“Mom!? Gross!” I can’t tell you how many times I said that as a child. I said it as a teenager, too, only with an exaggerated eye roll. Mothers did a lot of disgusting things, including my own, and I swore I’d never do those things when I had my own children.
I am a liar. As the mother of four kids, all four within a few years in age — I have from time-to-time found myself reverting to those disgusting behaviors I’d seen my own mother do. And other mothers. All mothers everywhere, for all time.
Yes, we can be revolting in our motherly behavior, but we do it out of love. And yes, some of the following are things I have actually caught myself doing. (I’m not saying which.) What about you?
1. Sniffed a baby’s diaper.
To see if he or she needed to be changed, of course. We’ve all done the lift-and-sniff, just to check. Somehow this is better than stretching out the back of the diaper in order to get a smeary-turd visual. Not a LOT better, mind you.
2. Wiped a dirty bottom.
Changing a baby’s diaper is sweet. It’s a moment of bonding. Wiping a toddler’s butt while she hovers over a full toilet is whatever word means the opposite of bonding. Repulsion? It is THAT.
3. Scooped small, brown things out of the tub.
NOT BATH TOYS.
4. Ignored the sudden appearance of a yellow-tinted cloud in the tub water.
… because who wants to run the water all over again?
5. Caught vomit in our bare hands.
Little baby burps and spit-up are one thing, but actually making a well out of your hands in order to catch child-puke is some sort of disturbing motherly instinct that kicks in and I don’t know where it comes from. We panic and we cup. Somehow, we feel better about having our hands covered with vomit than having, well, everything else covered with vomit.
6. Fished a toy out of the toilet.
If they can’t read yet, they need something to do while waiting for nature to run its course. That something inevitably falls between their legs with a splash.
7. Excavated a nose, finger-style.
If it’s a foreign object, doing it myself is preferable than a visit to a pediatrician. If it’s a non-foreign object, well … sometimes there just aren’t tissues around.
8. Licked a dropped pacifier clean.
Better for floor-dirt and floor-germs to be in my mouth than my child’s. I guess.
9. Wiped down a filthy child with a wet wipe.
Clean is clean, and we don’t always have time for full baths.
10. Celebrated poop.
A happy song, a sprint to peek into the toilet, an ice-cream party; we’ve all done these things in honor of a successful bout of toilet-training.
11. Wore a peed-upon article of clothing out of the house.
Because it’s dry now, and who has the time for a wardrobe change?
12. Did the above but with bedsheets, not clothes.
We have to get sleep any way we can.
13. Licked my finger and used it to wipe my kid’s face.
Mom-spit cures all facial ills.
Admit it: You’re guilty of at least a few of these. What others have I missed?