Hand Sanitizer

“R-E-A-D-I-N-G-…….reading, that’s what I can do,” I exclaimed, “First grade is the bestest!”

“Emily, sweetie, I’m so proud of you for all of your reading skills, but right now I have to start dinner and do the laundry. Can you please go and read somewhere else? You can go and read everything in the kitchen pantry!” My mom said.

That’s just what I did. I read the labels off of everything…cans….cartons…and boxes. If it had a words then I was reading it. Most of it I didn’t understand “What are carbonhydrants?” I would ask myself. I eventually got bored and finished reading everything in the kitchen (that I could reach). I decided to move on to the bathroom. “Wow, there are 90 band aids in this box,” I shouted, “hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs….thats crazy!”

I eventually got bored of this because first graders have the attention span of a goldfish. Speaking of goldfish, I had one named Joe the fish. He was a bright orange goldfish. He belonged to me and my little sister,Caitlin.

Caitlin was a 3 year old toddler and she loved to eat everything. She thought if you could hold it, you could eat it. She ran around with the certain baby smell wavering around her. She tumbled into every room and destruction crossed her path where ever she went.

Just then, breaking me out of my thoughts, my mom called ,”Emily come downstairs please.” I ran down the stairs as quick as I could.

When I arrived in the kitchen, my mom was starting to make dinner. “Yes mom?” I asked.

“When was the last time you cleaned Joe’s fish bowl?”

“Ummmmmm I think dad cleaned it last month. I don’t remember which day though.”

“Well do you think you can clean the bowl for your father and me?”

“By myself?” I asked.

“Yes, you saw your dad do it, alls you g=have to do is do what he did and get all the germs out.”

“Fine.” I groaned.

I went upstairs and grabbed my fish bowl and brought it into the bathroom. I gathered all the materials needed for the dreadfully long cleaning process. Then I saw it. The hand sanitizer. “if hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of germs that’s almost all of the germs, maybe I can use this to clean the fish bowl,” I thought to myself. I was starting to pump the hand sanitizer into Joe’s bowl. I think he likes it, because he is swimming really close to it and it looks like he is trying to eat it. I had a problem, the sanitizer wasn’t dissolving. So, I lifted the bowl up and started to shake it. I shook the bowl until I could no longer see anymore sanitizer. Then I heard my mom calling me for dinner.

During dinner my family talked about things like how I don’t spend enough time with my sister. To stop them from yelling at me I asked my sister if she wanted to play with me in the playroom. Of course she said yes, because when you were a toddler the COOLEST thing possible for you is to be seen playing with an older kid.

After dinner in the playroom, I remembered why I didn’t play with my sister. She tries to eat everything. No toy was safe; she was out to get everything (including my Barbies and Polly Pockets). I was sick of it, so I went and grabbed her pacifier and put it in her mouth. That stopped her from trying to eat the toys, but every 3 minutes the pacifier would “fall” onto the ground and she would ask me to go and clean it. My mom told me whenever that happens to just rinse it with water and get the germs off.

I was in the bathroom after the third time Caitlin had asked me to clean her stupid pacifier. I started thinking about how my mom said to get all the germs off, and how hand sanitizer gets all the germs off. I decided it would be a more efficient way to clean the pacifier if I used sanitizer; therefore I could get back to playing quicker.

“This tastes funny.” My sister said when I returned her pacifier.

“I cleaned it a special way this time…. I got more of the evil germs off for you.”

“oh okay then thanks Emwii.”

“No problem Caitlin.”

We continued playing like that for hours until Caitlin started to say her stomach hurt a lot. I told her that if she ignored it, then it would go away. But the pain got worse, as did her crying. At first I told myself that I didn’t do anything, but eventually guilt fell over me when I remembered the hand sanitizer. I quickly ran into the bathroom., I fished reading the rest of the label on the sanitizer……if digested contact poison control right away. That sounded bad. Then a panic struck me! I might get in trouble for feeding my sister hand sanitizer. I returned to my room moments before my mom ran in. I was shivering and the room was unbelievably hot, but I knew I had to keep my cool if I wanted to get away clean.

“Whats wrong with your sister?” my mother said with worry in her voice as she saw the crying toddler.

“Umm I think she ate something that made her sick?”

My mom walked over to my sister and put an arm around her. She asked, “Caitlin, honey do you remember eating something that tasted funny?”

“Uhh I think Emwii-“

“Is just trying to make you feel better,” I interrupted.

“Well I believe it was something you ate, maybe it was your dad’s homemade tacos.”

“Yeah that’s probably it, now that you mention it I’m not feeling so well either,” I lied, “I think I am going to go lay down.”

I sat in my room listening to the sound of my mother trying to reassure my sobbing sister, that she would be okay and not need a trip to the doctors. I started feeling very very very guilty about lying to my mom. The thoughts of what would happen if I did tell my mom ran through my head. I would have gotten in so much trouble. I also thought about what poison control meant. After a long time thinking I decided that it meant something bad and I should tell my mom right away or risk losing my little sister. So, I made the walk down the hallway to my mom’s room. I remember it felt like the longest walk ever, every second I wanted to turn around because I knew of the trouble I will be in, once I tell my mom.

As I entered her room, I saw my sister holding her teddy bear while snuggled under the covers of my mom’s bed. She was dozing off. I walked up to my mom and said “mom I know what made Caitlin sick.”

“What was it? It was your dad’s tacos, wasn’t it? Well that is the last time we have them.”

Now I felt really bad. We were never going to have tacos again all because of me! I need to confess or risk losing tacos for all eternity. “Mom…earlier when Caitlin asked me to clean her pacifier off, I washed it with hand sanitizer,” I confessed.

“YOU DID WHAT!!!! Where on earth did you get the idea for that? Who taught you to do that?”
“Uhh, well I read on the bottle that it kills 99.99% of germs and that looked like a lot. I’m sorry!!”

“Go to bed, We’ll talk about this in the morning. I have to go call the doctors, if they’re still open!”

My mom called the doctor and he said that Caitlin should be fine by morning. If not she should go to the hospital. Luckily, my sister was ok! I, however, got into a lot of trouble that night (and I’m talking 7:30 bed times , with no tv, and no dessert). That’s when I learned to believe that you can’t take everything you read literally, and to read EVERYTHING that’s on a label.





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