Thursday, December 13, 2012

Practical Botany for the Modern Parent

I was told about this well after it happened.  And that's really the best way to be told about things like this.

Curlycue is crawling around at alarming speeds now.  She's so fast in fact, that I have to flat-out race her to get the deadbolt unlocked and the door shut after me as I'm leaving for work.  She spots me and just accelerates like a V10, always sporting this maniacal grin.  And shrieking.  She shrieks.  A lot.  Loudly.  She does that when she tires of hissling.  Anyway.

She's also got the annoying habit of waiting until you've got a drink in your hand, and she - this is lightning quick, mind you - shoots out a hand on the lip of your glass and starts shaking it like an earthquake.  She did this with my (hot) coffee one morning.  Didn't turn out well.

And the child's grip strength is staggering.  You can barely peel her off anything she's determined to hold.  Like my neck.  At times I've wondered if she's cutting off the blood flow to my brain.  She'll grab a hunk of my face, I guess just to see if it's attached.  Usually she does this in church, so that the 10 full pews behind us can see exactly how far my bottom lip can stretch.  It's pretty far, man.  Or she yanks a big tangle of my hair (overwhelmingly popular choice, that one).  Or my chest hair.  Dirty little thing just shoves a fist down my front button and digs around in there for whatever she can grab.

My point in all this - and there is one - is that the chick is fast.  Undetectably, unstoppably fast.  We tend to have to work with consequences, rather than on prevention.

Majesty's good friend and her son came over yesterday for lunch, and to work in some generalized playtime type stuff.  It was nice outside so the grownups (and the nefarious and quick Caroline) sit on the patio.  Amazingly, the frost didn't kill all of our sissy plants, and there's a croton nearby, between some chairs.

Unfamiliar with the croton?  No sweat; I've got you covered.  The boildown is they're semi-tropical, can be simultaneously red, green, and yellow, they're all over the Yucatan, for instance, and you probably trampled several of them that time you chased the big iguana outside the hotel room on your honeymoon.

BUT dear friends did you know what they do to sneaky little babies that guess the leaves probably taste like field greens in a nice vinaigrette?

I quote:
It contains an oil with violently purgative and irritating qualities, which is also suspected of being a co-carcinogen. Luckily, it tastes dreadful, so accidental poisonings are rare.

Prevent children from nibbling on the attractive leaves.
So (Former?) Friend gets a solid coating of baby yak when Curlycue spews her lunch like a busted up Coke can.  Among the yakkity rubble?  A tiny, green square of Codiaeum variegatum.



Bebe said...

Whoa-- sounds potent!!

Roxanne said...

So what you're saying is, that this "more laid back baby" has now found more than one way to make her presence known.

And I'm assuming she STILL likes jewelry.