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"The day my son took my most embarrassing beauty gadget to school"

It started with my desire to have soft, smooth feet.

Even though it’s winter and my feet are pretty much hibernating in my shoes, far from the human gaze, I still want them to be soft so I use one of those Pedi Paddle things every couple of weeks and put foot cream on at night whenever I remember.

I once read an interview with someone from Sex & The City and they mentioned that Sarah Jessica Parker is obsessed with filing her heels to remove all the dead skin. Apparently SJP used to file her feet almost obsessively. Every day. When you’re wearing Manolos and Jimmy Choos in the same way most of us wear Uggs and Havaianas, I guess foot maintenance is a priority.

I like foot files. I do. It’s always pleasing to get rid of all that dead skin, isn’t it? So I was an easy target for that new foot filing gadget that’s been advertised lately. The one with the foot model? You know, this thing.

I love a gadget and lord knows I’m as lazy as. So this looked really promising.

Shopping at Woolies a few weeks ago, I saw it displayed in the beauty section and chucked it in the trolley. Why not. I got it home, worked out how to turn it on and then gave it a red hot go. The results were mixed. It sort of turns your dead foot skin into a very fine powder that then floats up like a kind of cloud. A dead skin cloud. There is no effort involved. Like none. All you have to do is be careful to keep it moving and not stop in any one spot for too long or... I don't know... maybe you accidentally file your foot down to bone.

After doing both feet and washing off the dead skin dust from my feet, I put my new beauty gadget away with all my other beauty gadgets and didn’t think much of it until a couple of weeks later, when I found it in the pocket of my 5-year-old’s school shorts. This was confusing. When I asked him about it, he confessed immediately, in the adorable way of 5-year-old boys who haven’t yet learned to lie effectively.

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“I took it to school to show Mr H,” he told me.

Wait, what?

Mr H is a teacher at my son's school who happens to be married to a friend of mine. He’s a lovely man and a terrific teacher and I’m not at all surprised my son has taken a shine to him, following him around the playground every Friday when he’s on lunch duty.

It turns out he's has been taking different items to school each week to impress Mr H. It started with a USB stick and then a drawing but to really show off, he wanted to pull out the big guns: "Mummy’s Dead Skin Remover" – as he calls it.

Oh.

“I showed him how it worked and told him what you do with it.”

I bet Mr H was delighted to observe my foot gadget, resplendent with my dead heel skin in it. But that wasn’t all. It turns out demand among the other children for "a go" has been so high for the Dead Skin Remover, it's been going to school every day, smuggled out of the house in the pocket of my son’s school shorts.

For more than a week, it's been brought out at lunchtime to be used by a large group of kindergarten boys to do all manner of exciting things like sand the underside of wooden benches, mutilate trees and shred little patches of school uniforms. Apparently, it was very effective at all these tasks. What a terrific multi- purpose gadget.

As I absorbed all this, giggling, I reminded myself, it could have been so much worse. It could have been a vibrator. And wouldn’t that have been an interesting phonecall from the principal?

Have your kids ever taken a shine to your beauty products? Tell us the story!