during my senior year of high school, my family hosted a German exchange student.
her name was Gesine Schnieder and she was quite fun.
the summer after i graduated, i went along with a high school program put together as a collaboration between two English and Theatre teachers.
we spent some time exploring the history and arts of London, and then a smaller group of us moved on to Marburg, Germany to stay with our host families there.
our German friends were still in school while we were there, so we were able to attend a variety of events on campus.
one of these included a performance.
hosted by us.
we were to show them a variety of our "American ways" in high school.
this included cheerleading, some theatre performances, etc.
i was a freakshow in high school who enjoyed wearing stockings and all black and a variety of hair colors.
i was in things like the National Honor Society and Yearbook.
not so much a cheerleader.
so i didn't have much to contribute.
this meant i got pulled into a number with another female from my high school, and two male German twins who had to be 6 foot 5, involving You're The One That I Want from Grease.
it was hilarious.
mostly it was hilarious because it was so tragic.
anyway, in prepping for the overall performance, another peer of ours, Tony, did nothing but watch.
he wasn't going to get on stage.
so we used him to mark our place, etc.
the running joke became, "you are nothing but a prop."
(it was funny at the time.)
every once in a while, i am in a conversation with fully grown adults who were not part of this experience, and this phrase comes to mind.
and, though it would fit the situation, i choose not to use it.
because, even in context, it's not that funny.
all of this is just to say, i was reminded of it this morning.
benny had developed a recent fascination with lotion.
particularly my cucumber watermelon lotion.
normally, i give him as assist. this means i allow him one pump of lotion.
today, little man helped himself.
to, perhaps, a lot more than one pump.
bern and i were brushing our teeth and ben realized he had overdone it.
he immediately asked to use his step stool to wash his hands in the sink.
not having the ability to navigate that maneuver at that exact moment, i offered him the most logical solution.
rub all the extra lotion onto mommy's arms and legs.
this kept benny distracted for a moment, and used up the lotion.
(two points me. problem solved and i smell like cucumber.)
ben looked up at me, beaming.
"mommy! you are just like a sink."
i am nothing but a prop.