Sunday, February 3, 2008

A Tale of Two Messes

We chose to have a quiet weekend at home since Rob had to leave for work again tonight. He left a little while ago for Oregon (hopefully he won't have a problem with snow since it started about an hour before he left) and will be back Friday. Yep, just in time for him to leave for his Reserve weekend and we expect that he'll have to leave again on Tuesday for a three day trip to North Carolina. Needless to say, I'm not exactly thrilled that he will be gone for almost the next two weeks solid not to mention that if he does go on the last trip he'll get back very late on Valentine's Day and will be missing the couple's Valentine's Day Dessert at our church. :(

So, in light of the quietness at home and looking to find humor in something, I think I'll write a bit about Gabe and his phobia of messes. We knew pretty early on that Gabe had issues with mess. He wouldn't eat things that left his hands messy and didn't like to get dirty when he played. When he was a couple months shy of turning two we bought him a Jo Jo's Circus video for Christmas. We were celebrating the holiday at my sister's house so we set him up by himself in the family room to watch the video while we all visited in the living room. After about ten minutes we heard him scream - loud! I ran in there along with my sister to find him seemingly terrified to the point of visibly shaking, when I picked him up he clung to me like a little monkey. A terrified little monkey. We could not figure out what had happened but he would not finish watching the video. Later when we watched it at home I thought that he was afraid of the show because a pie throwing machine throws a pie right at the viewer. I thought he didn't like something coming right at him. It wasn't until months later that I figured out that he was terrified because the pie throwing machine goes crazy and throws pies all over Jo Jo's school room making a HUGE mess. To this day he still talks about the pie throwing machine making a mess in a very disapproving fashion.

Fast forward a few months after Christmas. Gabe is 2 1/2 and we are at my baby shower shortly before Zion is born. My sister hosted so we are once again at her house and my younger niece had just had her birthday party there. Jessa's birthday cake had had a toy car on it that Gabe was playing with. At one point my sister took it from him and drove it around on her leg to make him giggle. What she didn't realize was that it had a bit of frosting still left on it so that it left a trail behind. When Gabe saw that he turned white (yes, he actually turned WHITE) and took a step backyard to distance himself, his eyes got huge and his face was scared! Very quickly I picked him up and assured him that it was OK while my sister frantically cleaned off her pants. We're lucky that he didn't pass out. Whew! That was a close one!

While Gabe is getting better about messes, he no longer picks up his sippy cup with closed fists if it gets messy at meals and he will touch food that makes his hands messy (though he doesn't like to) and doesn't faint at the sight of frosting, he isn't completely over his phobia. A few months ago we were once again at my sister's house (he is actually afraid of messes outside of my sister's house as well) and Gabe, Jamie and I were hanging out around her kitchen table when my brother walked through carrying a paint gun. Gabe asked what it was and we explained that it's a toy that makes a mess - kind of like the pie throwing machine. Gabe stopped what he was doing, looked up and in a hushed, disbelieving voice whispered "No." Yes, Gabe, there really is a mess making machine.

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