Body Lotion Wars

Mommy on the Good Wall

Two night’s ago, there was an issue at bedtime when I discovered that Gigi, once again, had not been generous enough in slathering body lotion onto her “trouble spots” post bath time. We MUST use copious amounts of lotion (in addition to frequent oatmeal baths and a couple of other tricks I’ve learned over the years) to keep the winter dry skin rashes under control. Lately, Gigi has insisted that she can handle the lotion application on her own. I beg to differ.

Gigi: No! No! No! I already did the lotion!

Cassie: Gigi, you didn’t put on enough. Not at all.

Gigi: It’s enough!

Cassie: No. It’s definitely not. There’s rash-i-ness everywhere.

Gigi: Stings too much.

Cassie: If you used more lotion, right after the bath, your skin would start to heal and the sting-thing wouldn’t happen. You have to use a lot of lotion, honey, not just a couple little drops.

Gigi: Wrong!

Cassie: Genevieve Gray! I’ve been through this with every kid in our family. I know what I’m talking about. I’m going to have to do the lotion again. Come on.

(Grabbing the bottle from beside her bed, I begin to pump lotion into the palm of my hand. I rub the lotion vigorously between my two hands to heat the lotion so the application won’t be as much of a cold shock to my child’s tender skin. I feel this is an extremely nice gesture on my part. Gigi does not agree and tells me so.)

Gigi (with a note of hysteria): COLD, COLD, WET! I ALREADY TOLD YOU, I DID THE LOTION!!!

Cassie: We have to do some more, Gigi. I’m the mother and—-

Gigi: (swatting my hands away so that lotion smears into her hair, her bed sheets, my own clothes. GET AWAY! MY SKIN IS RESTING!!! IT’S RESTING!

Cassie: (sighing) Do I have to get Daddy?

Gigi: NO!

Cassie: (as I roll up the pajama sleeve on her left arm, my fingers touch the rash bumps that cover the back of her arm and elbow) My God, Gigi, your skin is like a lizard’s skin!

Gigi: (squirming and suddenly seething, looking very much the devil child) YOU ARE A SUPER BAD MOMMY TO SAY MY SKIN IS LIKE A LIZARD’S! HOW DARE YOU UN-COMPLIMENT ME!!!!!!

(Perhaps the Lizard Skin Un-Compliment WAS going a bit too far. I try to back pedal and attempt to make soothing, cooing, motherly sounds for the remainder of the lotion application process.

Gigi will have none of it. She readjusts her pajama sleeves and then haughtily banishes me to the bedroom floor to carry out our “Good Night Snuggle” routine. She insists that her lotion-covered, stinging, rash-y skin will absolutely not tolerate the presence of my body directly beside her on the bed. However, she demands that I stay in the bedroom, on the floor, until both she and her skin are resting comfortably. This is what will be necessary to make up for the shocking lizard comment.

GOOD NEWS: Gigi’s skin is vastly improved this morning.

MORE GOOD NEWS: While making her bed, I noted, with relief, that Gigi’s “Mommy Cassie” drawing remains on the “Good Wall” and has not been moved to the “Bad Wall” as has been the harsh result with my past indiscretions.)