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“Droodles: the noseprints or handprints left on windows by animals or children”. -FromWanted Words 2: From Armajello to Yawncore Edited by Jane Farrow

 I can live with handprints on the car windows (no child can resist drawing on a fogging window), nose prints on the back door, and cat snuffles on the bedroom window (well, when I had a cat…if I had cat snuffles now, that would be seriously disturbing). Smudges are just part of life. But lately I have been fighting a losing battle with Little Guy over bathroom mirror smears. 

Several weeks ago, I asked him to stop “drawing” on the bathroom mirror. For one thing, it drags out bedtime. For another, the top of the mirror is over my head (I’m 5′ 1½” and the ½” is important) so cleaning it is hard…and I just hate doing it more than once a week (unless the toothpaste splatter starts to remind me of crime scene photos or Rorschach tests). Sunday evening, I noticed a familiar pattern, so I watched Little Guy clean the mirror (what he can reach) and he wasn’t happy. I thought that would be the end of it.

 Monday night, right before bed, I noticed a distinct smear that led into a full palm print on the mirror, as well as multiple dots along the bottom edge. So I confronted Little Guy, who insisted that it wasn’t him…honestly. While I was frustrated with the mirror smear, I was more frustrated by the lying. I always give my kids the benefit of any doubt… I took him into the bathroom and we compared our palm prints with the mirror print. My hand was too big! Busted! I told Little Guy that he had to clean it after school, after homework, and before any video games (gasp).

First, he tried to argue with me…let’s just say this kid may have a future in law or politics. If that fails, there’s always acting for next, came the waterworks – the quivering lip, the moist eyelids, the forced sobbing… It’s nice to see he inherited something from me – I was a pro. He’s good – I was almost convinced. Almost. With a heart of stone, I kissed him good-night and told him I loved him…and I walked away, feeling “mean”.

Last night, he grumbled, he delayed, he insisted it still wasn’t him…but he cleaned it. As I brushed my teeth last night without staring at kindersludge, I felt like a “hero”. There are crumbs on my floors and dust on my furniture…but by all that is worth fighting for, my bathroom mirror sparkles! And if everyone in my household knows what’s good for them, it will stay that way….