It was a cold winter day in December of 2010. I was looking forward to a day off work after a thirteen-day stretch, including two double shifts. I was exhausted. My feet ached from standing and my mind was numb from decision making. Snuggling my two kiddos while watching our favorite cartoon would help revive my weary soul.
Around 8:30am my oldest son crawled into my bed dashing any dreams of sleeping in. I didn’t mind. Sleeping in is not a reality in a home with an infant and toddler. His fuzzy blonde hair tickled my nose as he cuddled up next to me. His warm little body melted my heart. Tiny perfect moments like this made all the struggle worthwhile. I nuzzled his head and gently kissed his cheek.
After a few minutes, I noticed a soft, pleasant, but unnatural smell. I looked around the room trying to identify the source. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary. Then I looked at my son and noticed he had a white film all over him. Ah, it was baby powder. Crap!
“Dominic, is there a big baby powder mess put in the living room?” I asked him.
“No, only a small one,” he reported.
Ugh, I doubted it was a small mess. Begrudgingly, I crawled out of bed mentally preparing myself for a disaster. Turning the corner into the living room I was relieved to see a small pile of baby powder on the foot stool. Thank goodness. I bypassed the small mess and sleepily wandered into the kitchen to brew some coffee. As I waited for the coffee to finish, I grabbed the vacuum from the closet and swept up the pile.
After cleaning up the foot stool, I could still strongly smell baby powder. Knowing that small pile could not be the source of the smell I went on a hunt to locate the real mess. The bedroom was not the scene of the crime, the dining room was clear, but when I opened the door to the playroom, HOLY BABY POWDER! It was as if the heavens opened up pouring baby powder into this one room. Every surface in that room was covered in a thin layer of soft smelling, white powder.
The sight was so ridiculous that I burst into hysterical laughter. Imagining my four-year-old son joyfully jumping up and down with the bottle brought a smile to my face. I envisioned him squeezing the container with each jump causing new plumes of white dust to erupt. The carnival of color and light in the playroom had effectively been muted to a blank white canvas. In the corner, I found the bottle. It was weightless, empty.
Amusement and laughter turned into growling annoyance when the reality of cleanup set in. In true mother’s fashion, I asked him what in the world he was thinking. Predictably he replied, “I don’t know”. I gave him the sweeper and told him to start cleaning it up. I went back out to the kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee. This was apparently going to be a long morning requiring lots of caffeine.
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