Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Do I Really Have to Say This?

Yesterday morning I was cleaning my bathroom.  Matthew and Leah were helping by wiping down the mirrors and Jonathan was wandering around sucking on various bath toys and hair clips and whatever else he could find.  Everyone seemed decently occupied, so I slipped out for approximately 15 seconds to grab the broom and dustpan out of the kitchen pantry.  When I returned, Matthew was sitting on the floor next to Jonathan, spraying Windex over his entire body.


And there it is.  The sum of all parenting: Spending your entire life saying things that really shouldn't need saying.

I mean, Matthew is nearly six.  He's been working with glass cleaner for awhile now and we've had plenty of discussions about cleaning products and how to use them safely, but apparently they haven't been sinking in.  Or maybe it's just that you hand a kid a spray bottle and his brain turns off.  (Even my very intelligent nine-year-old is like, ooooh, spray bottle! and immediately regresses to about age three.)

I put Jonathan in the tub and washed him off.  He didn't seem bothered by the experience (he hadn't even been crying when I walked in the bathroom) and he loves any excuse for a bath, so I wasn't too concerned.  Fast forward to dinner time when I was telling David what happened and Leah piped up, "Matthew sprayed it in Jonathan's mouth, too!"  Well, that would have been good to know eight hours ago...  But, on the plus side, Jonathan is still alive and happy, and besides, maybe it will cure his cold.  (I watched "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and know that Windex cures almost everything).

Yesterday also gave me an opportunity to share other important concepts with my kids, like "Stop using my arm as a kleenex!"  "Don't play in the garbage can!" and "Don't put your hand in the toilet!"  I also made breadsticks to go with our dinner of chef salad using this container of salt:

If that seems like a strange thing to have written on your salt container, you must not have a son who gets bored and starts sticking random things in little holes.  When it originally happened I asked him why he'd done it.  "I don't know," he said.  "It was just there."  Which is the same thing he said a few years ago when I discovered he'd been peeing in the bathroom garbage can.  Apparently some things never change...

So now every time I make dinner I get excited wondering if this will be the time I win the salt lottery and get rewarded with a clear pushpin.  It's practically like being on a gameshow!  And the grand prize is not having to go on an agonizing trip to the emergency room with a pushpin stuck somewhere in your lower intestine.

Yeah, I could throw the salt away but I paid like $1.79 for it!  That's two or three candy bars I can stash under the sink for when I'm "going to the bathroom."  "Sorry kids, I'm going potty!  I'll be out as soon as I'm done with this Snickers bar!"

"Don't spray the baby with Windex while I'm gone!"