Yesterday we are standing out on Mom and Dad's patio and Dad says "I think we are sending Helen home with poison ivy". I think to myself, great, that sounds like fun. It is going to spread to every inch of her body by tomorrow morning. There will be no STARR test for her this week if she is in a constant state of itch. School is going to love me. As if reading my mind she says, "I don't think it is poison ivy, it doesn't itch." Dad looks dubious. "Well, maybe it is just an allergic reaction to something you kneeled on in the flower bed. Look at her knee, I think it looks like poison ivy." I look, it is pink but I don't touch it since it could be icky. Anyway, it doesn't seem to be bumpy or irritated or spreading. Helen looks nervous but I just think eh, it will go away.
Great mom I am, I forget completely about the knee. In fact, Helen is not complaining at all so I figure it is fine. So, getting in the car, my mom takes notice of the knee and begins quizzing Helen. "Helen, did you hurt your knee? It is all pink. Jeanette did you see it?" "Yeah Mom,"I say, "Dad thought it was poison ivy but I think it is fine." Helen, she like the tar baby, she says nothin. In fact she has said nothin anytime her knee is mentioned at all. This is not lost on Grandma who is the master inquisitor. "Helen, let me see your knee." At this point, Helen attempts in the most casual way possible to say, "Really, it is nothing, I think it is just a little paint."
Grandma, who is also the master of raising one eyebrow while smiling a slight smile that undermines the trouble you are about to be in says, "Paint? What paint? The paint in the downstairs bedroom you are not supposed to get into?" Helen who is a terrible liar says, "I was just looking at it Grandma and somehow it got all over me." Helen has not learned yet that you do not get away with anything when it comes to Grandma. Believe me, I know. "All over you?" My Mom smiles, "and what else got pink paint on it?" Helen now has a full on squirm. I have a full on squirm. We both know pink paint in Helen's hand has the potential to spread just like poison ivy. "Grandma, there are just a few specks on the carpet." Grandma, "A few?" Helen, "Four, exactly four, I counted and they are minuscule," staggers out Helen. I suddenly realized the depth of the pink paint cover up. So does Mom. As a testimony to the power of Grandmotherly love, Mom just says, "oh Helen," with laughter and exasperation. We hug, we kiss, we start to leave when Grandma smiles and nonchalantly says, "oh Helen you did remember to grab that bugle your sister found in the closet didn't you?" I pull out of the driveway as quickly as possible to much complaining. "No time, no time! We have to go." and thus I made my escape, dodging both real poison ivy, and mom's bugle revengay.