"Mommy, how do I look?" She peers at me from underneath her mop of wispy blond hair. Only it's not wispy, anymore. It's... wet?
"Oh, you look lovely, Corinne! Did you use water to slick down your hair?"
But she's danced away in a swirl of her flowing hippie skirt; singing a Taylor Swift song with surprising accuracy. I return to my coffee and immerse myself in my emails until a truly pleasing aroma overtakes me. Turning around, I discover the odor is emanating from Corinne who has flitted back into the room to her art desk behind me.
"Wow! You smell really good! Did you use soap on your hair?"
I sniff her head again. She smells... familiar... but I can't quite place the scent.
"Corinne? What did you put on your hair?"
"I... don't remember. Just water, Mommy."
Knowing my daughter and her inability to refrain from sampling my perfumes, soaps and hair goop, I swept my hand through her locks. It felt.... oily.
"Did you put soap on your hair? You smell like..." I inhaled deeply, "... fruit. You smell really, really fruity!"
"I didn't, Mommy! I promise! I didn't put soap on my hair!!!" Her enormous eyes are indignant.
I grudgingly pull myself away from my beloved computer and we trudge into the kitchen. I am fairly positive that she put the new dish soap which smells like red grapefruit on her hair and just didn't wash it all out. Not that I condone using dish soap on your head, but hey; If my kid is going to voluntarily wash her hair, I am not going to complain. And the dish soap does smell DIVINE. So I understood her desire to use it.
I washed her hair out several times and we talked about being sure to properly rinse soap after we shampoo our heads. She continued to insist that she did NOT put the soap on her head and I continued to roll my eyes. I rubbed her head with a moderately clean kitchen towel and sent her off to play while bombarding the back of her head with reminders to "Tell the Truth!"
Still. That scent. I wonder...
I check the dish soap bottle. I sniff. It's really fruity, for sure, but not exactly what she had on her head. And I SWEAR that I know that smell! The olfactory does NOT forget! Deciding that it may just be one of those parenting queries that never reveals itself, I abandon the mystery to clean the house before our friends come over for dinner.
Later that night, during a conversation with my girlfriend, I notice that Corinne's hair still looks a little... wet. I begin to describe the afternoon to my girlfriend. I laugh as I say,
"...and her hair was oily! I mean, what could she possibly have gotten into?!? Ha Ha Ha!!! Ha...Ha... Oh. Oh dear...."
I thump up the stairs to our room and fling open the door and there, upon our bedroom dresser, is the answer. The bottle. The aroma that smelled so pleasant and was so familiar but was so difficult to place when it arose from my 5 year old's head.
My kindergartener had bathed her head in our scented "personal massage" oil. The oil in the bottle that has a drawing of people in a very, um... amorous position.
I do not have enough money for the therapy that her childhood will require.
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