Yesterday we took the kids bowling at one of those family arcade joints. We had a blast. My only complaints were that real bowling is way harder than Wii bowling and the place was crazy loud. Like Vegas. Bells, lights, chaos. It was “Cosmic Bowling” in black light…really hard to keep the 18 month old out of other people’s lanes, especially with his ball obsession. Also hard to keep track of the kids in the arcade. Especially three…they had us outnumbered.
So, I must confess, there were moments when one child was unsupervised, but never for long. It was like triage…always keep eyes or hands on baby, know the general vicinity of the middle child, hope the best for the first-born.
But overall, the kids did great. They played the games, won a gazillion tickets, traded them in at the goodie counter for some lead-based, petroleum derivative, made-in-China choking-hazards, and then we went home for dinner.
A couple of hours later, we were eating together and having a wonderful family discussion about politics and the upcoming election (go OBAMA!) Our 8-year-old son was truly engaged and asking great questions about the difference between democrats and republicans. Our 5-year-old daughter was hanging in there, trying so hard to understand our very basic explanation about taxes and helping others. And the baby, well, he was throwing his pieces of chicken onto the floor for the dog and pointing to his facial features shouting “EYE! EA-OH (ear)! NO (nose)! MOW! (mouth).” It felt like our own modern version of a Norman Rockwell painting: the whole family, eating a nutritious homemade meal together, discussing current events. Ahhh…the good life. Well, a moment of the good life, anyway. It was suddenly interrupted when my 5-year-old daughter shrieked “OUCH! My panties are sticking to me!” Then she got up, ran into the bathroom, and slammed the door.
WTF? My husband and I looked at each other across the table like “you go,” “no, YOU go.” Then we heard her make a sound like an animal caught in a trap and I got up and knocked on the bathroom door.
“Honey? Can I come in?” I asked.
“Why are your panties sticking to you?”
“I don’t know. But it hurts!”
“Can I see?”
So I gently pulled down her blue cotton Hanes skort and slowly tried to pull her little Hello Kitty panties away from her body. It was no good. They were indeed stuck to her. Stuck like glue.
“Honey. What is in your panties?”
“GUM? How did it get there?” I hadn’t given her gum in weeks! Not since the dentist appointment…the dentist appointment from Hell.
“Well…(long pause, eye shifting, here comes the lie)…when we were at the arcade…well, I accidentally slipped and fell down…right on a piece of gum…and it went into my panties.”
“A chewed piece of gum? There is a chewed piece of gum in your panties?”
“From the floor of the arcade? A piece of gum that someone else chewed and spit out onto the floor?”
“Honey. (Ahem.) Did you pick up a piece of chewed gum off the floor of the arcade and stick it in your panties? Tell Mommy the truth. You aren’t in trouble, I just need to know the truth, ok?”
“OK (quietly, eyes down). I picked it up and put it in my panties.”
(HOLY FUCKING SHIT!!!! WHY IN THE HELL WOULD YOU DO SUCH A THING????? THIS WAS NOT COVERED IN MY PARENTING CLASS!!! MY CHICKEN IS GETTING COLD AND MY CHILD HAS A PIECE OF SOMEONE ELSE’S GUM STUCK TO HER TWAT!!!)
“OK sweetie. Thank you for telling me the truth. Let’s see if we can get your panties unstuck.”
So I slowly pulled the fabric away from her skin and sure enough there was a HUGE pink wad of chewed up bubble gum stuck right to her little va-jay-jay. Right in front. Front and center. Oh for the love of GOD! I didn’t know what was the grossest part…the fact that it was a piece of gum chewed and spit onto the floor by a random stranger, or the fact that this wad of germ infested ABC gum was stuck to her sweet little beaveroonie.
Do not panic! Focus. I peeled the gum away from her skin as gingerly as possible. This was no easy task. It wasn’t like a Band-Aid…I couldn’t just rip it off. Her body heat had melted the gum and made it very gooey. I had to slowly peel it and then pick away at the little bits left behind. Poor little girl. The vulva is definitely not the body part you ever want to have your Mother picking away at. After what seemed like an eternity, I got most of it off; there was just a little pink sticky residue left, and that came off with the help of a little vaseline on a paper towel. (Got that? Try to get a tip like that from daytime TV! “Next on Rachel Ray: How to Remove ABC Gum from Your Vagina.”)
My poor sweet baby girl was rather embarrassed by the whole affair. I stuck her right into the tub and she said, “Mommy. I’m really sorry.”
“That’s ok, baby. We all make mistakes.”
“Yes, sugar pants? I mean, yes gummy-bear, er, sweetie-puss?! DOH! Yes, honey?”
“Are you mad at me?”
“No honey. I just want you to promise me something…promise Mommy that you’ll never pick up a piece of chewed gum again, OK? It is very dirty and germy and gross. You can get really sick from touching other people’s chewed gum. OK? And definitely don’t ever stick it in your panties again…K? Double gross.”
“OK. I promise. (Long pause)…does that mean I shouldn’t put it in my mouth either?”
© 2008 The Bearded Iris. All rights reserved.