Common Denominator

What do coconut oil, nail polish, Nerds and nose bleeds have in common?  No this is not a convoluted word problem. And those are candy Nerds not smart people.

Give up?  The answer = a 4 year old boy.  

Yes.  After a relatively nice dinner with friends we came home to what at first seemed to be a quiet house.  I was excited to think that the boy might actually be in bed, asleep. And then I noticed that the sitter was not immediately visible.  This should have been my first clue but I continued in my delusion and assumed that all was well and she was just upstairs checking on the little prince.  This bliss lasted for about 10 more seconds and then the sitter came around the corner and seemed out of breath. Uh-Oh.

The boy was definitely not asleep.  No, not even close. In fact the previous hour had been quite eventful.  Just before going to bed for the first time, the boy had a nosebleed. All over his white pajama shirt.  [For future reference, if you don’t already know this, peroxide is what you use to remove blood from all types of fiber (clothes, carpet, towels, etc.).]  At the same time the boy had to go to the bathroom. He didn’t make it. So now my poor sitter is cleaning up blood and poop. She’s an awesome girl, handled everything like a pro and bustled the boy off to bed.

Twenty minutes of quiet were interrupted by the sounds of little feet bopping around upstairs.  Sitter goes to check and what does she find? A container of coconut oil turned upside down just inside my bedroom door, of course.  Where else would you find such a thing? At the same time her nose detects the smell of nail polish. That can’t be good. A frantic search of the immediate area does not reveal any nail polish spills so she pushes that concern to the side and begins to clean the coconut oil stain which is, thankfully, minimal.  Once the oil is somewhat cleaned up and another search for spilled nail polish proves fruitless, she again attempts to get the boy to bed. This is where the husband, the girl and I arrive home. Our wonderful sitter relays all of this information to us and very smartly makes her escape. Love that girl to bits.

As we make our preparations to retire for the evening, who should come sliding down the stairs?  You got it. Little Lord Fontleroy himself. Eager to show mommy his hands. Why, you ask, do I need to see his hands?  Because he painted them. With shimmery pale pink nail polish that almost matches his skin tone. On the positive side, this means there’s probably not nail polish spilled somewhere in my bedroom.  Rejoice in the small victories I say. So I ask the obvious question “Dude, where did you get nail polish?” His response, “Oh, come on mommy, I’ll show you.” These are quickly becoming some of my least favorite words.  Up the stairs to the bedroom we go where he shows me the bottle of shimmery pale pink nail polish sitting at my bedside. “Where did you get it from?” “Up there,” he replies pointing to the upper shelves of the bookcase beside the bed.  Yes. The boy climbed onto the bed and onto the bookcase to reach the bottle of nail polish so he could paint his monster truck and his hands and fingernails.

It’s at this moment that I start to notice other things are out of place.  There’s a container of Vaseline that should have been in the bathroom. A tin of Bert’s Bees hand salve laying open under the edge of the bed.  A toy helicopter in the middle of my bed. And lastly, a box of pink Nerds sprinkled on my bed and floor like confetti. Yes, there they are, the Nerds that I asked about at the beginning of this tale.

It’s been a couple of years since that night, but the sight of tiny pink speckles and the smell of nail polish still seems fresh in my memory.  It took about 30 minutes of cleaning the bedroom and scrubbing the boys hands with nail polish remover to get things mostly back to normal. For that night at least.  But normal is over-rated when you have a boy child in your family. That’s what we keep telling ourselves anyway.


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