Drools of engagement

As a society becomes more sophisticated, so does its use of weaponry. As our little daughter wages war on every surface in our home (and on my person), she has adapted her destructive forces to match the measures Chris and I have taken to protect ourselves from her aggressive filth assault.

It used to be that I had to wash Maddi’s entire wardrobe every two days because of — oh, let’s call them pant grenades. These showy displays of power were attention-grabbing both visually and olfactorily, and definitely inspired shock and awe. But in time, thanks to my PANTRIOT Act, which involved larger diapers and more accurate tab placement, bumland security was beefed up sufficiently to vastly minimize collateral damage from the pants grenades.

Our dear little laundry nemesis also has been relentlessly pursuing an aggressive campaign of puke-lear (or as President Bush would say, “puke-ular”) warfare. Day after day, hour after hour, she launches volleys of dirty “lactosium” bombs at shirts, receiving blankets, her change table, her mattress, her Gymini, my hair … anything within two feet of this gooey, curdy bioagent’s launch site must be written off until the next wash cycle or shampoo.

This particular weapon has been employed since Day 1, but while our technology remains the same, she has been steadily increasing the amount of puke-lear material used in the attacks. Our intel suggests that within three months, she may upgrade her cache of bomb-making booty to include grain- and vegetable-based explosives, which may be used to rejuvenate her limping pants grenade program as well.

But Maddi’s latest battle tactic may be her cleverst yet. Like radiation poisoning, it’s barely perceptible at first, but it will get you — oh, yes. Unlike radiation, however, it won’t kill you. It’ll just wear you down and make you feel like you’re swimming upstream. It’s like modern psy-ops meets the ancient Chinese art of drip torture.

It’s slobber-ops, and no one will be spared.

It starts out this way: Maddi is wearing a clean outfit. You look away for a second and then look back. Where once was a clean dry chin, there’s now a string of spittle. You blink. Where Maddi’s lips were, all you can see now is a foamy cloud of tiny bubbles. Within 10 seconds, her shirt is soaked to the armpits. In 20, her pants are clinging to her legs, and there are tiny curds everywhere even though your intel reported that no actual pukes had been deployed. You recoil in horror, but it’s too late. Maddi has contaminated you with an unusually viscous admixture of saliva, phlegm and near-microscopic bits of puke-lear material.

Don’t even bother wiping it off. Recently, Maddi has begun employing not only the fore and aft missile launchers, but has developed a program to utilize her newfound Heather’s Attire Nonexplosive Destruction System (or HANDS) to stealthily gather weapons of mass disgust and smear them on very specific targets — even moving ones.

Her ever-more-sophisticated sense of gamesmanship has evolved to the point where she uses affection as a sort of Trojan horse. You think you are getting an affectionate pat to the face, whereas you are actually being smeared with a toxic, stinky coctail of lactosium and various other gooey bioagents suspended in warm saliva.

Having the advantage of cuteness on her side, our wee outlaw also has been known to lure her targets by expressing her love for “flying.” This allows her to gain access to weak areas and exploit them. Recently, during a seemingly routine flyover, she dive-bombed the sensitive ocular region of Laundry Central’s mother unit, causing a temporary loss of visual contact and garbled verbal communication.

True to form, she was seen on Al-Brassiera television smiling and making light of the situation as she restocked her arsenal for what we can only guess will be future attacks.

Whether the Launder Alert will be green, yellow, white, clear or several of the above is anyone’s guess.

And here’s a 16-week mug shot of this cute — but armed and dangerous — laundroterrorist gearing up for another messy HANDS attack.

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