Monday, May 2, 2011

Soap Is Not A Plaything

My dear darling daughter brought something to my attention today that I hadn't noticed before, and it's significant enough to be worth pointing out. The child is extremely talented at creating disasters. I'm not talking your everyday, run-of-the-mill child disasters, like coloring on the wall with a crayon. I'm talking the big whoppers. Like coloring on the wall, the chairs, the cabinets, the table, and their own bodies with a marker. Of the non-washable variety. These disasters happen fairly frequently, such as the ketchup-smearing party. The great toilet paper caper. The bathtub tidal wave predicament. The chocolate-milk-spitting occurrence. The water-and-dog-food-mixerama. The juice puddle oops. The deliberately-peeing-on-the-floor-instead-of-the-toilet incident. The apple and orange throwing game. The dance-on-the-crackers-on-the-carpet day. The popcorn-is-confetti misunderstanding. The doggies-like-to-eat-a-whole-box-of-vanilla-wafers problem. And, sad to say, and we had another one today.

To qualify as a disaster, the act done by the child must have one or more of the following requirements: significant (definitely more than normal) cost, cleanup of site and/or child, aftereffects, side effects, and mental and/or emotional damage to parent. Please, if any of you have stories you'd like to share, do tell. I'd love to hear about kids that are either better or worse than mine. Because both kinds carry some kind of status for me. "My kid is better than yours, ha ha." "My kid is worse than yours, pity me."

Anyway, about the incident today. I like to call it the soap-is-not-a-plaything experiment. You see, Sammy is fascinated with soap. She loves to play with the stuff, the bubbles in the tub, the hand soap when she washes her hands, shampoo. Well, shampoo she recently became less enamored with because she discovered that it tends to hurt when it gets in the eyes. But bubble bath and hand soap are very dear toys for her.

Today she learned why that may not be the wisest of choices. You see, apparently she decided to empty half the bottle of hand soap onto the sink, spread it around and all the way down the cupboards, and smooth it up her arms as well. And didn't wash it off. I hear her start her "hurt cry", and go running to find out what she got stuck in, under, on top of, or out of. I go in to my room and see her standing on the bed with white streaky stuff on her face while she's screaming and crying. I realized it's soap, she's covered with it and it's in her eyes, and pick her up and take her to the bathroom to rinse her off. She didn't appreciate it, and by the time we were done with that part, her whole face was red and splotchy like it gets when she cries hard. Then we had to rinse her off in the tub because her clothes were covered in soap and her arms were too. And then, since in my haste I hadn't really had time to survey the damage except for the top of the sink, I found the copious amounts of soap and water running down the cabinet under the sink.

I had to take a few deep breaths. We got Sammy dressed again, did her hair again, and set out to clean up the soap. Yes, she helped. No, she did not want to. Yes, we had a discussion about why playing with the soap is a bad thing. Yes, she cried again. No, I did not feel bad AT ALL for making her listen to why playing with soap is a bad thing and making her help clean it up, even with her red eyes.

Now, I was in a bad mood anyway. Pete went back to work today, I work every single day this week, and my room is a mess. I really did not need this today. Nor did I need to buy soap again so soon. Or toilet paper, since Sammy is still under the impression that toilet paper is a toy. But now I have half an hour until I need to leave for work, I need to change my clothes because now I'm covered in soap, I have to clean up lunch because Sammy HAD to have mac and cheese AGAIN, and thanks to the clean up in the bathroom, I have an extra load of laundry to do before I go to bed tonight. Joy.

Garfield, I'm so there with you buddy. I hate Mondays.