Saturday, June 22, 2013

How to Get Fingernail Polish Out of Carpet...

...was the headline of the article left open on the laptop this evening, if anyone wonders what it's like to stay at home all day with three kids.

That's one of the benefits of having a job, besides income. You can miss some of that stuff while your poor spouse has to answer some of life's more essential questions. (But don't feel too sorry for mine though, she gets to go to work, too, when school's back in, and the foreign substances and the carpeting issues belong to the Day Care.)

The story is the standard-issue "nail polish where it doesn't belong" story. Six-year-old girl goes to swimming pool, sees other little girls with color on their fingers and toes, wonders aloud, receives polish, entire house wreaks of polish within 5 minutes, girl carelessly leaves polish unattended on the kitchen floor, one-year-old picks up polish, entire household admonishes one-year-old to "give it to me," one-year-old does but not without fight and tears, 3 minutes elapse, girl again leaves polish unattended-- this time on coffee table, one-year-old picks up polish, dumps polish in hair, says "uh oh", shows mother, hell breaks loose, girl suffers double indignity of losing all nail polish into brother's hair AND getting business from mother, 1-year-old labeled "dickens" even though he did exactly what older sister would have done if she had careless older siblings leaving stuff out all over place, mom researches polish removal from carpet via Internet, three-year-old never looks up from Leap Pad.

Everyone has one of those stories.

In case you are wondering, there is a simple, nine-step process you can use to get the nail polish out of the carpet according to the Web site in question, which is here. Prepare to be underwhelmed. There are no great household cleanliness secrets divulged. In fact, it's the same nine techniques we've used to successfully remove vomit, blood, and more disgusting stains like green bean casserole from the carpet at various points in history. Instead, my wife skipped straight to Step #10, something called a Magic Eraser, which I think I cleaned an entire bathroom with, walls and ceiling included, in about 2 hours.

The girl was so shamed by her indifference toward her stuff that she preemptively resorted to cleaning her room to get back into anyone's good graces. And with the one-year-old making his parenting debut by jamming the toy baby stroller repeatedly into the refrigerator and hurling his baby down the staircase, ("uh oh") and the three-year-old unable to peel himself off the chair, there was only one thing that could save the day from further disaster.

More swimming. My wife decided to take everyone back swimming again. How you take three kids swimming, none of whom can swim, by yourself and don't end up leading the evening newscast is beyond me. But somehow it got done, with the help of various floatation devices and a lot of time in the shallow end. Still, the only way I'd have made it is if I put each kid in one of those leashes. Not sure if those things work in water.

But this is just a day in the life during the summer. You go swimming, you get the nail polish out of your hair, you stay in the shallow end, and when Dad gets home, you tell him all about it. And if Dad is buying the concept that you're going to bed earlier because you had a busy day kicking your legs in the water, you show him by stay up just as late anyway, because it's summer.

The only way to tell it's the weekend sometimes in the summer is when Dad's home. So now that it's Saturday, and you guys just spent two days at the pool, what are we doing this weekend? You gotta be tired, right, maybe take it easy?

"Let's show Daddy the pool!"

Looks like we're going back swimming, this time with me there to help out or at least to not do any harm. Three straight days at the pool, in hockey that might be called a natural hat trick, in bowling they call it a turkey. Whatever you call it, it beats trying to get beauty products out of the carpet.


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