There’s a reason I didn’t become a nurse. OK, technically there are a few reasons (like the fact that I didn't go to school to become one; minor detail), but the main one? Vomit. As noble, powerful, and important as the professional of nursing is, I just couldn’t entertain the thought of dealing with throw-up on a semi-regular basis. I’m not squeamish at blood, boogers don’t phase me, and while the contents of a diaper aren’t exactly fun for me, I’m not going to freeze at the sight. But barf? I can’t even.
Though, as all parents know, bodily fluids are an inevitable part of parenting. Thankfully, my vomit-phobia has slowly gotten better over the years (our digestively curious dog provides great exposure therapy), and I have already managed to clean up more than one extra-gross high chair mess (why is it always in the high chair?), something I used to have serious doubts about my ability to do. And I know I’m not alone in this. Parenting often requires that we roll up our sleeves, grab the paper towels and Clorox wipes, and take care of business. Or sometimes, it requires just the opposite: that we forgo our normal response until the little one is tended to. What used to be gross is no longer gross, it’s now just part of the routine. Allow me to share what I mean. (I'm sorry for bringing you on this terrible journey with me.)
Wear Clothes With Pee On Them
It’s not that it’s a conscious choice to wear dirty clothes so much as the fact that pee doesn’t really faze me anymore. Ten seconds after I’ve been peed on, I’m more likely to forget that it even happened than I am to stop what I’m doing and go change my shirt.
Skip Showers (OK, A Lot Of Showers)
Eventually I figured out that I could just bring my son’s bouncer or even his high chair into the bathroom and give him some toys to entertain him with while I showered. But for the first few months? Showering was very low on my list of priorities, and anytime a window of ten or more minutes was available to me, I was much more inclined to lay spread eagle on the floor than I was to do something that required standing up and lifting my arms.
Closely Inspect Poo…Like, Really Closely
Out of fear of my son’s future dates someday finding this article, let me just say that I took the concept of checking a diaper a little too seriously. It was not unusual for me to call for my husband to get a second opinion on whether or not the contents looked healthy or not, because I found something of concern. Spoiler alert: They were always fine. Always. What's never fine is what I've had to do to ascertain the fineness of my kid's shit.
Pick Someone Else’s Nose
Bulb syringe, warm wash cloth, finger—I’ll use whatever means necessary if it means he’ll breathe a little easier.
Clean Dried Spit-up Out Of Very Odd Places
I bet he's going to be fun at parties.
Enjoy The Wettest, Sloppiest Kisses Imaginable
My son’s getting over a cold this week, so his snuggles have left many wet spots on my shoulders and smears on my cheeks. I’ve found that the secret is not thinking too much about what exactly the fluid is, and just appreciating the gesture.
Willingly Wipe A Nose With My Sleeve
If I run into you, and you think it’s odd that one of my sleeves is rolled up to my elbow and the other isn’t, it’s probably better if you don’t ask.
Accept Disgusting Presents
A couple weeks ago, my son handed me a live spider. It's a good thing he’s so cute.
Images: NBC; Giphy(8)