Kids Are Gross.
I’m sorry, but they are. And you know it anyway. They’re generally messy by nature, and it’s the one thing that makes me irrationally irritated and anxious. I can explain. I was the odd exception to the “kids are gross” rule. I have always been borderline obsessive compulsive about “messes”. Right now you’re probably saying, “Oh, fuck off, Brittany because I’ve seen your house in the background of your posted pictures and that place is looking more like a dump every day.” Touché. I’m not talking environmental mess (obviously). I’m talking ah, bodily mess? That’s a confusing term and hopefully by the time you’re reading this, I will have come up with something smarter, but I wouldn’t bet my Netflix account on it.
So anyway, I prided myself on the fact that I was not one of those uncivilized preschoolers with the fruit punch mustache or snot dripping down my face. Ice cream dripping on my hands, uggghh, highly annoying and experience ruined. And the beach, oh the beach. With the sand, just everywhere. It was an impossible undertaking to try to keep the sand strictly on my feet and off the palms of my hands, but you’re fucking A right that I tried the whole time, using Poland Springs water to wash off any problem areas.
Are you thinking, “I bet she lost her shit when she brought her first baby home”? HA! Wrong! The mess was shockingly the least of my concerns. Spit up and getting peed on didn’t bother me and blowouts were mostly contained in diapers. Except for that one 3am feeding/diaper change where Vivi projectile pooped bulls eye into my belly button. Listen, I’m aware that image is disturbing to most, myself included, but that’s life and so is this:
Good looks, Bill. Oh, was that too much for you to see? Well try cleaning it. I had to google “how to get poop stain out of rug”. And let me stop you right there: Of COURSE I took a picture!! Anyway, back to my belly button story… In moments like that, my instinct is to immediately abandon motherhood and all of its responsibilities because there’s one goal here and one goal only: to clean this literal shit off of me. Sorry, baby, I risk the chance of becoming catatonic if I don’t swiftly remove this from my stomach. Think airplane oxygen mask protocol.
I like to think I’ve made huge strides in the last couple of years. I’ve begrudgingly allowed both kids to figure out how to eat yogurt and applesauce by themselves.
I’m not saying that they’re not attacked by a paper towel every five minutes (don’t be fucking crazy), but I mostly let it happen.
And yes, pictures of your children covered in pureed prunes give me the shakes. But hey, there was even an incident at the beach with Billy when he somehow pooped out of the side of his diaper unbeknownst to me until I picked him up. “Oh God, oh jeez, ok breathe. Look out of the corner of your eye. Yes. Right there. That is poop on your arm. Hey, hey, hey, shhhh, it’s gonna be alright. You’re just gonna live in a state of denial, take care of business, and not scare all the children with your internal screams.” With a lot of positive affirmations and open mouth breathing (small side note: I do worry about poop particles somehow jumping into my mouth, but I couldn’t risk the smell), we were uncontaminated again. I was pretty damn proud of myself. This was a big step for me. How sad.
I was fortunate enough for many moons to never have experienced vomit cleanup. Vivi never threw up after the spit up phase and Billy has a no return policy with food. Look, the poop you have to deal with. It’s an everyday occurrence, but vom, no. That’s an entirely different (occasional) necessary evil. I knew that my puke free days were numbered, though.
A little while back, we drove a couple hours south to my nephew’s birthday party. Tom couldn’t make it, but I was happy to take the kids myself. We left right around naptime, which was grand because Viv and Bill slept while I got to catch up on Howard Stern. Baba Booey. The party was fun and I kind of just let chips and ice cream happen for dinner. Oh like you’d never. After a few hours, it was time to head home. Billy fell asleep and Vivi and I were just talkin’ ragtime, mostly about tooting and Care Bears. Then Vivi got quiet, so I thought I’d let her fall asleep and make a phone call. I was 20 minutes from home and talking with my cousin when I heard Vivi start to cry. “What’s the matter, Viv? We’re almost home. I know you’re tired.” I was kind of at a crucial point in the story I was telling, but I knew I’d have to hang up and…
“Oh, yup. Gotta go.” Cue our old friend, scream crying.
It’s dark out. I can’t exactly turn around for very long while I’m driving, so I turned into the next stop I could: Kappy’s liquor store parking lot. On a Friday night. Yeeeah. I knew what had just gone down, but I almost refused to believe it until I saw it with my own two automysophobic eyes. New vocab word alert! Stop. You know I googled that. But hey, look! The fear of being dirty is actually a thing! Interior light on. Vivi covered in, you guessed it, puke. “Mama, I spit all water out of my mouth!” After finishing up the out-of-body experience I was having, I thought, “Yeah, honey, yeah…if water smelled like Cape Cod chips and throw up.” Oh you poor thing. I jumped in the back seat.
Okay, think fast: take her out of the car seat, strip vomit soaked clothes off. Oh look, there’s a Poland Springs water bottle (old reliable) on the floor with about a sip left and I have three napkins in the glove. I’ll use Tom’s fleece he never wears (which I later discovered was actually my brother-in-law’s…sorry, guy) to wipe her off first, then I’ll give her a quick cold water spritz. Oh fuck, the buckle/straps. NOOO. That is really caked in there. Umm, yes okay, I’ll use Billy’s socks. Thank God you brought a change of clothes for Billy and also that he’s been big enough to ride the rollercoaster since he was 3 months old. I’ll throw Vivi in those.
I glanced to my right and Bill had woken up. He looked nauseous and disgusted by my approach as I apologetically pulled off one of his socks. Even my 1 year old knew it was amateur hour in here. I actually attempted to do all of this without getting one drop of puke on me, maybe for about 30 seconds. Then I saw how scared Vivi was. Ohhh no. Listen kid, I will go swimming in a dirty toilet bowl before I let you look that frightened on my watch. By the time it was over, I had a fair amount of disgustingness on my shirt, hands and hair. I won’t soon forget that smell, either. Oh God, flashbacks, and by this point Vivi is laughing and taking me play by play through the whole ordeal. Alright, Vivi, it’s way too fucking early to start with the reminiscing. I’m still trying not to throw up out the window.
Tom met us in the driveway with towels and wipes. OMG. How the muthafuck did I completely forget about the full pack of baby wipes in the diaper bag?! I tried to convince Tom we had to throw that godforsaken car seat out, but he offered to clean it and the car. Then he proceeded to immediately forget said offer and accidentally leave the car door open until the next morning instead. Either the smell kept all nocturnal creatures away or something is going to be backseat hatching in the upcoming months. But Vivi seemed to open the puke floodgates with this experience, because she got the flu the next weekend
and I didn’t stand a chance against that catastrophe. Glad I got the practice round in.
Anyway, I felt like I earned some kind of mother scout badge. No really, do they have motherhood badges? Sorry on second thought, that would be awful. Or maybe they should only be allowed for undesirable experiences, that way no one is bragging. I see you the “my kids have never eaten sugar” badge coveter. No, good for you. He’ll probably be the only one in the caf willing to accept the Mounds and Almond Joys from his friend’s leftover Halloween candy someday. Sorry, I am all rambles today. The positive outcome in this: I have realized I’m getting one step closer to not being such a freak. If I made it through this experience without curling up in the fetal position, surely I can deal with a little sand in my pants this summer. But your kids are still gross and so are mine. Stay tuned.