style mcmansion. Well, where would you put YOUR goat pen? And this EXTREMELY teeny goat baby had gotten OUT through the fence mesh and was having some sort of seizure right by the side of the busy road.

I stopped the car in the drive and went over to investigate. He hadn’t so much as ESCAPED the fence as threaded himself through it, and now was yelling tiny baby goat yells and twitching miserably. I unthreaded him, and he stilled and looked at me with those flat gold alien eyes goats have and let me. Then he went trotting off to join the other goats.

Back in the car, Maisy said, “MOMMY! Do you KNOW that goat?”
Me: Well, we’ve not been formally introduced, but he seems nice enough.

After a long involved conversation about the LEVELS of how well one can TRULY KNOW a goat, I finally figured out what she was angling after…Going up to and touching strange dogs is a SAFETY VIOLATION, and she was hoping goats counted.

Posted by joshilyn at November 16, 2006 5:13 AM

Gee, I thought that baby goats and puppies voided that violation.

I just realized that Mir is moving down from the frozen North to near you! OMG I predict it doesn't change much of anything and that you end up communicating by email, texting, and earwigging. D'ya think that Sam and Maisie are going to like Chickadee and Monkey?

Posted by: hollygee at November 16, 2006 6:14 AM

JJ - Mir, Mir, Maisy, Maisy, goat, goat.

Bob - laugh, laugh, hmmm:

the way you know it is a california stop (other than the obvious NOT STOPPING) vs. any other stop is when it is accompanied with an exclaimation including the word "totally". or "dude". or "like".

like, I'm just totally sayin, dude.

peace, brah.

Posted by: Bob at November 16, 2006 8:35 AM

I'm so impressed that you didn't pull out the "totally paused" line, especially since if Maisy continued to object you could've moved on to the all purpose "what-EV-er!" Soooooooo tempting. You get many, many Good Mommy points for resisting. You're, like, a total Betty!

PS...Does Maisy know you talk on the internet every day to a bunch of people you've never actually met? Uh oh!

Posted by: DebR at November 16, 2006 8:48 AM

That would qualify us as STRANGERS (mwah ha ha). "Mommy, do you KNOW that goat?" As though knowing goats in neighbors yards is something you normally do. "Why no, Maisy. I know the Harper's goats and McNeilson's goats, but this goat just needed a helping hand. I introduced myself while saving him from a fate worse than death, and he seemed to appreciate it."

Posted by: rwl10802 at November 16, 2006 9:36 AM

O, Maisy is sooooooo four.

My five-year-old tells me how to drive every day, and he will not be getting his license until he is 34. Well, maybe a bit earlier since I'll be like 70 then and I might need someone to drive me around occasionally.

I'm so glad you rescued the baby goat!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at November 16, 2006 10:10 AM

Hey, thanks for the Clueless clip -- I was feeling kinda grumpy, and that cheered me. And, uh... good luck with officious little Maisy.

Posted by: Aimee at November 16, 2006 10:46 AM

Umm.. with some of them it doesn't go away. When my son was little he went through that phase but, bless his little heart, it ended. My *daughter* on the other hand wants to be the world's hall monitor. She's seven. It is getting less cute. Our trips to Target are filled with "Mommy, she has a SMOKER in her mouth!!!!" and "HEY- YOU DON'T HAVE A SEATBELT ON" (this yelled to someone driving by...) and "Mommy, that other mommy is letting her little boy run with a lollipop in his mouth- do you think that's SAFE???"

You can imagine how endearing this is to the general public.

Posted by: Laura at November 16, 2006 11:11 AM

What do you mean you don't know that goat? :roll:

Are you sure you don't want her to get her license until 27. Think of what that portends for YOUR future? Well unless Sam decides to be her chauffer, but what is the likelihood of that when he is 32? I mean think, you don't live in NYC where most don't drive themselves, you live in the south where a country block can be several miles long. Totally Dudette :)

Posted by: Cele at November 16, 2006 12:01 PM

To Laura (above), I lol because MY 5 year old calls it a "smokin' cigarette" and has informed smoking friends and family exactly what her mommy thinks about smoking. Such things as "Mommy thinks you made a bad choice. Mommy thinks you must not love your body very much. Mommy thinks even though you hate that thing, your body NEEDS it and now you can't stop". All things I have said about smoking or starting smoking in general none of which I have said about specific smokers per se.

To Joshylin, my sympathies. I have a 3 year old who tells me to drive but usually by yelling "GO!" when I am at a red light momentarily causing me to lose my mind and take my foot off the brake because obviously, the three year old is more intuned to traffic rules than I am when I am spaced out at a red light. Also, “MOMMY! Do you KNOW that goat?” is my new favorite quote.

Joshylin Jackson, friend to creatures great and small. You need a cape, I think.

Posted by: Em at November 16, 2006 2:39 PM

I love it when the kiddos correct us, or give us driving hints. That just makes my day.
Just the other day, my husband did a "brake check" with the kids in he car. It's always been his thing. From the very back seat, the baby (5yo) says, "Hey there bucko, easy on the brakes, I'm trying to read here". Of course, she doesn't read. Nor does she normally call anyone bucko. Then, not two seconds later, she pipes up with "Sheesh, does that idiot even HAVE a turn signal? What is his problem? Did he get his license out of a Cracker Jacks box or what? Where are those cops when you need them?"
I had tears rolling down my face by the time we got to church. And the husband? All he could do was stare at me and laugh, while trying not to swerve too much. That would have really set her off.

And Joss, you are so amazingly sweet for saving that little goat. Did you manage to let the owners know what had happened? How could Maisy not be proud of her Momma for that? I agree, you need your own cape now.

Posted by: dee at November 16, 2006 2:56 PM

As Tim Rice might say:
"When I think of his last great battle
A lump comes to my throat
It takes a man who knows no fear
To wrestle with a goat"

Can you tell that my own little punkin is in a community theatre production of JOSEPH & THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT? 7 performances... oh, and all those rehearsals... and the *CD* and the continual singing in the shower and and and...

I have the whole show memorized. Backwards AND forwards.

Little Maisy is soooo cute!

Posted by: Martha O'Connor at November 16, 2006 4:27 PM

Oh, you embellisher and selective remember, you.

I didn't say a THING about Michael C. Hall. And when you called me back afterwards, I think I DID ask if there was now a goat in your van. I was rather hoping you were taking it home for a Schubert vs. Goat smackdown.

Posted by: Mir at November 16, 2006 6:20 PM

I suspect that perhaps the little goat was a fainting goat. Yes, they exist. No, I don't know why. They just faint when they get excited.

Posted by: Suebob at November 16, 2006 6:43 PM

Here is a link from (I am not making this up) The International Fainting Goat Association:

Posted by: Suebob at November 16, 2006 6:45 PM

Aww you SAVED him.

Now you've been introduced you will know him next time you pass!

Posted by: Jas at November 17, 2006 5:05 AM

The world's hall monitor (above) is my niece!

Dee: Heh! Oh, good luck with that one.

And Martha... my sympathies. That show is just one earworm after another. I used to play in the orchestra for community theater waybackwhen, and the only show that's got more earworms than JatATD is Oliver!

Posted by: Aimee at November 17, 2006 10:27 AM

Thanks to Suebob, I now know that fainting goats come from Tennessee. Obviously.

I learn something new here EVERY DAY.

Posted by: Mir at November 17, 2006 12:36 PM