The four year old is in the bath tub this morning before lunch. She wanted bubbles. I pumped some hand soap in when running the water. She plays while I get the one year old in the high chair.
"Can you close the door so I can have some privacy?" Una calls.
"Sorry, honey, I need to be able to see you while you're in the bathtub in order to keep you safe." It occurs to me that the last time she asked for "privacy," she shredded a whole roll of toilet paper behind closed doors. And last time she asked me "not to watch," she pumped out half a bottle of hand soap at the bathroom sink.
"What are you doing?" I inquire, and peer down the hall. Nothing looks out of the ordinary.
She holds up a green plastic boat. "I'm washing this."
Sweet and innocent enough.
Ten minutes later I wander into the bathroom and notice two things: It smells like flowers in there, and my brand new bottle of organic hair shampoo has been displaced to the far corner of the bathtub.
"What happened to the shampoo bottle?" I ask.
"I moved it because it was falling into the tub."
I reach for it and see through the nine-ounce translucent plastic bottle that there is less than an inch of product left. I'd used it only one time, on the one-year-old's bath half an hour before.
While I am trying my darnedest to consume less, the four year old is trashing what I do have right and left: Yesterday, I found my 2 oz bottle of Bumble and Bumble Grooming Creme (price: 10$, decision to purchase: thoughtful and agonizing) half-empty and wet in the bathroom sink.
"Did you squeeze out my hair stuff?" I asked her.
"No, I didn't."
"Are you sure you're telling the truth to Mommy?"
Suddenly, her face twists in utter darkness: "You're LYING, MOMMY!! YOU'RE NOT TELLING THE TRUTH."
She was so vehement, I wondered if i really had used half the product in the two months since I bought it. I used half a teaspoon a week, it seemed.
But today I recognize that we are on to a new trend of squeezing and dumping. Ten dollars squeezed into my daughter's bath, another ten used for handwashing (with the Bumble and Bumble) and washed down the sink drain.
That's six pairs of Stride Rite shoes from Goodwill.