This afternoon I went to WalMart to exchange a printer cartridge that was the wrong model. Within minutes of returning I found the house strangely quiet. Rose was loading the dishwasher and the children were still in bed for their "quiet time" which should have ended an hour ago. I felt like something was up, since Rose had changed into her father's ugliest t-shirt, and in reply to my request for the status of the house she replied dully, "Everything's fine."
Everything was not fine, as I found out when I walked upstairs and into my room. Max tattled on Little Mark, saying he had eaten "all da medicine." When I ran over to check out LMark, I found him standing on the vanity counter painting the mirror and himself with Dr. Burt's Rescue Ointment. Any other time I would have gotten angry, but I was already anxious about the "medicine" so the vanity had to wait for later. When I asked Max to explain what happened, he revised his story. Little Mark had eaten two pills, but Max had eaten one. I got on the phone with the pediatrician knowing full well that it was Max who had eaten all the pills. After explaining the situation to the pediatrician, then to Poison Control, and finding out that three times 160 mg of acetaminophin is not toxic to a boy Max (or LMark's) size I got the real score: Max-3, Little Mark-0. Thank God.
Little Mark, fortunately, was merely covered in a healthy, fragrant analgesic, which is why I had to put him in the tub. Upon walking into the bathroom I discovered that Ella had written on the cabinet in toothpaste the phrase "I hate Mom." I was bewildered because I couldn't remember having done anything particularly hateful earlier. When I was a kid I would say "I hate you" to my mom all the time and could effortlessly reduce her to tears. This is probably why I said it all the time--and why I deserve having it said to me.
There is a latant instinct in me to sit Ella down and have a heart-to-heart, but frankly, I'm out of patience with that modern nonsense. I made her clean up the mess, and then the whole bathroom. She didn't seem to have a problem with it since it appears her sentiments have changed. This, however, doesn't change the fact that I'm going to have to buy more toothpaste before the end of the week, and find time before Mark gets home from work to clean off my mirror.