Friday, January 28, 2005

Krazy Kool-Aid Lady

Mike had quite the deprived childhood. His mother denied him and his siblings colored liquids. They were only allowed to drink apple juice and lemonade in the house. Oh, the cruelty! His mother did this, not out of sadistic urges, but to minimize the effect of spilled juice*. I completely agree with her tactics.

The common reaction to being deprived something when young is to indulge in it as an adult. In Mike’s case, that means endless pitchers of red, purple, and blue Kool-aid. I think he might actually enjoy the lemon-flavored variety, but he refuses to drink it. If it isn’t brightly colored, it’s no good.

Kool-aid is heavily pigmented. For awhile, kids were actually using it to dye their hair. As you can imagine, Mike’s Kool-aid causes me endless cleaning horror.

He is pretty careful about spills. He knows that the room with a white flokati rug is a Kool-aid-free zone. In fact, I can only think of one thing that he actually spilled Kool-aid on – brand-new, 100% cotton sheets, while they were on the bed. I don’t want to know why he was drinking fruit punch in bed. He still denies that he was responsible, but I can think of no other explanation.

The messes primarily happen during the mixing process, and so, are confined to the kitchen. Mike dumps the Kool-aid (sugarfree mix) into the pitcher and adds water. Because the Kool-aid powder is so fine, an almost invisible cloud rises from the container and settles on everything within a 3-foot radius – the white windowsill, clean dishes in the drying rack, the pale yellow counters. Inevitably, these surfaces later get wet, and that lovely Kool-aid dye leaves brightly colored stains. It drives me nuts to wipe a seemingly clean counter and then see that my sponge is florescent pink. I go batty when I set a cup on the windowsill and later discover a purple ring. The pink haze on the dish rack mat sends me into a cleaning frenzy.

Cutting off the Kool-aid is not an option, so I’ve come up with another plan to relieve my frustration. Mikey Jr., like his father before him, is only going to drink apple juice and lemonade. Then, when he gets married and drives his wife crazy with Kool-aid rings and residue, I’ll laugh and laugh and laugh all the way to the nut house.

*Since publishing, Mike tells me that they weren't allowed to have brightly colored drinks because it would stain their lips. Kim, is this true?


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