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the apple, apparently, does not fall far from the tree


I think most people have experienced little red flags that pop up in the back of their heads. Most of the time, these are inconsequential and sometimes they are huge. My flag system is pretty highly attuned and it routinely alerts me to minor infractions that usually come to fruition when I ignore them.

However, yesterday my flag system must have been temporarily out of order.

My 6-year-old came upstairs from the basement bathroom and announced, "I got some poop on my finger so I used hand sanitizer to clean it."

"Whoa, whoa, whoa ginga," I answered. "Hand sanitizer is only used when no soap and water is available. Give me your hands; let's get those squeaky clean with some soap and water right now." Okay, we cleaned up and I didn't think twice about that.

This morning I went downstairs to take a shower when I noticed four or five thin brown streaks on the shower door. I gasped suddenly as the knowledge of what was in those brown streaks assaulted my brain. I heard my kid's voice echoing in my head, "I got some poop on my finger; I got some poop on my finger...".


Why is it that when a child's finger contains a mass of unwanted material, such as shit or gooey boogers, the first instinct is to wipe it on any hard surface within arm's reach?

I must admit, as a child, I was not above the same behavior. Let's jump in the Way Back Machine and travel to the year that was 1976. I was a mere lass of eight and was invited to my first sleep over birthday party at LeeAnn Ridenour's house.

It was night time, we had all of our sleeping bags out on the floor of her parent's basement and we were getting ready for bed. Somehow the lights were out and I must have been stumbling, in the dark, to my sleeping bag.

Strangely enough, I just remembered the bitchin' new pajamas my mom bought me for that party. They were very patriotic in red, white and blue stripes (surely a tie-in to the bicentennial the U.S. was celebrating that year) and it was a long one-piece granny dress with eyelet lace on the bib part up near my chin.

Now that you have a complete visual, let us get back to the action. Again, memories flood me. We were playing a game in the dark. The lights went out, we did something and then the lights would go back on. It was during the lights out part that I took the opportunity to relieve my nose of a particularly huge, crusty booger that was bothering me. You know the kind that, when you press the side of your nose, you feel the hard part inside? That's what was in my nasal cavity.

In the dark, I fished the booger out and, since I was an arm's length away from the dark wood paneling in LeeAnn's basement, I wiped my finger on the wall and returned my hand to my side.

I thought I was golden, as it were. How would anyone ever know I was the owner of that green, crusty excretion? When the lights came back on, someone noticed and all fingers pointed at me. What could I do but vehemently deny all knowledge of said booger?

I never did admit it. I just held tight to my assertion that it must have been there all the time, and I was simply a victim of circumstance.

In retrospect, I'm sure no one believed me. And, if I recall correctly, I never did attend another sleep over party during my youth.


2006-12-17 at 1:39 p.m.

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