I’ve been at this parenting gig for four and a half years now and my “gross reflex” ceases to exist. My two kids and dog have somehow gotten on the same poop cycles and rather than be disgusted that I’m basically moving from one butt to the next, I’m actually just impressed that this is a thing and appreciate the efficiency.
I could go on and on about the gross motherhood badges of honor I’ve earned, but I won’t do that because maybe you are eating and maybe it’s better if I just forget them altogether. The one thing that I do draw the line at is rogue boogers on kids’ fingers. AJR has a habit of picking himself a winner at bedtime while he’s on my lap and we’re reading books. Rather than alert me to said booger so we could immediately dispose of it in a tissue, he rolls it between his fingers Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercial-style
And God Forbid they eat them. There are few things more disgusting than watching your kid drag their finger from their nose into their mouth. This was a short-lived phase with Olivia as she declared “YUMMY!” and cackled like a maniac because she knew I was on the verge of disgust-vomiting.
Today I’m talking about a whole other level of gross. The gross things that your kids touch, eat, or put their mouthes on in public completely oblivious to the petri dish of filth they’re now introducing to their bodies. Just when you think they’re starting to develop some common sense, your kid fishes raisins out of his carseat when you’re pretty sure you haven’t bought raisins in a solid four months.
Yesterday we were at the park and taking a walk to the duck pond because we enjoy dodging piles of geese crap and quacking at the ducks until they get annoyed and swim away. On our way back to the parking lot I noticed this random bread roll laying to the side of the walking path. I groaned because I knew that this sesame seed loaf was not going unnoticed by my kids. Like moths to a flame, Olivia predictably started sprinting towards the bread. Her brother, not one to be left out of the fun, ran after her. I found myself having to scream, “DON’T EAT THE BREAD! DON’T TOUCH IT! DON’T PUT YOUR MOUTH ON IT!”
This of course prompted a hilarious game in which both kids bent down and pretended they were going to bite it. No one told me that motherhood was going to be part saving your kids from stray gluten at the park, yet, here I was having to warn my children to keep their mouthes as far away from it as possible.
Finally I chucked the bread into the water because I didn’t trust them to not take the joke too far and start gnawing on it for realsies. While I had successfully kept my kids from ingesting the discarded roll, this moment triggered a memory of a time in which I was not so successful.
It happened roughly a year ago. We were at the same town park and Olivia was a mere 18-months old. Side note – is anyone surprised this story is about Olivia? Because if so, then welcome to my blog because you must be new here.
Anyway, I was there with some friends enjoying a nice day of our kids entertaining each other. I was practicing a little free-range parenting, okay, I was very engrossed in adult conversation, when Olivia toddled off to climb on the playground equipment. Out of my peripheral I watched her bend down to retrieve something. Victorious, she lifted it into the air and I saw her toddler prize: a medium-sized Burger King cup with an inviting looking straw. It wasn’t an empty cup either. The way the light glistened and shined through I could tell that it was about 75% full of some indeterminable liquid. I was a solid 15-yards away from her and knew I wasn’t going to make it in time to stop her from taking a huge swig. Time slowed as she lifted the straw to her mouth and began gulping the mystery contents as I sprinted toward her letting out a bloodcurdling “NOOOOO!” that is typically reserved for when Dingos are eating your baby. Olivia, so startled by the ferocity of my Xena Warrior Princess cry, literally jumped and dropped the cup.
My friends fearing that something truly terrible had happened to her came over to investigate. I, gasping for air from my Olympic speed sprint, sputtered out “She…drank…from…that…Burger King…cup…” Everyone recoiled in horror. Someone suggested that we check to see what was inside of the cup. Having lived in Chicago and NYC, I know that cups are not always used for drinking if you catch my drift, so the whole time I was praying for it to be pop. Or water. Or something that didn’t come from someone’s body.
Much to my relief, the cup contained flat brown soda of some sort. I don’t know who the cup belonged or what sort of germs they’re carrying, but I do know they like their Coke products. Praise Be.
The moral of this story? My kids still do unintentionally gross things. A few weeks ago Joe took AJR to the grocery store and a package of Skittles had spilled all over the floor. Joe turns around and AJR was eating them straight off the ground like NBD – who wouldn’t take advantage of free skittles? I still have to constantly ask Olivia not to lick things. One day I’m sure they’ll learn, but until then it’s reasons like this that if my kids are outside and drop a snack, I grind that shit into the ground and make Goldfish dust to prevent them from eating it.