Monday, May 2, 2011

Sticky Situation

Paul had to go to the audiologist today.  The office is clean, nice, has a kid area and an aquarium full of tropical fish.  The doctor has a beautiful plaque telling the story of how he loved the fish at the ear nose and throat doctor he saw as a child, and that that is why he keeps tropical fish in his office waiting area. 

We got to know the fish pretty well waiting forty five minutes to be seen.  Naturally the five and four year old both announced they needed to go to the bathroom right when the Dr. walked into the room.  The bathroom was an entertaining diversion because we needed to pack up and leave the office with a key to get to the lavatory.  There were at least three cool discoveries in the bathroom: the auto door, the auto flush feature and the sensor driven soap and water dispensers.  Twenty minutes later, we get to the appointment, as we now had to wait for him to finish with the next person while we were discovering 21st century wash rooms.

Aside from that, the kids were reasonably well behaved given the fact that they were in a business building and it was the afternoon.  Apparently the staff thought so too, and as such was prepared to hand out rewards. While I was scheduling the next appointment, the nurse offered each of my not at school set a sticker. 

I hate stickers.  I hate them because they always wind up on the one thing, the one thing that I can't scrape it off of, and thus have a gummy residue or a pooh bear/princess/hot wheel/batman/transformer in a place that I'd rather not. 

Those sticky pictures have taken down the back window of a brand new SUV, my dining room table, the screen of our old television, a carseat and my old laptop.  They've ruined purses I've bought for myself on more than one occasion.  Stickers have resulted in an irritated phone call from my pediatrician because one of my children decorated the wall and they couldn't get it off.

Then there are the walls and the doors of bedrooms, festooned with various glittery emblems of seasonal holidays.  One bedroom entrance is completely 4th of July. As any parent whose encountered these objects knows, water, elbow grease, and a butter knife don't always work.  Somehow four year olds can get that vacuum seal when they put their favorite Disney character upside down on the one nice piece of furniture or blank wall available for miles.  My kids specialize in accessorizing right before family is coming to town.

But I digress.  

Today, I learned a new reason for hating stickers.   While receptionists understand saying "No" to a lollipop, no one understands being a scrooge about stickers.  If I stick to my guns, I get looks like someone should slap a post-it on my back saying, "MEANEST MOM IN THE UNIVERSE!  DOESN'T LET HER KIDS HAVE STICKERS! FEEL SORRY FOR THESE CHILDREN AND FEEL FREE TO BOO AT HER IF YOU WANT!!!"

Sure enough, as I was making our co-pay, my daughter took the Rapunzel off the protective backing and smacked it on the beautiful clear aquarium before I could even get out the word "Don't."  I peeled it off but not without a two-fold cost.  My daughter was upset at me for disrupting her attempt to beautify the world for the fish, and the sticker hadn't wanted to be removed so there was that white fuzzy half paper/gum remains in the form of a perfect square.

Now I had a problem.  I can 1) skulk out leaving the square  2) try to peel it off myself or 3) ask for help to address the issue head on.  I opted to spend the next five minutes scraping with my thumb nail without giving notice to the staff. It was a messy business and while there were some feltish spots here and there, the glass was no longer marred by a big square, just fingerprints which I hope can't be traced. . 

I had to tell them not to stick them to the elevator.  Not to the elevator doors.  Not to the cool auto clear glass doors that led outside, not to the stucko walls of the building, not to the parking sign and NOT TO MY CAR.  One daughter saw this edict as a dare.  " I swear she was thinking...."I must find a place to put my sticker that Mom has not technically forbiden but is out of bounds anyway."

"Can I put it on the sidewalk?" she asked.  "No." 
"On our driveway?" "NO." 
"What can I put it on?" 
"Paper or yourself." I explained as I buckled people into their carseats. 

She slapped it on a book. Her sister began sobbing immediately.  She had put her sticker on her shirt.  Having previously been afixed to the aquarium, it had lost its stickerieness.  I thought that was the reason for her tears.  I was mistaken.

"That's my book." She sobbed.

I looked at the book.  It was technically paper.  She'd followed my rules.  However, the sticker could not be removed without ripping the book and the sticker was in the book of the other sister, and as such, it was in verboten territory.  We'd just have to cope with Rapunzel in the middle of "I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH."  It could go next to the "Good Night Moon" that still has 2.56 cents worth of postage on it from when my first daughter pretended to pay the bills.

I got home and opened the mail.  It included one of those Free Gifts of mailing labels.  I was going to toss it away as I don't go by Margaret, but my daughter came in and saw them while I was sorting the bills and junk piles.
"If you're going to throw them away, can I have them?" She asked innocently. Visualizing the formal version of my name plastered on the piano, the guest bathroom wallpaper and the kitchen cabinets if I say yes, I do what any parent in my situation would do.  I lie.  "No, these are my stickers.  I'm going to use them and have fun with them." 

Now.  Where to put these....


MightyMom said...

bwahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! Woman!!

I am going to mail you a GAZILLION of these little alcohol pads!!!! They take stickergoo off EVERYTHING!!!!!

People are always in shock when I let my kids stickerize my has a slick and shiny finish (not just stained wood for which this wouldn't work).....because of said finish 2 sprays of Windex and voila! You'd never know we just left the Christmas season!

Mark my words, rubbing alcohol and Windex will unstick any sticker.

Nancy Guarnieri said...

This is why God made Goo-Gone. It works miracles with sticky residue! LOL

Leaving a comment is a form of free tipping. But this lets me purchase diet coke and chocolate.

If you sneak my work, No Chocolate for You!