By Jenna McCarthy
Author of The Parent Trip: From High Heels and Parties to Highchairs and Potties
I’m squished into a tiny bathroom stall at our health club with my two precocious daughters when the older one spots something irresistible.
â€œMom, can I have it, please?â€ five-year-old Sophie begs, pulling the beautiful-to-her, faintly aromatic piece of waxy artwork from its wall-mounted sleeve and making a delightful discovery in the process. â€œThere are lots of them! Sash, you want one?â€ she offers kindly, handing a duplicate to her three-year-old sister. â€œThey’re bags! We can put all of our makeup and lip gloss and stuff in â€˜em!â€ It is at this point she discovers that the rose motif is a multi-sensory experience.
â€œSasha! Smell it!â€ she screams with glee. â€œIt smells like perfume!â€
â€œCan we have them mommy, can we? Can we? Please?â€ they plead in unison.
â€œSure, okay,â€ I mutter, stuffing them into my gym bag. Well they are complimentary. â€œI’ll give them to you when we get in the car,â€ I add, not about to broadcast my children’s obvious fascination with feminine hygiene paraphernalia.
â€œBut mom!â€ Sophie says suddenly. â€œWhat if someone has to puke?â€ This from the kid who’s stolen every air-sickness bag from every seat pocket in her vicinity on every flight she’s ever been on, with nary a second thought for any subsequently queasy passengers.
â€œThey can puke in the toilet,â€ I tell her, shuffling them out of the stall. (Of course I don’t explain what it really is. The kid’s five. She’s got enough to worry about.)
â€œI’m going to make mine into a puppet,â€ Sasha announces in the car.
â€œI’m going to bring mine to school for show-and-tell!â€ Sophie one-ups her.
Note to self: Stop overspending on birthdays and holidays. Who needs a Wii when you’ve got a barf bag filled with Sweet & Low packets, a handful of straws and a half dozen sporks? Maybe we’ll get to take that vacation next year after all.