Sunday, May 25, 2008

Gobs of Greasy Goop

"Mommy, Mommy! M. Peevie needs you!" screeched A. Peevie at the top of his lungs recently.

I ignored him. It was past bedtime on a day when every nerve ending in my body urged that bedtime should be earlier, not later, than usual. I didn't hear any crying. I assumed there wasn't any bleeding. How bad could it be?

The screams came again, and this time A. Peevie followed them downstairs to deliver his animated message in person. "M. Peevie really needs you, Mommy," he said, panting from the exertion and the excitement. "The Desitin squirted all over the place. She's crying. She needs you."

Hmmm. Desitin. All over the place. Sounds like it might be worth checking out. I looked at Mr. Peevie. He looked at me. I sighed, and got up. Apparently I was, as our army friends say, the commander on the ground.

As I headed up the stairs, I could hear weeping. It was scared crying, not hurt crying, so I didn't rush. I figured the Desitin was pretty viscous--it wasn't going anywhere.

The sobs were coming from the bathroom. "M. Peevie, honey, what's the matter?" I asked, pushing open the door.

"I'm sorry, Mommy! I didn't mean to do it!" she said, sobbing. She was naked and holding a tube covered with greasy, white goo, which also covered her hands, and a little bit of the bathroom countertop.

"M. Peevie," I said. "What the he...what happened?"

"I got Desitin squished out all over the place," she sobbed. "I didn't mean to do it! It was an accident!"

It didn't look so bad, I thought to myself. It was just on the tube, the counter, and her hands. No biggie.

"Calm down, M.," I said. "It's OK. I'm not mad. Let's just clean it up, OK? Calm down."

M. Peevie's sobs abated a tiny bit as we started wiping the slimy goop from various surfaces. She sniffed, and took a deep breath. "But it's in the bedroom, too," she confessed.

Um, what? "Um, what?" I said. "Where in the bedroom? And, um, why?"

"It's on the door and the wall and the floor!" she said, sobbing harder.

I went to check it out. Sure enough, somehow the Desitin had squirted down the back of the door, in-between the doorjamb and the wall, on the wall, and down to the carpet. This could only have happened as a result of putting the tube into the crack between the door and the doorjamb, and closing the door.

"M. Peevie," I said sternly, "How in the name of all things greasy did this this happen?"

"I put the Desitin here--" she pointed to the crack between the door and the doorjamb-- "and then I forgot it was there, and when I closed the door, it squirted out all over the place!" Sob, sob, sob.

"But, M.," I said, "why would you put the Desitin there, of all places?"

"So I'd remember where it was," she said, totally missing the irony. Apparently irony is lost on a seven-year-old. Whatever.

Eventually, we got it cleaned up. I'm truly hopeful that M. Peevie has acquired an important lesson in cause and effect: If you put a tube of goopy stuff in the doorjamb, and then close the door, said goopy stuff will end up all over the place.

I'm sure that's one of the most important laws of physics. I just don't know what the real name for it is. Please leave it in the comments so that M. Peevie's education can be thorough and accurate.


cube said...

It's Newton's little known 4th law of goo thermodynamics ;-)

E. Peevie said...

Ah, of course.