Melissa had just sprinkled Comet in the tub when the phone rang. “Well, nuts. I had hoped to get this done.” While on the phone she unloaded the dishwasher, and cleaned the kitchen, proud of herself for using her time wisely by multi-tasking. Setting the phone in its cradle to charge she thought of the things she could do with the extra time she now had. Suddenly she was struck by the silence. She peeked around the corner into the living room, hoping to see the kids engrossed in their blocks, but there were no kids there. She followed the muted jabbering into the master bedroom and came to a quick stop.
Melissa opened her mouth but then snapped it closed, right on her tongue. “Ouch! Oh, that hurt! Man, I hate it when I do that.”
The boys looked at her. “Hurt, Mommy?” Josiah, her two-year-old asked.
“Just a little.” Melissa answered his sweet question. “What are you boys up to?” Now that she’d had a chance to really look around she didn’t’ know whether she should laugh or cry.
“I white wuv note for you on mirwer, Mommy!” Jason had found her lipstick and had drawn all over the full-length mirror, at least as high up as he could reach with his three-and-a-half-year-old stature. “Just wike you do.”
A small chuckle slipped from Melissa. “Monkey see, monkey do,” she thought. “A love note on the mirror like I write for Daddy?” She was relieved to see she had intervened before the lipstick had made its way off the mirror and onto the wall-paper.
Melissa looked back at Josiah. “And what about you, young man?” He had her favorite lipstick stretched from one ear to the other, on his upper lip and clear down to the tip of his chin. A little bit had actually landed on his lips, but not much.
“Pweddy.” Josiah was not a man of many words, but he got his point across. Melissa bit her lip, gently, and worked very hard to keep from laughing out loud.
Melissa hunkered down while she thought fast, she didn’t want to stomp on their thoughtfulness, but she needed to prevent a reoccurrence. “Now listen, boys, do you see Daddy wearing lipstick?” Josiah looked to his big brother, who scratched his head while he thought hard.
“No, Daddy don’t wear lipstick. Onwy mommies does.” Jason shared his great realization with Josiah.
Right then there was a knock on the door followed by a very familiar voice calling out, “Hello? Anybody home?”
The boys lit up. “Nana!” They scooted around their mom and raced to the front door. From the other side of the house, the side Melissa had started cleaning the bathroom on, she heard Sarah’s delighted cry.
“My-oh-my! What have you boys gotten into this time?” Nana spoke from behind her hand, and her eyes twinkled merrily as she looked at her grandsons.
“Pweddy,” Josiah said, proud of his accomplishment.
“Wike Mommy.” Jason solemnly explained as he showed Nana his stick of lipstick. “I white Mommy wuv notes on her mirwer.”
Just then Sarah skidded to a halt. “Hi, Nana. I was helping Mommy, too.”
Melissa felt her heart sink. The last time Sarah had ‘helped’ on her own the goldfish had been blowing bubbles before they died in a bubble bath she had prepared for them. She just knew they would enjoy one as much as she did, so she shared.
Nana shared a quick look with Melissa then asked, “What have you been doing, Sweetheart?”
Sarah stood up even straighter. “I got the carpet powder and sprinkled it on my carpet for Mommy.”
Melissa groaned, and the dread increased. “Where’d you get the carpet powder from?”
“The baffroom. That’s where you left it on accident.
“Oh, Sarah. How much did you sprinkle on the carpet?”
“I did it real good, Mommy. I’m a good helper.”
Melissa gave Sarah a weak smile, then looked at Nana. “Her ‘carpet powder’ is the Comet I had started to use on the tub…”
“I’m a good helper, Nana.” Sarah proudly said to her grandmother.
“Pweddy.” Josiah said as he touched his fingertips to his lips.
Jason summed it up for all of them. “Just wike Mommy.”
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