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Kerry McLean: How having a sneaky bath with some of daughter's precious toiletries left me very red-faced indeed

All Kerry wanted was to have a nice, relaxing bath at home
All Kerry wanted was to have a nice, relaxing bath at home

By Kerry McLean

Karma is one of those things that you either believe in wholeheartedly or not at all. There doesn't seem to be any shades of grey when it comes to having faith that people get the comeuppance they are due or otherwise.

Personally, I like the idea that, just as being lovely has its rewards, so nasty behaviour eventually gets punished and, while I like to think of myself as a fairly decent person, I have to admit that there have been times in the past when I've watched with a big dollop of pleasure as people who have done something naughty get caught out in some way.

Of course, the issue with embracing karma is that you have to recognise it's a two way street.

The problem with smugly smiling when others get what's coming to them means that you have to accept when it's time to pay your own karmic debt.

That's why I'm resigned to the fact that for the next few days I'm best avoiding mirrors or meeting any members of the public as my head resembles a badly packed, bright red bean bag….

My problems began on Tuesday morning. I had managed to deliver all my children to school, on time, and with the myriad of bags and books that they have to bring with them.

I had just one follow-up phone call as I left the school gates, asking for me to urgently leave up a homework that had been forgotten but given that there are some mornings when I'll get three or more calls asking for me to make a mercy dash to the school with whatever vital thing it is that they've left in their wake, that wasn't a bad start to the day at all.

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Then it was off to the beach for an hour to have a run about with the dog and, having got a bit hot and bothered as I chased her up and down the sand dunes, I decided to have a very rare, leisurely bath on my return home.

Not that washing is rare - let me just make sure that's loud and clear! I'm not the kind of person who you can smell coming around the corner before you see me, I promise.

The rare element to my bathing that morning was the chance to laze in the tub rather than dash in and out of the shower.

I decided to make it all the nicer by "borrowing" some of my eldest daughter's precious toiletries. She has an obsession with weird and wonderful unguents and oils and spends most of her pocket money on them.

Not that I mind in the slightest - she works very hard for her funds and let's face it, there could be worse things a teenage girl might be throwing her money at.

Personally, I'm more of a two for one kind of gal and whatever soap or shampoo is on special offer is the one I normally go for. But with the house to myself for an hour or two, I decided to plunder her lotions and potions, despite knowing that she'd be less than willing to share.

I have to admit that I had a feeling of absolute glee as I went into her room to pinch her stuff, thinking I'd have the bottles back and in her drawer without her ever being the wiser.

I was rushing to make sure I could get the optimum amount of time in the tub so I selected the toiletries on smell alone, not really looking at what ingredients they contained - and that was my downfall.

As I massaged her sweet smelling shampoo into my scalp, I felt it start to tingle. Ooh, I thought, somethings happening! Unfortunately, it was and the "something" was an allergic reaction to the nut oil in the bubbles.

A quick dash for the Epipen and an antihistamine and all was fine, bar for the fact that I look like I've spent the last fortnight under a particularly strong sunbed, with my bright red, peeling skin and my eyes resembling two half opened walnuts.

But every cloud has its silver lining and at least I'll save a fortune when it comes to dressing up for this Halloween's trick or treat around the doors with my kids!

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