Wipe Out


Today our water was shut off. For a brief moment I was scared the water bill fell behind the desk. Then I went to pick up Andy from school and saw two big trucks and water gushing out onto the streets a block away. The man with the orange vest assured me water would be flowing into my faucets in just a few hours.

A few hours?! Does he know I have 6 small children at my house? Does he know Dean swiped the butter dish from off the counter and painted himself, the cupboards and floor with the greasy substance? Does he know how grimy little hands get after bowls of yogurt and fruit? Not to mention the table?

And then I remembered mom’s best friend: the wet wipe. The wet wipe cleaned up the butter fiasco in a snap. The wipes took care of 12 little caked on hands and sent them to the playroom with confidence. Ah, the wipe.

A few years ago when I was pregnant with Luke, both Kate and Andy were potty trained. I got to experience four glorious months diaper free. But what I missed were the wipes!! Every time my preschoolers smiled at me with pizza sauce on their faces or came to show me their scraped knees at the park, I would immediately poke around my purse looking for a wipe like a reflex. And to come up short? Oh, it’s the worst. Somehow a tissue waived around the spigot of a public drinking fountain doesn’t have the same satisfying cleaning power.

I vowed then never to go around wipeless. Even when my children were grown, I promised myself I would carry wet wipes, always. Like a crusader, I would help the wipeless mom whenever I saw one. “Here, dear, use mine,” I would say to the mother who let their kid eat a gooey PB&J in the shopping cart. Snotty nose? No problem. Spit up on your new blouse? My specialty. I would be, “The Grandma with the Wipes.”

I really don’t know what moms did before wet wipes were invented. My own father used to soak those thin little disposable rags in a solution of water, baby shampoo and baby oil, cut them up and keep them in a plastic bag by the changing table. Pretty inventive. But what did Sacagawea do? And her mother before her? We come from a long line of women who did amazing things with nary a modern convenience. Let us all take a moment to think of them and thank them…

Now I think I’ll go see if the indoor plumbing is working.


One response »

  1. I have long since been of the same mind. I have had kids in diapers for 13 years straight,and though my diaper changing days are numbered, I shall probably carry wipies with me for 13 more (or longer)

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