So, aside from cackling with glee as Annie and Ella encountered the various pranks I’d set for them, I thought that the best part of yesterday was going to be the chocolate-covered strawberries that the girls made me for dessert. Or maybe learning that a fantastic project I’ve been doing with my seventh grade students has finally been completed, to my utter delight. Or perhaps realizing that I had not heard “Let It Go” in twenty-four entire hours.
Upon further reflection, the lack of “Let It Go” was definitely the highlight of my yesterday. Or so I thought, until Nick came home from a brief trip to Minnesota and gave me something even more amazing.
Stop it right now; I don’t mean it like that.
This past fall, both girls were unexpectedly diagnosed with eczema. (Between that and the cold urticaria, they sure the got the best of Nick’s and my genes, skin-wise. At least we make super cute offspring.) In addition to suggesting that we use the extra rinse cycle on the washing machine, forego dryer sheets (static cling, you vixen), and liberally apply (unscented, un-dyed, totally
boring hypoallergenic) lotion after each bath or shower, our pediatrician also strongly recommended that we switch the girls to a bar of soap without fragrance or dyes. Enter unscented Dove, which they have been using for the past six months or so.
I have kept Nick and me awash (pun intended) in Irish Spring or Zest, mostly because I like their commercial jingles, plus Dove is a bit more expensive. Also, I know where our soap has been, unlike the bar that the girls scrub themselves and the shower with every time they’re in there. (Okay, so I know where their soap has been, too, which is why I don’t want it spread all over my body.)
Yes, this relates to Nick coming home yesterday and totally making my night. Patience.
Even though my green bar of soap was nestled beside theirs, I knew – because they hate applying the lotion and understand that using soap other than theirs might result in drier skin – that the girls wouldn’t use anything other than the Dove, which meant that my nail-polish-on-the-soap-bar prank had a decent shot at succeeding. I also knew that I wouldn’t have the soap trick backfire on me (unlike, say, the blue-dyed water faucets, which I doused myself with not once but twice before remembering that I was pranking the girls, not me), because I’m afraid of using their bar. Win-win.
The only bummer was that Nick was going to be out of town all day, so he couldn’t participate in any of the shenanigans, nor could I prank him in any way. A bummer, but hardly the end of the world. There’s always next year.
Upon his return at nearly midnight, I couldn’t help but recount the tales of the day, chuckling with each remembrance of the girls’ reactions. He was beyond bushed, having awakened at 4-something in the morning to catch his flight to the Twin Cities (after having returned home after midnight – yowza! – following his final hockey game of the season), but still I pressed on, ending with the final prank of the day – the lacquered soap – and told him how Ella had been thoroughly bewildered by its lack of suds-ability.
At this, his sleep-heavy eyes popped open as he cocked his head slightly to the side and half-asked, half-reasoned, “So that’s why it wouldn’t work this morning!”
Turns out, Nick has been using the girls’ Dove for months now, and – in his punch-drunken, 4 a.m. exhaustion – had been quite confused when it didn’t perform as usual.
“It felt, I don’t know… Oily or scaly or something. Definitely not right.
And that was because you’d coated it in nail polish??”
Yes. Yes, it was, because I had no idea that he was commandeering our daughters’ special hypoallergenic soap for his own purposes, so I saw no reason to warn him of said prank before he attempted to lather up. Wife of the year, that’s me.
Then again, even if I had known that he was co-opting the soap, I probably wouldn’t have warned him. Nay, especially if I’d known that he was co-opting the soap, I wouldn’t have warned him… because while it’s one thing to pull a fast one over on your seven and nine year-olds, it’s quite another to successfully pull one over on your nearly forty year-old husband who senses your high jinks from a mile away and cannot be fooled no matter how hard you try.
Having done so by accident, and then imagining him wondering what the hell was going on as he tried in vain to wash up with soap that mysteriously “wasn’t working”?
Oh, it’s no contest; that was absolutely the best part of my day.