February 23, 2009

Don't Let The Bed Bugs Bite

Cleaning products? Check.

New locks installed on the medicine cabinet? Check. (I did it myself, courtesy of the 15 step instruction manual in the Fisher Price tool set, $17.99, on sale at your nearest Wal-Mart.)

Sanity defeated? *snort* Definitely, check.

Dough and pan scrapers? In the trash. Just bought a pair online, paid top dollar for overnight delivery.

Size 3T pajamas? Check. (Newly purchased, also on sale at Walmart.)

Children’s Industrial Strength Shampoo? Check. (Does it work? Debatable.)

Tetanus shot? Not for a long time…..which means the job I have been unofficially called upon to do will be highly dangerous. My daughter has been known to bite…

Vaseline? Gone. Gone like the last truffle from the chocolate box. Gone like the gas in my car’s gas tank. Gone like my reservoir of collected calm. OH! GONE like the 16 oz.Vaseline tub my 3 year old plastered all over her body, and her floors……and her “newly painted” walls…and the bed, the dresser, the window, (SIGH), and her teddy bears, the carpet in the hallway, the sleeping sibling in the next bed over…


“Goodnight sweetheart,” I said, tucking her in, “Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”

Lesson #1 (painfully learned.) NEVER say that to a toddler.
Lesson #2Never use the same old sayings your parents used to say to you.
They’re lame-o and they just don’t make sense, plus, they get you into trouble. So, before you repeat something you heard during your childhood--thinking it’s cute--remember this so you can avoid PAINFUL lesson #3:

When your child’s eyes grow wider than a 36” Chimichanga Grande Fiesta platter at your nearest Mexican restaurant, don’t waste your time reassuring her that she’ll be alright and that you’ll just be down the hall.
YOU SHOULD BE EXHAUSTING YOUR STRENGTH TO REASSURE THE CHILD THAT THERE ARE NO BUGS IN HER BED. Thus, you can avoid the idiotic mistake I made as I kissed my child goodnight, anxiety solidifying on her face like a facial cream rejuvenator, then leaving her to fall asleep as I walked away….far away, as in down the hall to the family room where I fire-up the TIVO to catch the latest episode of Chuck.

I actually got to watch the entire episode without “kid-interruptions.”
I suddenly realize #1—all my kids were either really tired and fell asleep immediately –(hold on, I’m choking on my water….I should probably finish drinking my water after I stop laughing) -which makes possibility #2, the more likely alternative.
They were quiet; the kind of quiet that makes you realize that silence can sometimes be very…VERY bad.

The hallway is dark, save for the nightlight which seems a little dim and ominous in my opinion. Sure, a nightlight has only 1.5 watts of power, and of course it’s dim, but it’s 9:00 pm—the kids should be asleep. ‘SHOULD’ being the operative word.

I tiptoe down the hall, my ears straining for the slightest noise. My hand clenches, and I pray no one jumps out at me just to scare the mama to get a hysterical, comedic reaction.
I startle easily.
I don’t want to be responsible for ‘boot-kickin’ my kids from here to the opposite end of house. And tonight I am NOT kissing any “booboo’s” that are anywhere near the neighborhood of their backsides. Ugh. I have to draw my boundaries… even if it’s the Fruit of the Loom kind. Which reminds me, I have now spontaneously joined the association: NEVER
Translation, and you must say it with a Swedish accent:
Never Ever Vill I Ever Rearkiss.

Back to the story. So, I move stealthily down the hall like Pierce Brosnan playing OO7. Visions of my Payless black boot and underwear having temporarily occupied my mind, getting me sidetracked…

Ah ha! There it is! A rustle….hmmm… a movement across the floor…a giggle….the ever-so-slight sound of steps…someone snoring…?
It’s completely dark as I walk into my daughter’s room. Cautiously, I reach over to turn on her bedroom light and—


The darkness was better. Like a victim fatally touched by the White Witch from The Chronicles of Narnia, I am now a statue, mouth wide open, scream non-existent, and my hands are frozen in my hair. I am a human sculpture, a wretched shrine to mother’s everywhere, dedicated to the infamous ‘hair-pulling’ times we have all experienced at one point or another when raising kids—or babysitting them. (I’m glad there are no onlookers. I wouldn’t want them to see this pathetic statue…hopefully, the White Witch doesn’t place my pitiful remains in the town square…)

Shock deadens and it slowly shifts to horror as I take in the sight of my child, covered from head to toe in Vaseline. And unlike King Midas’s touch where everything turns to gold, my daughter’s powers are far more destructive. Her greasy hands are caked with Vaseline and they shine dully-- as does everything else she has “touched.” There are area’s on the wall where the yellow greasy Vaseline is 1” deep. Her floor is slathered, her bed sheets have a nice coating of “Vaseline al-a-mode.” She has used the Vaseline as a prevention against biting bugs, her version of a “Bed Bugs Be gone” remedy.

As for the sleeping sibling she attacked with yellow, greasy whale blubber ….how can she sleep through that? Truly, wouldn’t you feel 3 year old hands smearing your face with Vaseline?
Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be a heavy sleeper…..SoOoOo not fair….though, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want a free application of Vaseline all over my face turning me into her Frankenstein-ish Glitter and Glam Barbie experiment.

I promptly give my daughter a bath. I should have realized that giving her a bath was a moot point, but I give her one anyway, trying to wash the heavy layers of grease out of her hair. It’s doesn’t wash out, and even her skin is slippery for the next few days.
She’s as slick as a greased-down little piggy.
Finding something positive about the situation--her ponytails stayed perfectly in place for two weeks. There were no fly-aways.

I have now found a new home for the Vaseline. It will take residence in the same drawer with: the scissors, the markers, the sharp knives, play dough, the staple gun, and all other destructive and potentially dangerous “kids tend to gravitate to” equipment.


Krissy said...

Oh my goodness! I would have lost it. You're a good mom to see the benefit of 'hair staying in place.'

Nate and Jilleen said...

Oh dear! I know I have said it a couple times, but try to catch myself before I say it for fear of something like that happening. I will never say it again!!

Heather said...

I think the "horns" on your daughter with the face she is making is PERFECT!! I am very grateful none of my children felt the desire to smear her body and surroundings with "stuff".

I can't WAIT for your book be done, I want to read it!!! I get first copy!!!!

Jill said...

okay, this would have come in handy a week ago! by the way, you forgot to mention that when you put the kid in the tub, the vasaline not only stays on the child, but coats the tub and everything in the tub (including sisters)with a nice slick film that does NOT come off. i can't believe you allow it to be in your home anymore. anyone with small children BEWARE! this stuff is evil and has no buisness being in a family environment! in fact, anything that doesn't wash off with soap and water should be banned . . .

tina said...

What a cute little devil she is in those pictures. That's it I am getting rid of that stuff.