Beth, accidents, and a dispenser of liquid soap

The third law of child rearing states: if your child can hurt themselves playing with something, they will hurt themselves playing with something.

Now picture my daughter announcing that we were out of soap in her bathroom. I tell her to get a fresh liquid soap dispenser from the kitchen. She walks past me, gets a new soap dispenser, and walks back past me on her way back to the bathroom. A few moments go by, after which I hear…


My first instinct is to rush to see what is wrong.

“Beth, what’s wrong with your eye?”


Mind you, she’s somehow managed to detour through her bedroom on her way to the bathroom, and the soap dispenser is sitting on her bed. My second instinct is to try something to grant her some relief from her pain. We rush into the bathroom, place her in the shower, and run the shower over her head. She rubs her eye with a washcloth and after a few minutes decides she’s had enough. My third instinct is to try and determine how she managed to get soap in her eyes. However, this time I decide not to follow up on my instincts. The circumstances which led to this episode are probably so unlikely we’ve got a pretty good shot that they won’t come up again, so I drop it. After drying off and changing clothes, Beth does the cuddle thing for a few minutes as she slowly calms down. She asks how long it will hurt and I tell her it will probably be no more than thirty minutes. She asks me how long that is and I tell her it’s about how long one program lasts on TV. Beth disappears into the family room and settles down in front of the TV for a little distraction.

Thirty minutes later Beth reappears. She tells me that her program is over and her eye doesn’t feel any better.

“But Beth, you look like you are feeling better. You’re not crying anymore.”

Like magic, Beth’s eye’s start to tear up and she starts to sniffle.

“Beth, do you think I’m that easy to fool?” The tears vanish as quickly as they appeared and she replies, “no.”

Beth went back to the family room. It was the last we heard about the soap incident.