The Giant Chicken in the Room and Other Disasters

Oh, did I have a day yesterday…

It started the night before last. Eva just would not go to sleep, which is a new and very irritating problem. I think it might have something to do with the sun going down later and the world warming up because we had the same problem at this time last year. She can just be awake forever. The hard thing is, of course, that we’re all piled into one room now so even though it was frustrating to tell her to go to bed last year, this year we have to whisper-scold her and we live in terror that she’ll wake her brother up with her shenanigans. One vote against the family bedroom.

The night before last was the worst and she got only about six hours of sleep (Kyle and I getting a little less) so when she woke up very early yesterday we immediately started to battle about whether or not she would stay in bed. This resulted in the first “I want a new Mama and Daddy” which is both developmentally appropriate and a lot like getting kicked in the face. We recovered eventually, but it was not a good morning.

The not-good morning turned into a really long day. We had a playdate (yay!) but I let Calvin get overheated so he was unusually screamy (boo!) and I picked up fast food lunch so I’d have more time to work (yay!) only to find out that my dedicated server was down all day yesterday so my sites were offline (boo!). I decided to stay positive and plaster a smile on so I reframed the whole thing as an opportunity to clean and started clearing space in the living room for some serious Spring cleaning of the kid stuff. It was at this point that Calvin did one of those baby magic tricks where he pooped on the outside of the diaper rather than inside the diaper.

I was changing Cal on the floor of the living room and he was squirming and trying to reach past me because grabbing poop is the best game ever. Most of you haven’t met my son face to face, so you might not know that he’s a little tank who is surprisingly strong. Eventually I was actually using part of my body weight to hold him down while I changed him and he was still getting the better of me.

I realized he needed a distraction when I saw this stuffed chicken laying just out of reach.  My family in Napa sent each of the kids giant stuffed chickens and since they’re bigger than Calvin he’s really entranced by them. Exactly what I needed.


I called to Eva and she came running in so I asked her to bring the chicken to Calvin. This happened:

“The chicken?”

“The stuffed chicken from G.G.M. – bring it here.”

She looks around where she’s standing. “I don’t see it.”

“It’s over by your art table.”

She runs over, carefully running around the chicken, and looks under her art table. “It’s not here.”

“No, Eva, it’s right behind you.” (Calvin has, in fact, gotten his fingers into his poop and I have to pin him with my arm to keep them from going into his eye while I grab a baby wipe.)

Eva turns around and runs (around the chicken) to the piano on the other side of the room. “It’s not here!”


Eva, who has been in trouble at least eight times today and does not wish to be in trouble again, starts to cry and runs in perfect circles around the stuffed chicken, which is indeed the only thing on the floor besides the poop monster and his mother.


It was too much – the happy baby with the handfuls of poop and the wailing toddler with the giant chicken right in front of her. I started to laugh hysterically – “hysterically” being the absolute perfect word. Tears ran down my face and I couldn’t catch my breath because I was laughing so hard and Eva started to laugh because I was laughing and this distracted Calvin so I was able to clean him up and we were all laughing together even though the kids were looking at each other like Mom lost her mind.

I called Kyle to let him know that I was pretty much having a nervous breakdown, so when he got home last night he packed the kids up and took them away for hours and hours. I turned on Chopped and cleaned the house and ate a hot dinner and it was truly better than being at Disneyland. Then, when Kyle brought them back and put them down, both kids fell asleep immediately and stayed asleep so Kyle and I read in the living room in perfect peace and quiet.

It got late and Kyle got up from reading on the floor and started to get ready for bed. I noticed that he left a couch pillow in the middle of the living room, because the house was clean, but I stifled the urge to get up and put it back. I waited to see if he’d notice, so when he kissed me goodnight and then stepped over the pillow to go to bed, I said, “Could you pick that up, please?”

He looked at me, looked all around the living room (pillow being the ONLY thing on the floor for miles) and said, “Pick what up?”

If Calvin also suffers from Morgan family floor blindness, I might never stop laughing.

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  • Reply Lila

    I honestly soooo needed this post. It’s nice to know I am not the only one whose kid threatens to find new parents when they don’t get what they want.
    Also, the hysterical laughing… that will happen more often.
    Sadly, the blindness cannot be fixed even with neon flashing arrows.

    April 17, 2014 at 11:55 am
  • Reply Eve

    Thank you for sharing this…I needed it today! I’m amazed at how you working moms handle it all. Some humor thrown in for good measure seems to be a necessity. I think you’ll officially have to change the phrase from “the pink elephant in the room” to “the giant chicken in the room. That no one can see.” I hope Eva starts logging more zzzzzzs very soon!

    April 17, 2014 at 8:10 pm
  • Reply Jessica {from Petite Lemon}

    I die …. I love life for all of its RIDICULOUSNESS like this. AND for husband’s who know when to pack up the car and the kid and let you take and a break and breath 😉 XO

    April 18, 2014 at 12:31 pm
  • Reply Mari

    Oh Carly I really love your mom stories! It’s good to hear how other people really do lose it every once in a while, better that you handled it by laughing hysterically. I’m trying to get to that point but right now I’m still crying hysterically when I have a nervous breakdown. I’m glad Kyle knew to scoop up the kids and give you some alone time. Maybe it’s the just Mom/wife goggles that allow us to see stuff like pillows and chickens on the floor. I think children and husbands don’t have that ability lol.

    April 18, 2014 at 2:34 pm
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