I know, I know. It’s been talked about a thousand times before, kids are gross. But until you live it, you really do not know the struggle. Keeping your kid looking even remotely presentable throughout the course of any day is like trying to defy the laws of gravity. It’s another force of nature that you just can’t stop. I was reminded of this tonight when a friend was in the area and called to stop by on a whim. I had just picked my daughter up from day care. Now, anyone who has a kid in daycare knows exactly the kind of filth my poor friend was about to witness. Layer upon layer of the day’s activities piled on her clothing like a sedimentary rock formation. I don’t even need to ask her what she did today because it’s all right there… plastered across her tiny little body. A yogurt encrusted T-shirt with a drizzle of a foreign substance all mashed together in a unison layer of bionic crud.
This friend has no children. I flash back for a minute to my pre-kid days and think about what will possibly run through his mind when he sees my daughter tonight. Until you have kids of your own, I think the general consensus is that other people’s kids are g-r-o-s-s. Seriously, I never understood how parents could just leave boogers smeared on their kids faces. Are they blind? I didn’t understand why you didn’t at least try to dress your kid in a clean matching outfit with no stains. With their sticky hands and dirty fingernails, handing you pieces of previously chewed pancakes and Cheerios. My god I think I may have thrown up in my mouth a little watching you eat that. The cross contamination of mucus, lint and whatever else they touched is a biohazard…and you’re eating it. Your kid might as well have been given a dung shower by a herd of hippos because in the eyes of people without kids, it looks just as gross.
I remember the first time my beautiful, dainty, princess of a daughter picked her nose. I was in traffic of course (where the hell else would I be?) She was about 18 months. I looked in the rear view mirror to admire the beautiful creature I created. Oh, there is my cute little…hold up…wait a second? Is she? WHAT THE? Nobody told me that girls would pick their nose! I watched in horror as we sat at a red light. I frantically scoped the scenery to check for witnesses. The car next to us could see her very clearly, and there was my own moment of clarity. It hit me hard because I never thought I’d be the type of parent to have a gross kid. The fact of the matter is, your kid is going to be gross no matter what you do. No matter how cute you dress them in the morning, no matter how many times you brush their hair. No matter how many times you wipe away their boogers there will be more, and they will eat them, and they will tell you how delicious they are. You are not alone in this battle and it is absolutely no reflection on you as a parent.
This was just the beginning. My husband and I read somewhere that you shouldn’t make too big of a deal out of something like nose picking because it will embarrass your kid and it’s just a phase. So naturally I was in the front seat telling her lies about how her brain will fall out, there will be worms in her belly, and her finger may possibly get stuck there forever. It was a short-lived phase, so maybe my scare tactics worked. On a good day my daughter is capable of persuading even the most anti-child person to think about a kid of their own. Today was one for the books in the polar opposite direction. In fact, I think my friend left our house and went straight to his doctor to get a vasectomy. So to the parents I may have judged prior to having children of my own, I am sorry. Solidarity, and going forward… just give your kid a dung shower and call it a day, because the end result will be about the same.
(Beliefs expressed by If Traffic Had a Face I Would Punch It are pure sarcasm. I do not endorse nor do I recommend bathing any child in dung)