Friday, May 28, 2010

The smear campaign

Smearing is a rite of passage for all young children. Don't think you can escape it.

Somewhere between the ages of 18 months and three years your child will coat the walls, the carpet, the couch and their own body in muck.

In my house, most forms of muck originate from my cosmetics drawer. Yes, I can remember the tears stinging my eyes after seeing expensive foundation smeared across the bathroom vanity. Twice I have narrowly missed opening a new cleanser before it was painted over the toilet.

Other favourites from my brood include nappy cream, toothpaste and interestingly, instant coffee granules - on their own they sound harmless, but if they've been taste-tested and spat out, they stick magnificently to carpet. My daughter chose to smear all of these under her brother's bed - at different times.

I'm just thankful those Pro Hart carpet cleaning ads are no longer running - imagine the inspiration they could garner from them!

And before you judge me (oh go ahead and do it anyway): I think I have been very diligent in shutting doors and putting locks on drawers. After the novelty appears to have worn off and my child has seemingly outgrown the need for smearing, they catch me unawares. One false move, one door left open for too long and that's it, there's nappy cream from tiles to toilet.

I have cleaned up many messes and I as I showered this morning, I looked over at my cosmetics drawer and considered my nine-month-old baby. I've only got less than ten months until she joins the ranks.

Mind you, it hasn't been all bad. You can imagine what the worst kind of smear campaign involves: yes, faeces. Luckily for me, my husband copped that one. I was out for my first stint of solo shopping when he opened up the nursery door to find the cot coated in a new shade of ochre and my son squirming with delight at his open nappy. Erk.

Thankfully that's been the only poo experiment in this house.

I'll be wishing and hoping and thinking and praying that I am not cursed with that mess. Surely my nine-month-old is too old for that? Surely...


  1. As I was reading this I was thinking that I avoided this smear stage adroitly, as I didn't recall any diaper cream episodes or the like. Until I read the paragraph about your husband's discovery and remembered what my 18-mo. old daughter did in the guest room of a friend's house on a trip to California once. It looked like a crime scene gone brown. Ugh. I had completely forgotten about that.

  2. The other day, hubby and I were actually enjoying a distraction-free conversation, for the first time since, like, forever!! Then we realised the reason for the silence....Mister 10mths had unravelled a poo-ey nappy, and was having a lovely time, squishing and poking it.

  3. Yep, we had Mr2 do the poo thing. smear on the mirror & walls and a lovely decorative blobs on the door. I didn't know what to do, I think I laughed and cried at the same time.

  4. I think the only way to avoid a poo explosion is not to let them play too long in the cot after they wake up. That tends to be when the er 'dirty work' takes place!! You guys are lucky to have missed out on having your make-up ruined!

  5. Zinc cream and poo, for many many months. My oldest started doing it while I was pregnant and didn't stop until well after her sister was born.

    It was not pretty.

    We did our best to distract her with painting and playdough but she just had to grow out of it.

  6. We've had all of those 'incidents' in our house too. Weetbix is a bugger to clean, once that stuff dries you have to chisel it off. Another one that's hard to clean is zinc powder, though it's not really a smearing one, but Muffin had decided to 'dust' her brother and the play pen in it, every thing was white for weeks.