Mum's the Word

Are you ready? No, seriously?

Posted: Apr. 18, 2018 12:09 pm Updated: Apr. 18, 2018 12:26 pm

Here is the window by my back door:

Here are the things I deem essential for the older child prep area:

1. Febreeze and Downy wrinkle release

2. Foot spray

3. Deodorant and body spray

4. Sunscreen

5. Band-Aids and Neosporin

6. Antiseptic plus pain relief spray

7. Eye drops

8. Hair supplies

9. Mouthwash

10. Stain treatment

It's the final prepping station. As kids are running out of the house for various activities, I have one concern: How are we presenting ourselves?

I have, no joke, Febreezed children as they walked out the door.

I'm not sure how they can't smell the problem. It makes me question whether I need to be standing outside the shower again, shouting instructions. Did you even wash your hair in the shower or did you just stand there? You're already wet, go ahead and use the soap!

The Downy wrinkle release has a Febreeze-like quality, but also deals with those clothes that were once folded but got shoved back in the drawer a few times. Yeah, I don't have time to iron. OK, I do, but I don't have the inclination. Unless, it's a special occasion or a dress/dress shirt, I'm going to turn a blind eye to that crease. 

Those snow boots clearly need to be sprayed. I'll be so grateful when we can put those away ... or burn them. Once boots have been removed from feet, please throw the socks you were wearing with those puppies straight down to the basement laundry. Maybe put some deodorant on your feet. I thought all the boots would be long gone by now but since it's mid-April and still snowing, I guess it won't be today.

Right up there with their smelly feet (and everything else) are the armpits. No, I don't want to smell your victory (what the boy says after any game). Put some deodorant on. If I can already smell you, combine with Febreezing the victorious shirt. Bleuch! And please warn somebody before you use that Axe body spray so we can all clear the area. I'm pretty sure we all lost some brain cells on the way to school the other day from the boy hot boxing the car. It's like a bug bomb killing everything except adolescent boys.

The weather will be changing soon and kids are already starting to play outside, coming in and out asking for things. In hopes that warm weather is just around the bend, I've included the sunscreen to the back door essentials. Fingers-crossed we get the weather and that we use the sunscreen at the appropriate time. I'll feel less guilty for the burned party if I alert them now to protocol. Sunscreen for pasty children is basically guilt insurance.

I like people to be self-sufficient, aka I'm a lazy mom who doesn't want to go track down the Band-aids from the medicine cabinet. I also have spray for cuts, burns and bites. It seems like every 15 minutes, someone has an accident of some kind. Some times the "accident" is your sister kicked you in the face or your brother pushed you off your bike with a broom. Either way, I like to be prepared.

Can we also talk about the fact that my freezer is half ice packs? I just had to throw one out to make room for green beans.

Being prepared allows me to deal with situations quickly. I like to see and treat patients rapidly so I can get back to whatever it was I was doing. I still have to stop what I'm doing, but I don't have to look for Band-aids for 15 minutes. Or eye drops. It's amazing how many times I've needed eye drops because something got in someone's eye. I wonder if we have unusually big eyes, short eyelashes or just terrible reflexes. Anyway, nothing like searching through medical supplies while a kid stands there screaming about an invisible spec in their eye.

I'm including eyeglass cleaner in my eye care section because I've got one with glasses. I'm in amazement at how often she has dirt and other substances thrown at her ... probably 75 percent provoked. She also trips and face plants a lot, but she may come by that honestly and comes in part because she's currently working on her leprechaun-like-jump-heel-click.

I have a brush, some pomade and hair ties in this area so that I can reach for it in an effort to fix the people who have failed to meet my standards of getting themselves together. There are two other stations before this station. Please get it together! Yes, even the back of your hair must be brushed.

Mouthwash exists in this area for one reason and one reason only: If I can smell your breath, nine times out of 10 I will have you go back up and brush your teeth. One out of 10 times, maybe more, we are running out the door and don't have time. Take a swig and spit in the garden on your way to the van.

For the love of all that is good and decent run!

Oh, and I put stain treatment there for the mistakes that happen on the run as well. Nothing like missing your mouth 30 seconds before you have to walk out the door. The stain treatment spray is more for the clothes that have bit the dirt, literally, during playtime and are not long for being on. But yes, I spray while they are still on. We are all artists and professional soccer players here. It's hard to keep up.

I hope this helps anyone who is also fighting the good fight.

Remember, a good defense is the best offense and prep work usually pays off.

Jen Reekie was born and raised in Quincy and received a communications degree at the University of Kansas, which has come in quite handy as she communicates every day with four children who don't hear a word she says. This stay-at-home mom enjoys the challenge, though, and shares her experiences in this blog, "Mum's the Word." She welcomes your feedback, questions and stories about staying sane while raising kids.

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