The Noxzema Incident

I know several bloggers with small children.  Mostly I think oh thank GAWD that’s not me.  But if there’s one thing I occasionally envy, it  is their ability to chronicle all the goofy stuff their children do so they don’t forget.  I know my kids have done hundreds of things I don’t remember that were absolutely hilarious at the time.  But there are some incidents that stick out in my mind.

One we just call the Noxzema Incident.  A friend, I’ll call her L, and I were hanging out at her house one day.  Our usual activity was to sit in front of the TV with Thing Two, who was about two years old at the time, while her youngest (4) and my Thing one (6) ran off to play.  As long as we didn’t hear blood-curdling screams, we figured they were okay.  Since we had young children, and she had few stations, we OD’d daily on PBS.  She’s the one who came up with the idea for “Reefer Tree” which made much more sense than the nauseating “Big, Big World”.  Haven’t heard of that show?  Oh oh, LINK DROP!

Anyway, we were, as usual, sitting on the couch amongst piles of laundry (we looked at it sternly every once in a while, but rarely moved it), and Thing Two was on the floor putting marbles in her mouth, when I noticed an unusual smell. (Click to enlarge pictures I actually didn’t steal off Google Images!)

noxema 1Then we noticed, hey, the kids have been awfully quiet.  This is often a much worse sign than hearing actual screams.  So we got up and walked to the hallway.  The smell grew stronger.  Yup, definitely that delightful chemical smell of Noxzema.  WTF.  We kept walking toward her daughter’s room.  The smell got even stronger.  Then we heard her daughter, E, shout a warning to Thing One.

Uh oh.

Uh oh.

We reached the door and opened it.  There, attempting to hide in the toy box, were Thing One and E.  E was in her underwear, covered from head to toe in Noxzema.  There was also Noxzema on the floor, the furniture, and her older sister’s favorite dress.  Only Thing One had no Noxzema on her but only because she didn’t like to get messy at that age (This changed with therapy.  Why did we give her therapy again?)  I guess because of her cleanliness, she thought she could get away with it.

No honor among thieves.

No honor among thieves.

I informed her that she was in just as much trouble as her friend, even if she was only the getaway driver.  It’s not as if she attempted at any point to stop her little buddy.  The only problem was that while we were telling them they were in SUCH TROUBLE we were having to not laugh.  But our voices were wavering “You are in trouble, clean up this mess . . . no really, trouble, so . . . we’ll be back . . . to tell you . . . your punishment.”

Then we went back to the living room and laughed our heads off.

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49 responses

  1. Baby C is still learning to count, so when I attempt to count to 3 when he needs to stop doing something I’ve told him not to do, he finishes for me. Sigh…

    1. Haha, when I babysit my girlfriend’s 2 kids (2 and 6 years of age), if I start counting with the 6 year old he hops to what I need him to do. The 2 year old just starts counting with me. So frustrating. But it causes me to laugh. I can barely keep a straight face when it comes to kids. They’re funny little beings.

      1. Yes, he thinks it’s a game…lol.

    2. Ha! My friend L’s kid did the same thing.

      1. Lol, good times.

  2. First, I love your drawings..and second, this reminds me of the lets give the cat a bath incident, extra conditioner. That cat was sleek as fuck.

    1. Holy shit, how did that get accomplished without massive blood loss?

    2. I am also curious about the cat incident. My husband said bathing our eldest as an infant was like bathing a cat.

  3. Oh, and this is hilarious…

    1. It was pretty funny. Hard to discipline when you’re laughing.

      1. Yes, I have that problem, too.

  4. Love the new artwork! It really tells the story in details even mere words can’t. And that teddy bear looks like he’s about to snitch…

    1. Thanks. You can never trust teddy bears. Sometimes they even have cameras in them.

  5. Love the artwork and the story!!

    1. Thank you! I’m working on getting the hang of this thing. It’s amazing to draw and have it come up on a screen. Now I just need to finally give in and watch some tutorials.

  6. I’m with ES and CK, great artwork and story.

    1. Thank you, CB. Love the avatar.

      1. Thanks, Alice. 🙂

  7. I’ll admit it, I like the smell of Noxzema in the morning…in the shower.

    The kid was fond of coloring his hair with sharpie markers. Black marker on strawberry blonde hair does not wash out, ever. Then in preschool he was trying to give friends haircuts. I had hoped he would pursue this career path but his stylist days seem to be over after the recent blue hair attempt.

    1. Pics of blue hair or it didn’t happen.

      Stick figure drawings will do; they don’t have to be as elaborate as Alice’s artwork here. 😉

      Alice – great story, fab drawings! I loved it! It really made me smile. 😀

      1. Glad to make you smile. I like using stick figures too, on Paint especially. Drawing with a mouse is like painting with your teeth.

        1. That’s for sure. Or like typing with your nose. When you have a cold.

    2. I thought it was bad when the kids were scalping their My Little Ponies, but other kids, wow. That’s impressive.

      1. Didn’t you help me scalp the twins’ ponies?

  8. hee hee – I love the smell of Noxema…and moth balls…I’m really a 75 year old woman stuck in a 43 year old body.

    Ah kids…

    1. I remember back in the 80s they would give the girls kits with like tampon samples and a pack of Noxzema.

      1. blood and blemishes – ah, the magic of becoming a woman.

        1. Yeah, I was trying to explain all the good things to my eldest and was like . . . uh, let’s just have ice cream.

          1. I remember when my mom had ‘the talk’ with me – and I spent the next couple of weeks expecting it to happen immediately, not really understanding that it could happen anytime or a few years from that time…but lucky me, I got it when I was 11 – oh the joys…

          2. I was 12. She lucked out not having the fun times till 13.

  9. Is Noxema still out there? Talk about a blast from the past. Love your pictures!

    1. Yes, they still have it! Did you get those kits as a preteen? With the clearasil, and the kotex, and the Noxzema?

      1. Haha, no I missed those. I had to buy my own personal products when I was a teen, so I went with whatever was cheapest. Those baby-sitting dollars didn’t last long. 🙂

  10. What were they doing? Magic properties of Noxzema?

    1. Magical messy properties I’m sure. Hey, look, white stuff, let’s smear it everywhere and see what happens. Okay!

      1. Well, I get that…. I mean, why not smear it everywhere?

  11. Was she hoping to get into miming? I’m trying to figure out the logic here.

    1. I’m sure there was some explanation, but I forget what it was. I’m still getting to the bottom of the bug spray on the Barbies, and that happened far too recently.

  12. What the heck is Noxema?!

    1. Face cream with a slightly noxious smell. Good stuff.

  13. Great memory, and I love your illustrations 🙂

    1. Thanks, it is a fun memory and I had fun making the illustrations.

  14. hahahaha
    Alice the pics are better than anything you could have found on google to illustrate the incident. And the incident itself hilarious.

    1. It was pretty funny. Thanks.

  15. Love the pics. I’m glad someone else asked the “what’s Noxema” question, I don’t feel so alone in my lack of knowledge now!

    1. It was a big thing around here in like the late 80s, early 90s. They marketed it to teens a lot, I remember.

      1. Well, I’m a couple of years (well, 4) younger than you so I guess I missed some of the advertising. Funny how just a few years can make such a difference!

  16. Ha ha, still makes me laugh. On the upside you got out before the eldest came home and found smeared across her room… My child informed me that they were marking stuff cuz I got super mad when she wrote her name w sharpi all over the house…. That kid loves things that stink- cats, dogs, markers, gasoline, old lady blankets at garge sales, the smell of eggs- she won’t eat them because they are a chickens period, but she likes the way they smell, and hair permanents. You could write about the tampon puppet show the first time you guys came over! I thought I was going to die of embarrassment!

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