Note to readers (and self) superglue does not mix well with granite countertops. Recently I had the opportunity to experience this noxious combination in the comfort of my own kitchen.
This was not of my doing. But you already knew that.
Late one night (when all the excitement happens at my house) my teenage son had an unfortunate encounter with ceramic bowl, which resulted in the right half of the bowl separating from the left. Normally a broken bowl is no big deal at our house, but this happened to be a bowl that was hand-painted - by me. Since my son understood the gravity of his predicament, he decided to mend the break. Or at least try.
I was in bed. Sleeping. It's something I tend to do at night. I do not even attempt to keep up with their late/wee hours anymore. I need sleep more than I need to be the perfect mom. Besides, perfect is so over-rated. Sleep is not.
Since I wasn't around to help with the repairs, he was left to his own accord. He grabbed the superglue and went to work right there on the granite. I'm not sure exactly what transpired, but I picture super bonding solution squirting everywhere. The result was a bigger mess than a broken bowl.
I expected this sort of stuff when they were little. When they were too young to know any better or be held accountable for their actions, like the time they spray painted their toys green - in the bathroom sink. But the years unfold, they grow up and you expect them to know things they do not yet know. Like you might not want to spill superglue on the countertop because they call it superglue for a reason.
My son was unaware of the super mess he created. When I got up the next morning, I was not. After wiping and washing and spraying and scrubbing the countertop with an assortment of kitchen cleaning products, the surface refused to shine. Being the supermom that I am, I quickly recognized the source of the problem. Cyanoacrylate - the chemical name for superglue.
As I contemplated the super stain I was sure of one thing. They'd broken something; I just didn't know what it was yet.
I didn't have much time to investigate. My son suffered from a guilty conscience and fessed up first thing after getting out of bed. He carried the bowl over to where I was searching the Internet using phrases like, "How to remove superglue" (acetone nail polish remover, by the way). He pointed out the crack. I told him it was no big deal. He breathed a sigh of relief. Then I told him about the counter. His head drooped and he breathed another sigh. This one contained no relief.
His remorse was enough for me. I stated my mantra, "It's no big deal." And I meant it. If there's one thing I've learned during my time on this planet it's that people are more important than things. (Unless the thing is the last piece of cheesecake.) I wasn't upset. Not really. After raising three boys I've learned to take most things with a healthy dose of calm. Or maybe I'm just getting old. Either way, I figured this would make for a fond family memory someday.
Besides, you know what they say: there's no use crying over spilt superglue.
Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, playwright and author of "The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Self-Syndication." You can read more and follow her column on the Slices of Life page on Facebook.