Saturday, March 9, 2013

Parenting is Beautiful, Except When It's Snot

A conversation at work yesterday morning:

childless co-worker: "What's that?!?!"

me: "What?"

childless co-worker: "That! On your shoulder."

me: "Ah....yeah. Sorry. That's snot."

childless co-worker: "You're kidding, right? That can't all be...that."

me: "It is. I'll get a towel."

I probably should be more conscientious. I'm not exactly wearing it like a badge of honor (though I am an "everything you create is art" kind of dad), I just honestly don't notice things like that anymore. Food stains on my crotch, poop smears on my thumb, and the ubiquitous snot patches all fall under the radar nowadays.  

I'm not sure if Friday morning's offering was from Finn or Liam. I think it may have been both. I'd had an early morning "Beyond the Sea" performance to try and get Baby Finn back to sleep (my Bobby Darin always does the trick, though I'm not sure if Finn just fakes being asleep to get me to stop, but whatever). I also wore the same hoodie on Monday to preschool with Liam (I felt bad for bringing him to school sick until I got there and realized I'd carried coal to Newcastle).  I'm guessing my snot brooch was a collaboration.  

So I'm sick too, of course. I don't even fight it anymore. Erin still fights it. She dodges kisses, washes her hands, makes that scrunched up face when Liam coughs at her. He gave me one good hack into an open eyeball and I thought, "well, the sooner I get this, the sooner it'll be over". This time it's just a really bad cough that's left my voice sounding a little like a pubescent Barry White, which isn't so bad. The last time he was sick Erin shouted for help from the other room and I came in to find Liam exploding from the mouth. That one left me with that odd mix of conflicting feelings: compassion vs. self-preservation. Like you want to wrap your sweet child up in plastic, spray them with bleach, then hold them tight and tell them everything will be okay.

You never think you're going to be "that parent" until you are. This isn't really a cautionary tale to get you aspiring parents to let go of your romantic ideals about the "parent you're going to be". It's more of a cautionary tale for you childless out there to remember not to make that face at my snot shoulder first thing in the morning. I'm contagious and I know where your coffee cup is asshole. 

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