Saturday, May 29, 2010

Summer stink

Summer vacation has officially begun and that means on thing -- so has the summer stink.

Syd's idea of summer vacation is not doing anything, including hygiene. Couple that with the heat, afternoons full of kickball and bubble blowing, and the result is one stinky kid.

I learned today how to get her into the shower without argument.

She was outside blowing bubbles for the puppy to pop. She said, "There's this flying bug that keeps flying around me."

"It's because you're stinky. The stinkier you get, the more bugs that will swarm around you."

That did it. No pleading or begging. She got into the shower without a fight.

I don't remember hating cleanliness so much when I was seven. I asked my mom if I'd ever acted that way, but she never answered. Instead, she talked about when she was a kid.

"When I was a kid, we worked so hard all day long that it felt good to get a bath. Our legs hurt so bad that the warm water helped."

My mom was not only Prescrunchistoric, she was Searsandroebuckhistoric. That refers to an era where the Sears and Roebuck catalog had multiple uses.

One use was for a source of fashion. My mom and her sisters would pick out clothing from the catalogs, then Grandma would make the dress for them. Often without a pattern because Grandma was cool like that.

Another use for the Sears & Roebuck catalog was for toys. Mom and her sisters cut out the women models and cut out various outfits for them, making their own paper dolls. They'd put the paper dolls in a dresser drawer when not playing with them. Sometimes, snakes would get in the drawer and rattle the paper dolls.

The third and arguably most important use for the Sears & Roebuck catalog was for toilet paper. I've heard this all my life and have tried to imagine the effectiveness of glossy paper as a toilet tissue. I finally saw an old catalog a few years ago and it makes a little more sense now. The catalogs of the Searsandroebuckhistoric period were of a thin, not glossy paper. It made a little more sense, but didn't sound comfortable regardless.

I guess the biggest toilet paper difference between my generation and my daughter's is that Mr. Whipple used to pimp out Charmin when I was a kid. He policed the TP aisles to make sure no one was squeezing the Charmin.

Now, it's cartoon bears. I really don't understand the appeal, but apparently the marketing gurus know what they're doing. From the time Sydney was three, she's asked specifically for Charmin Ultra because it's what the bears use.

We were on the paper products aisle one day when I was feeling especially cheap. I was determined to buy a cheaper brand. I tried to break Syd of her TP preference by telling her that when Mamaw was a little girl, they used pages of old catalogs for toilet paper. They didn't have super soft Charmin Ultra.

She got that look on her face. The one where she expects me to hand her a catalog to put the TP holder.

"You know, we don't get catalogs except for the party supply ones," she said. "And I'm marking stuff I want to order for my birthday parties in there." She does. She's got parties planned until she's 14.

I explained that we weren't going to use magazine pages, but I was only trying to point out that toilet paper doesn't have to feel like a quilt on your booty to do its job effectively.

"But the bears use less of the Charmin Ultra because it's thicker," she said.

Thanks, marketing gurus.

This Prescrunchistoric mom has bought it ever since.

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