Typically Declan bathes in the evening, just before bed time, directly related to our efforts to minimize the morning madness. On rare occasions I have made the decision to scramble the little monster through a shower before school, usually related to a less-than-pleasant scent emanating from his unruly morning hair.
He is a grumpy youngster at first light, and in all honestly I'm not exactly Mary Poppins before my first cup of coffee, so the additional chore of prodding him through a morning shower is a rare event.
It doesn't help that the shower is located just off of Uncle Casey's room, who is the grumpiest of us all when awoken prematurely.
This week included one of those rare morning showers for the little guy, but this time there was new twist. Apparently he had scratched his arm at some point the night before and the water from his shower had irritated the wound.
While I was attempting to get his shoes on and make up lost time for his shower, Declan was babbling on about needing band-aids for areas all over his body. He pointed out approximately five locations and was giving me a detailed explanation as to why they must all have bandages before he can go to school.
"We're out buddy, you used them all last time you had a scratch. I will get some more on payday," I responded in a rushed tone.
"What? But we had bunches in that medicine box!" he replied in frustration.
After I convinced him he had exhausted our supply I attempted to take advantage of the situation by pouring on a little "I told ya so." I explained that this was exactly the scenario I was trying to avoid when I didn't want to give him the last five or six band-aids he used on mere scratches. Of course this was no different than any of those scenarios.
As I shifted gears with the conversation and began helping him put on his jacket, he masterfully switched gears as well.
"I will just have to go to the school nurse right away when I get to school. She will have bandaids for my cuts, she is never out," he replied, his barely visible scratch now upgraded to a "cut."
The combination of his words and the look he gave me apparantly worked. I immediately began thinking about how I would look to the school nurse, a parent who couldn't even provide his youngster with basic necessities, such as adhesive bandages.
"You don't need to go see the nurse," I said, hoping to deter him.
"Yeah I do. The school nurse is like a scientist or something, they know all about cuts," he replied with his matter-of-fact tone. It was the scientist part that got me. Declan has been saying for weeks he was going to be a scientist when he grew up, and now the school nurse is suddenly "like a scientist" in his eyes.
We made a detour to the bathroom before heading out the door and like a snake oil salesmen I introduced Declan to the wonders of aftershave.
"It makes all scratches feel better and makes you smell awesome too, way better than bandaids," I claimed. His eyes lit up and he began pointing at "cuts" all over his body that needed this miracle cure.
A few moments later Declan rolled out the door with a grin on his face and an overwhelming scented-cloud of after shave surrounding him, guaranteed to get the attention of anyone within 20 feet. Most importantly he had absolutely no need to see the school nurse.
Just behind him I followed, most likely late for work, but "like a scientist" in my son's eyes.