Posted by: Kate | January 24, 2007

My Daughter Has Mad Cow Disease

I don’t have it on video, so you’ll have to take my word for it. (At least until I get mean enough to actually film it.) When Emily has a tantrum, she makes this noise which can most accurately be referring to as mooing. Very loud, a sustained note, just about as annoying as a mortal can be. I don’t care how many closed doors are between us, that sound can eke its way through any minute crack and find its way into my skull. And I’m hard of hearing.

Last night, the tantrum du jour had to do with her not wanting to take a bath. I have absolutely no idea where that came from or what it was about, because she’s had a bath most nights of her life and it’s never been an issue before. Whatever. Last night the mooing was particularly entrancing, given the echoing off the porcelain and tile.

Rather than waste energy trying to out-shout her or make her calm down, we use the ignore-and-taunt tactic with great success. We don’t talk to her, we just sit around and moo at each other. Drives her crazy, makes us giggle, keeps everyone alive one more night.

In the midst of the barnyard extravaganza, I remembered the old “How to Tell if Your Cow Has Mad Cow Disease” email forward, and ventured online to find it. I was successful.

But before I found it, I found two other sites. The first one, I fully expected to be G-rated, just like all of the other mad cow joke (singular, joke) I had seen online, so I had Jacob all snuggled up to me on the couch when I pressed PLAY. Within 7 seconds, it was decidedly Not Safe For Work, Home or Certain Cars. Yikes. I’m all for the general suggestion that one should fornicate, even with equines, but we don’t need to have my two-year-old passing along said suggestion to his classmates. The second one is quite a bit more family-friendly, though it still scares the bejeezus out of Jacob.

All in all, last night was a bovine-intensive night. Luckily for Emily, there has been no mooing tonight. Mondays and Wednesdays, Willem teaches until 8:00 so I’m alone with the kids, and my tolerance for mooing is even lower than usual. And it’s not usually that high to begin with.



  1. The idea of you all sitting around mooing just cracks me up. :o)

  2. I’d respond, but I’m just not in a good moooooooooooooooood.

  3. I do find that a bit of well-timed and well-intentioned mockery can get Emma to step out of herself for a second and sometimes stop the hurtling train of tantrum. It’s probably because she’s only two and hasn’t developed transference yet, thus can’t really have her feelings hurt.

    My kids are going to love that 2nd video.

  4. Get that video camera ready! This sounds like a truly hilarious family memory to be captured. 🙂

  5. Ahhh, the sound of child in tantrum!

    Isn’t it mooooooooooosic to your ears?

  6. Well, Jason, I’m sure that Emily is old enough for the transference thing to be alive and kicking… but I’m all for the occasional mocking-via-parent. I can only ignore so much, and getting mad won’t help the situation… and my forehead already hurts from the icicle incident, so banging my head isn’t the answer. So, we laugh.

    And we moo.

    And I’ll deal with the therapy bills when they come.

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