COMMENT: Being betrayed by someone you love is a deeply painful experience, writes Australian freelancer Kerri Sackville.
We've all been there. Perhaps your mother lied to you about the Tooth Fairy, or Santa Claus. Perhaps your best friend told a third party about your secret crush. Perhaps that influencer who sold you the cellulite cream turned out to be using Facetune. You feel me.
My betrayal came from a beloved retailer. I have adored and trusted Kmart for years. I love nothing more than to wander around its aisles, picking up all sorts of cheap delights and taking them home.
I buy all of my socks and most of my bedding from Kmart. I buy heaps of my pyjamas, and a good portion of my cookware.
And I own all sorts of miscellaneous Kmart merch: T-shirts and lip balms and hairbands and lamps. I dressed my kids almost exclusively in Kmart when they were toddlers, and bought virtually all of their friends' birthday presents there.
I even check out those Kmart fan accounts, to find out what wonders I should be buying next.
So imagine my horror when Kmart did the dirty on me, taking my trust (and, er, money) and repaying my years of loyalty by turning my beloved child into a leprechaun.
Let me explain.
In the school holidays, I took my 11-year-old daughter for a stroll around Kmart. I bought a couple of pairs of leggings and some batteries, and she fell on a Make-Your-Own-Bath-Bomb kit (also available in New Zealand).
It was a mere $15, made three Unicorn themed bath bombs, and was suitable for kids aged eight and over. My daughter was over eight! It was perfect holiday fun!
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Well, we took the kit home and she got to work making her bombs. It took about an hour in total; 20 minutes for her to make the bombs, and 40 minutes for me to clean up the mess. There was green on the table and green on the floor and green on her hands and a bit of green in her hair, and if you think that should have alerted me to a potential issue, you are right.
But I love Kmart! So, I didn't worry at all when my daughter took those bath bombs and dropped one in her bath.
I should have worried.
"Mum! Come here!" my daughter shouted from the bathroom. "Look at this!"
I trudged to the bathroom, swung open the door, and nearly choked on my own tongue. What I saw was horrifying. My daughter stood in the bath, arms above her head, laughing hysterically. And she was GREEN.
"Look, mum! I'm an alien!"
And she was. My precious child was emerald green. So was the bath water, the tub, and much of the surrounding wall.
This was no gentle splash of colour; it was as though the Hulk had found his way into our bathtub and laid down and melted.
My daughter was stained with greasy colour, from her cheeks to her neck, across her torso, right down to her fingers and toes. She was the colour of Kermit, of Shrek, of Yoda, of a leprechaun.
Kmart had turned my baby green.
I hauled my daughter out of the bath and threw her into the shower. The colour remained. This was no water-soluble bath bomb; it seemed to be made from crushed permanent markers, or oil paints.
I scrubbed her with soap and washcloths for what seemed like hours, and still streaks of green remained.
It took 72 hours and two more showers to get rid of all the colour. A full week later, her navel was still a shade of lime.
As for the bathroom, well, I eventually got it clean, although a glint of emerald remains in the grout. What is harder to wash off is my deep sense of dismay. I loved Kmart. I trusted it deeply. And my favourite store turned my daughter green.
Kmart told news.com.au it wasn't aware of any issues with the bathing product, but encourage any other customers who have had similar issues to get in touch.
"At Kmart Australia, we are committed to the quality and safety of all of our products. We have not received an enquiry of this nature, but we welcome the opportunity to resolve this directly with the customer," a Kmart spokesperson said.
"We encourage all customers who have experienced an issue with any of our products to please get in contact with our Customer Service Team on 0800 945 995."
Kerri Sackville is a freelance writer and author of Out There: A Survival Guide for Dating in Midlife.