Have you ever had someone, anyone, give your child something for his/her birthday/Christmas that you just despised? We're talking, a drum set to the child of a migraine-sufferer. An easy-bake oven to the child whose mom has a kitchen because it came with the house. Or an arts and crafts set to the child who lives in a house that doesn't look lived in.
This year in November, my oldest child turned 6. This was the first year that we invited any friends from school to her birthday party. I hesitated to invite her school friends. Not because I don't like them, they are wonderful, but because Lauren goes to the school in which I teach...which is a school that is considered to be in a rough part of town and houses a lot of children whose families can barely afford to put food on the table. I felt very uncomfortable with the fact that her school friends were going to feel obligated to buy her a gift for her birthday, because, well, that's what you do! You go to someone's birthday party, you buy them a gift!
I was very relieved when she started opening her presents to find that the gifts they had gotten her were small, but very thoughtful. And Lauren was very gracious, remembering to thank everyone and oohing and ahhing over each present. Then she opened her last gift, which looked harmless enough in a small, brown, gift bag from the sweetest girl in Lauren's class. As I handed Lauren the gift, I could already smell it: perfume. Oh the horror! And worse yet...Lauren LOVED IT! She immediately wanted to try it out, but I convinced her to wait until we got home, which I thought she'd forget about. Nope.
The minute we got home, she sprayed some on and I immediately ran for cover. I couldn't get away from it! It was in my eyes, in my hair, on my clothes! And she had only sprayed a tiny, tiny bit on herself because I had cautioned her that it would be strong. To her dismay I made her go shower to get it off, and to my dismay the shower barely helped.
Which brings me to today. Since the very first time Lauren tried out her perfume, the bottle has been hidden up high in our bathroom cupboard. I didn't feel right throwing it away, but my health just couldn't take her actually using it! Well, today she found it. I swear to you that I could smell it the minute she sprayed it on...and I was clear out in the kitchen! Once she and her brother went downstairs to play, I raced to my bathroom, grabbed the bottle of perfume and proceeded to try to pry it open. My plan was to dump the perfume down the drain and fill the bottle back up with water. Low, I know, but hey at least she'd still have the bottle! Well, unfortunately for me, the "lid" thingy is crimped onto the neck of the bottle. I tried everything to get it off, even using a can opener! My next thought was to go outside and just keep spraying it until it was all gone. . .but after realizing just how long that would take me, I gave up and stuck the bottle on top of the refrigerator.
Now what? My sinuses just can't take having this stuff in the house, but my conscience won't let me throw it away. One thing's for sure. . .Lauren is not going to be allowed to eat supper in the same room as me until she showers with lye soap and a scrub brush!
Does that make me a bad mom? ;)