She was two, and OH SO cute. She had definitely NOT earned the "terrible" nickname that particular age brings to so many toddlers. She was good-natured and imaginative and verbal.
But on this particular day, she was quiet. Really quiet. And at first you, as a parent, don't notice 'quiet'. It's peaceful. That's why they call it "peace and quiet". But then suddenly 'quiet' screams at you like an airhorn: SHE IS TOO QUIET. WHAT IS SHE DOING? IS SHE BREATHING? HAS SHE FALLEN INTO THE TOILET HEAD FIRST? Of course, all these thoughts go through your head in less time than it takes you to gasp.
On my way up the stairs, I called out frantically, "Kacey?"
(Sigh of relief. Panic subsided. Heart rate returned to normal.)
"What are you doing?"
"I play wif da soap."
Whew. Play with the soap. Good. Wait. Play with the soap? What soap? The only soap upstairs is in the bathtub, and she can't reach it. Investigation became urgent.
At the door of my room I found her sitting in the middle of the bed. It took a second or two to assess what I was seeing. In the middle of my very 1980's peach comforter was a reddish stain the size of a large Rorschach ink blot. Was it blood? No, too purple. Finger paint? No, there's no finger paint upstairs . . . OHHHH, but there IS paint for FINGERS upstairs.
Kacey, wearing nothing but her big girl panties, swiveled around to reveal a bottle of nail polish in one hand, a very decorated Winnie-the-Pooh in the other hand, and a tummy covered with "soap".
It was clear (unfortunately the nail polish was not), that the comforter was ruined. As was Pooh Bear, her favorite "baby". But how could I be upset at something that stinkin' cute? I couldn't. I said, "Honey, don't move. Mommy will be right back!" And I ran to get the camera.
The comforter became history. Kacey's tummy stayed "pretty" for several days until the polish wore off in the bath, 'cause there was no way I was rubbing my baby down with acetone. And the mauve-painted Pooh was discreetly replaced by a new, clean Pooh.
I just realized it's not often you get to say "new clean Pooh" in a blog. Or in real life, for that matter.