As parents, we all make an oopsie now and then. “Now and then” is a relative phrase, inclusive of our daily mishaps and those occasional whoppers we only discuss with our closest friends after a few glasses of wine.
Children generally categorize our oopsie based on the extent of inconvenience they experience as a result of our infraction. As you may have guessed, “inconvenience” is also a relative term, varying from child to child, but for the most part, respective inconveniences can be measured on a 5-point scale; one being Meh and five being BIGGEST MOST AWFUL THING EVER. Even with this super accurate and professional system, we still can’t predict how every kid will react or even how the same kid will react each time. Muddying waters further, external factors such as day of the week, quality of sleep, and timely snack distribution also play a role in how kids perceive our mistakes.
Buy the wrong kind of yogurt? KID MELTS DOWN ON KITCHEN FLOOR.
Forget the child’s name? WHATEVS.
What this means is they’re all unpredictable psychos so tread lightly.
A perfect example of one such contradictory experience happened to me just this week. My four-year-old daughter had been telling me her skin was itchy. Small red bumps on her belly and chest confirmed new patches of eczema. She and her older sister have this condition in common, so I had prescription cream at the ready. I applied the cream twice on Sunday, twice on Monday, and when I went to apply it on Tuesday morning, I couldn’t find it. Apparently my seven-year-old daughter is against sharing eczema cream because I eventually uncovered it stuffed in the back of the medicine cabinet in the kids’ bathroom, her go-to hiding spot for All Important Things.
Later that night, as I was lathering my 4-year-old for the sixth time, my older daughter walked into the room, incredulous that I had found HER medicine and was using HER medicine on someone who was not HER.
7yo: “Why THAT cream?!”
Me: “Dude, chill. Your sister has super dry skin like you do. She can use the same cream! You don’t want her to be itchy, do you?!”
My 7-year-old looked at me. Really looked at me, like she was re-evaluating everything she ever knew to be true about her mother…
She walked over to me and lowered her voice: “Mummy, that cream is for my pee-pee.”
“Yeah, it’s for down there.” Yes she did point to her crotch.
“BUT I PUT IT ON YOUR SISTER’S BELLY AND CHEST AND…FACE. SIX TIMES!”
“That’s why I put it in the bathroom!”
She walked out of the room, and along with her, went my pride.
Now, had I just received word my face had been smeared with crotch cream SIX TIMES, I can’t say I would’ve taken the news lightly. That, in my opinion, is an infraction worthy of Level 5 inconvenience. My four-year-old, however, was all, “But it’s workin’! I not so itchy!”
So there’s that.
Upon calling the pediatrician’s office to inquire about my kid’s face possibly morphing into a vagina or whatever, I was met with mostly laughter and confirmation that all is fortunately well. I have since labeled the tube of lube and it will be used accordingly in the future. I think. I hope. Yeah, it’s fine. Everything’s fine.