Elbow Grease

My mom-van finally glistened in the growing darkness. I dropped the dirty blue cloth into my washing supplies and put one hand on my hip with pride. Evening is the only time I am free long enough to clean my vehicle. 

My brother pulled up in the driveway at that exact moment. He gave me the usual cursory glance and informed me that I should be doing waterless car washes.  

This was my moment to shine. “I just did!” I called out to make sure he heard my accomplishment. 

His only reaction was a side glance as he walked into the house. 

I huffed to myself. “Pfffft. Whatever.” 

He came back out a few minutes later and mumbled, “What are you using, anyway?”   

Pushing the bottle into his hand, I took a step back and watched him read it carefully. 

“This isn’t a waterless car wash,” he stated grimly. “It’s a detail spray.  What you use after your car is clean.”  

A look of horror froze onto my face. No way. No no no.  I snatched the bottle from him and stared at the words written plainly across the top: “Spray Detail.”

Oh. My. Goodness.  Can I please just crawl into the heap of unfolded laundry on my bed and go to sleep? You know what? I still don’t even understand Spray Detail.  What I DO know is that I let my kids starve so I could detail my dirty mom-van. All for nothing. Pffffft.

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Mom, what’s this red thing?

My kids like home lunch.  I’m not very good at including a desirable variety of items. It’s not usually a surprise to them about what I might include.

I was caught off guard when my brother noisily searched the remains of my kindergartener’s lunch bag and asked me what the red thing was. He likes to tease me about the “junk lunch” I provide, so I wasn’t paying very much attention… until my daughter asked, “Mom, what’s this red thing?”

My head jerked up and I looked for the alleged red thing. I have no idea what it could be. My brother held up a ziplock bag full of what appeared to be red salsa. But I never ever give my kids salsa. What the heck was that?

I reached for the bag and sniffed at the contents from the outside of the ziplock bag. I nearly retched all over the floor from the horrid odor.

The mystery bag was quickly thrown into the trash as I puzzled over the contents. 

Ah hah. I switch out the lunch bags periodically to match the backpack. Sometimes I just can’t find the lunch bag so I use a new one. I apparently neglected to empty the bottom compartment of this particular lunch bag for weeks. The original items in the ziplock bag were tiny wheels of cheese covered in red wax. They must have melted over time.

I felt so badly for my child having brought out the Red Food bag at lunch time, wondering if she had to eat that gross thing in front of her friends. Sometimes, I am absolutely mortified at my horrible mothering skills.

Tale of the Terrible Tooth Fairy

***Disclaimer – Not Suitable for Children***

My hand swooped blindly under the closest pillow. Nothing. I slowly slid my fingers around the sheets. Still nothing. I grimaced and climbed down from the edge of the bunk bed.  Sneaking around the perimeter, I searched the next pillow in my reach.  A hard iPad case greeted me.  Fine.  I hoisted myself up to perch on the bottom bed and grasped the top rails carefully, using my teeth to keep track of the dollar bills. Eww. Yeah, that’s gross.

I closed my eyes in the dark and reached farther.  Warm skin. Oops.  My bare feet moved across the bottom rail as the bed creaked with my weight. I reached farther, elbow scraping through the top and middle slats. Stuffed animal arm. That’s not it. I stretched with my ear against the rails and was rewarded with a tiny tooth fairy pillow.  Score!  I slid it out from under the pillow with excitement.

Clink. Clink-clink-clink-CLUNK-clink.

OMG. I lost the tooth.

The tooth must have fallen out of the tiny pillow, bounced around the desk next to the bed, and against the wall.  I would never find it in the dark. I folded the money into the pocket of the pillow and shook my head as I slid it under my daughter’s head.

A hand grabbed onto my calf and I twitched in shock, suspended at the edge of the bunk bed.  “Mom, what are you doing?” My oldest daughter said, as she held onto me.

I shook my leg free. “Nothing. Shhhh.”

My shoulders hunched in shame at my epic failure as I failed to exit like a ninja. The door clattered loudly as I continued my retreat. I hope I remember to find that tooth before they do.

The Touch

As usual, my nose was assaulted first. She squirmed in my grasp, as I suspended her in the air. “Stay still!” Speaking out loud caused the need to breathe in more air. Mistake. My face wrinkled with the punishment.

My fingers hurried. Wipe. Wipe. Wipe. AHHHHHH OMG I touched it! It’s on my hand! I snatched a new baby wipe from the container and attempted to wipe it off. That won’t help much. It’s absorbed quickly into the skin. I finished cleaning the baby bottom and slid her into new training pants, avoiding the pesky part of my soiled hand.

I ran for the sink and roughly scrubbed. I dumped more soap on my palms and scrubbed again. Sniffing the affected area, my lip curled. Hot water and dish soap were added to the mixture. I held my hand to my face again and inhaled. Whew. Crisis averted. I didn’t have to walk around smelling like butt all day. Life is good.