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The Time CPS Was Almost Called

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Working from home poses many challenges, especially when young children are involved. It's inevitable, a small bottom will need to be wiped the instant an important client calls.

I have found that it's imperative to stock my desk with all the essential distractions: fruit snacks, crayons, and pads of paper. If the situation is dire, I resort to handing out lollipops.

When conducting meetings via Skype, I always try to remember to lock the door. The one time I forget, someone will come dancing through the room. Hopefully, they will be wearing pants.

My husband and I both work from home, so it is easy to tag team parent. Most of the time everything runs smoothly.

One moment will be forever etched in my memory. It was the day Emilie's preschool almost called CPS on us. I can understand their position after seeing the purple bruises up and down her arms.

Wait.

Let me rewind to the day before.

My husband, Pierre, was working from home and needed to take a conference call. I was tending to a newborn and Emilie was off playing, or so I thought. Unbeknownst to me, she had found her way into the office while Pierre was in the middle of his call. She sat down on the floor, at Pierre's feet, and very quietly started looking through my collection of rubber stamps and stamp pads. It seemed perfectly harmless at the time. Since she wasn't disturbing anything he let her play.

Emilie grabbed a wooden stamp and the purple ink pad. Slowly, she started stamping herself over and over – up the right arm and down the left one, up the left leg and down the right one.

Pierre calmly continued his call. He later defended himself by saying, "but, she was being so quiet."

I walked in as she started stamping her face. Horrified, I glared at Pierre, grabbed my purple polka dotted child, and ran straight to the bathroom. I don't know what type of ink it was, but it wouldn't come off for anything. The next day, and three baths later, we sent Emilie off to preschool wearing a turtleneck dress and thick tights.

The teachers invited us into the classroom at pick-up. That is never a good sign.

At snack time one of the aides was helping Emilie wash her hands. As she rolled up her sleeves she noticed purple "bruises" going up and down Emilie's arms. Nervously, she called over the other teachers, and they started to discuss what steps they would need to take. Thankfully, one of the teachers looked a little closer and noticed all of the bruises sort of looked a little like Sally Brown.

Luckily, I wasn't able to scrub all those little faces off or we would have had a lot of explaining to do.

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Thank goodness for Sally Brown.

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