Tuesday, April 2, 2013

All that Glitters

I am not much of a girly girl. I am pretty convinced that is why I have been blessed with 3 girls.  Marrying a guy who grew up with 5 brothers gave me a pretty blank slate in the womanly wiles training category. It's bitten me in the bum a few times- example- Kiera was prone to particularly mean diaper rash. Despite the male half of our partnership continuously boasting of his world record holding times for diaper changing- application and removal of diaper ointment suddenly became a game changer.  After 2 calls to apply- and 1 call to assist in the tub for removal- we bebriefed the impracticality of the situation. His defense- I'm pretty sure there are laws against this- my question- against what- bathing your daughter? I'm pretty sure there are negligence charges in store if you don't.  After a particularly wise and experienced neighbor heard me talking about Kiera's rash and our challenges- she supplied me with a bottle of cornstarch and instructions that the bottle shouldn't last a week if I'm adding enough to each diaper- and after a week it should no longer be a problem. She was right- crisis averted. Until next time.

Crisis 2. Nail polish.  When Kiera was about 2- I tried painting her nails. Other girls we knew had their nails painted- I thought it was what you were supposed to do. So I did. Kiera, preoccupied from an early age with being like her peers and pretty, shiny things- sat unusually still through the process. When completed- she proudly held up her bright pink nails for her brother to view. He promptly came to me with a pudgy 3 year old hand held out and asked- Me too? It wasn't really a dilemma- although Kiera favored girly and pink- I always encouraged her to try whatever- let her play cars and trains and baseball with her brother. I would have let him play dolls and lord knows she asked him plenty- but he would take his matchbox cars and retreat to a quiet space.  Why should it be different for him- not a big fan of nail polish on boys- but maybe a toe or two and he wouldn't feel left out. After 2 toes, his dad walks in from work and suveys the situation- boy on table- fat foot in hand, bottle of nail polish in my other hand. Boys DO NOT wear nail polish- he said. Both kids look at me, lil Phillip's face falls and pulls his foot from my hand.  Conceeding that my knowledge of boy stuff was equivalent to his of girl stuff- I knew I had made a game changing error. Kind of like one of Phillip's first diaper changes- before my husband briefed me on the shield, swap technique for boys and their problematic little firehoses. You only have to make some mistakes once.

The instruction manual for girls should have 5 chapters devoted to glitter. Where it is, how to avoid it, how to rid yourself of it once you have been attacked, how to contain the wayward gifted glitter and an entire section on glitter cards and other sneaky places glitter is hidden. No manual can prepare you for the utter joy glitter brings most 5 year old girls. It is inexplicable. Glitter makes everything better, shinier, fancier, prettier. Most of us learn the maintenance of glitter is far more annoying and spend the rest of our lives focusing on containment. A few incorporate it in to daily use with careful selection of profession. Birthdays and holidays are particularly problematic in the containment. At times you just conceed and grab the vaccuum. So when one inadvertently grabs not one- but 2 packages of PAAS eggs dyes that have glitter in them- one knows the universe has aligned to get you. If one sets aside said glitter in hopes that the 3 princesses might not notice- one would be shocked at how quickly 2 of the princesses can find the entire collection of lost and mourned scissors and wield them in a manner only tinkerbell might be proud of.  So this year's Easter festivities included glitter egg dye. Phil surveys the cups- the top layers shimmering with pretty goodness. Is there a blue  dye WITHOUT glitter in it?  Nope. Remember our discussion in September and how I disapproved of both the NCAA and NFL injudicious usage of glittery goodness on football helmets? Apply that to your egg design- if it's gone as far as football helmets- there's no turning back. He carries on with his traditional decorating scheme- pleased that at least an orange and green cup were left unglittered so at least his football egg could retain its matte dignity.

So today, I am cataloging said Easter pictures and I get a call from his work number. I am slightly nervous- as he is supposed to be flying and I do not like calls from the work number on flying days.  I say hello and there is a pause- I have an emergency... I hear laughter....I have an emergency funny story I have to tell you- Phil tells me.  I sigh and look at the clock- he hasn't even taken off yet- I don't know why I was worried. --SO you know how I brought a hard boiled egg in for a snack. (yeah- I made sure it made it into his bag- as yesterdays snack sat on the counter all yesterday morning leaving me to erroneously try to figure out which child did not finish their breakfast)  Well the question came up in the brief as to why I might be covered in glitter this morning. And suddenly dealing with all the glitter for the past 3 days is TOTALLY worth it. SO what did you tell them?  No time to shower after the club last night.  Good save- after all that's what parenting is about right?