With all the trepidation of the H1N1 virus looming this season, I was certain there would be a major outbreak of a cold or flu in my home and damned it, I would be prepared. Anticipating an assault of projectile vomit and other various bodily fluids making an appearance on an assortment of inconvenient areas of my house, I made sure I had an ample supply of Kleenex, plastic-lined garbage cans and toilet bowl cleaner on hand. Luckily, I did not have to spend a small fortune to acquire these items. My mother, who had been living alone in her house since my father passed about a year ago, tended to buy things “on sale”. Familiar with her tendency to buy in bulk, I figured that there might be a few boxes of Kleenex she could spare. Mom made sure I had all the necessities required for the impending onslaught of germs on hand when I left her house. In total, I had about 25 brand new boxes of Kleenex (I am NOT exaggerating), 2 packages of Paper Towel, 2 bottles of Lysol disinfectant and some spare suppositories?! According to my Mom, you never know when you might run out of suppositories and apparently, they are great for making your tabletop shiny too….and slippery. But I digress.
Luckily, the flu passed by our house, probably because the bugs thought they would be outnumbered by the other more frightening microbes lurking in my bathroom. So, even though my boys have not yet had a major cold, they have managed to devour 6 boxes of Kleenex in the last two weeks. Any hint of drippage sends them diving for the Kleenex box, where they will nimbly dab away the offending snottage. They will not blow, mind you, just dab, daintily, like a pointillist artist working on his masterpiece. After this little ritual, I will see them promptly jam their fingers up their noses, digging like half-crazed miners mere inches from hitting the mother lode. I am quite pleased that they have finally discovered the Kleenex box and its contents as a substitute for whatever fabric that may have been readily available, be that my sofa, the dog, their sleeve or mine. Yes, I have trained them well – albeit with threats of removal of all electronic devices from the home. Thankfully, they have learned to use Kleenex, but now I just need to figure out how to teach them to use a garbage can.