Never Discount the Power of a Wicked Sense of Vitreous Humor

There is nothing like a weekend spent out of town with my 10-year-old daughter at a synchronized swimming tournament to re-affirm my complete ineptitude as a mother.

Once again, I was faced with the fact that I am unable to do the following: brush my daughter’s hair, put it in a ponytail, make a bun, mix Knox gelatin with warm water to the right consistency, paint the Knox gelatin on my daughter’s hair without burning her scalp, attach a headpiece to the plasticized hair without skewering her with a bobby pin, apply garish eye makeup, make the judges give her first place in everything, be the cool mom that lets her stay up late with her friends the night before she has to be at the pool at 7 a.m., bring her parka to keep her warm despite the fact that she told me in no uncertain terms that she would not need it, take pictures that don’t look like I was having an epileptic seizure that lasted the entire 48 hours.

But I did remember her swim bag this time.

I am not Swim Mom. I am Teach Her How to Program a Robot Mom. I am Sure, I’ll Ice Skate with you Since Your Friends Won’t Leave the Wall Mom. I am Let’s Ride the Roller Coaster and Get Scared Out of Our Wits Again Mom. I am Thank God You’re Finally Old Enough to go Ziplining with Me Mom.

And I thought that was enough.  But a weekend spent confronting my own shortcomings in the Swim Mom department was a bit defeating.  Particularly as I listened to my daughter’s pained yelps every time I attempted to do anything that might involve her scalp.

By the time we returned to school on Monday, I was feeling like one of the most incompetent mothers in history, rivaled only by the leathery mom who gave her daughter a sunburn in the tanning bed.

I halfheartedly invited Dimples to assist me in a “practice eye dissection” after school, and she agreed, “because then I don’t have to go to after-school care.”  She hates after-school care.  Another failing on my part.

When I pulled the sheep eyeballs out of the jar, the other adult assisting me had to “take a moment” before we started cutting in.  But Dimples surprisingly seemed untroubled by holding a detached organ in her gloved hands.  She approached the task of slicing the eye with great gusto that, quite frankly, had me a bit concerned about her own detachment.

Her favorite part was the inside section called “the vitreous humor”, and she plopped it up and down zealously, fascinated with the consistency.  I had a vague impression that I had seen this substance before, and finally realized where – it looked exactly like the unflavored, dissolved Knox gelatin that had been painted on her hair all weekend.

“Gross, Mom,” she groaned when I pointed this out.  But she grinned.

And I thought, “How many other daughters get to hang out with their own mother dissecting a sheep eyeball?”

You may bond with your daughter by teaching her the art of the perfect ponytail, but my daughter and I will always have our successful hunt for the optic nerve that brought us closer together.

Knoxed hair close up.  What?  Did you expect a picture of a dissected eyeball?

Knoxed hair close up. What? Did you expect a picture of a dissected eyeball?


Posted on April 13, 2013, in Children, Dimples, Family, Humor, Parenting, Synchronized Swimming and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 34 Comments.

  1. See! You are the Dissect Sheep Eyeballs With You mom. That is the best kind.

  2. The dissected eyeball would’ve been cool. But the slime on the hair is almost as gross.

  3. Yes I did!?!? Where is the eyeball??? You are a far cooler mom than the Swim Moms….and I’m sure Dimples already realizes this, even when you burn her scalp:)

  4. I’m pretty sure my life would have taken a different turn if there had been more parent-child dissections. Well done, Mom. You’re the bomb!

  5. Last year I bought my Dad a charcuterie course for Christmas (yes – you read that correctly). I attended with him. One of our tasks was to debone a rabbit. We were each presented with a skinned rabbit on our stainless steel bench. Dad said “It looks like Bella (my adored pooch!) without any fur”. And, he was right. Deboning/dissecting – it’s ALL bonding!

    • I must admit that I probably would have a difficult time with deboning a rabbit. Apparently, I am fine when faced with random parts of animals, but completely worthless when faced with the entire animal. I would have made a pitiful pioneer woman.

  6. I think all the other Moms you are make up for not being a Swim Mom. Random question, is your furniture really still chew-free as your ticker in the side bar claims?

  7. I was totally expecting the eyeball.

    • I regret that omission. My eyeball pictures were too blurry, and I did not want to cheat by bringing in one from Google. I have another chance this week when I do the lab with my 3rd graders. I’ll try to have a steadier hand.

  8. I feel like I have learned so much. Swimming, hair, makeup, gelatin, eyeballs, parenting…Is this a Wiki site? 😉

  9. I scrolled down prematurely in gross anticipation of a photo of the eyeball. A little disappointed, but, you know, that slime in Dimples’ hair comes in a fine second. You are one cool Mom. I may sniggle the rest of the day. Thanks for sharing.

  10. At least I finally found this…

  11. Why, yes. Yes I did. So that’s a failing on my part. 😉

  12. wow. i don’t know if i’d rather disect the eyeball or do the pony. i’m thinking i’d suck at both. so, that makes you a pretty cool mom in my book.

  13. Ginger says buy a bunch, throw them in the blender and you have your hair gel!!! Woo Hoo another problem solved by Ginger…… Dad? Why are you shaking your head…..

  14. Ah, dissecting eyeballs. Good memories… I was the kid who brought a pig’s eyeball to school in Grade 3 and tried to dissect it with a dull paring knife…

    I’m sure Dimples thinks you’re totally cool. Bet none of the Swim Moms can slice up eyeballs without flinching. 😉

  15. Aww, I hate that feeling of being incompetent. But love that y’all could bond over insecting an eyeball!

  16. At my age, my vitreous humor has shrunk away from my eyeball, and I have permament floaters. “Natural aging process,” the eye doctor said. “Think of it this way,” he said – “Your old jello has pulled away from the sides of the bowl.”

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