When I was a new mom, I’d occasionally be taken aback by how gross my baby could be. Yes, babies are adorable and we all want to smooch their little tummies and nibble their tiny toes, but there’s also lot of yuck that comes along with them, too. Constant drool, snot bubbles, blowout diapers … you know the drill.
I can still vividly remember the first time my son threw up all over his car seat and me. Not spit-up; I’m talking real vomit, from his first-ever stomach bug. I spent 15 frantic minutes trying to clean up the mess with a dwindling package of baby wipes, while my son howled on a blanket on the car floor wearing nothing but his diaper. His outfit was ruined, my outfit was ruined … but at least it was socially acceptable for him to be naked.
Well, that sweet little baby boy? He is now seven, and let me just say: Big-kid disgustingness far eclipses baby disgustingness by a mile. This isn’t just my memory playing tricks on me, either. I feel pretty confident I can speak on this subject with authority, because in addition to my 7-year-old son, I have a 7-month-old daughter.
Allow me to compare just how they stack up, side by side. A head-to-head grossness competition, if you will. (Aren’t you excited?)
7 months: Last week I realized the diaper pail in her bedroom had become pretty ripe. Regardless of how often I change the lining and replace that (stupid, useless) little baking soda air freshener under the lid, her room smells slightly poopy at all times.
7 years: Last week I realized his entire bedroom smelled vaguely of pee, sweat … and something else bad. Something unidentifiable. Ten minutes of frantic searching revealed a half-eaten turkey sandwich of indeterminate age wedged behind his bedside table. (I used gloves to remove it because I feared it might be incubating a new life form.)
7 months: While eating blueberry puree for dinner last night, my daughter sneezed with her mouth full. I’m still trying to scrape blueberry residue off the dining room wall. And the adjacent living room wall. And my white shirt. Because of course I was wearing a white shirt at the time.
7 years: He likes to burp the alphabet to impress his friends. At lunch on Saturday, somewhere around the letter J, he accidentally threw up the pizza he’d just eaten.
7 months: She recently invented a game in which she chews on a toy as much as possible and then hands the saliva-coated item to me.
7 years: He recently invented a game called “Slug Tag” in which he finds a slug in our garden then literally tags people with it. (I only agreed to play once, thinking “slug” was a metaphoric term, before I fully grasped the concept.)
7 months: Last night, she cheerfully scraped a half-eaten yogurt melt onto the tablecloth.
7 years: Last night, he absentmindedly scraped a booger onto the tablecloth. And then wiped his greasy hands on the same spot.
7 months: She’s cutting her bottom two teeth and, as a result, drools in a steady stream 24-hours-a-day.
7 years: He once made it an entire week without brushing his teeth before I figured out he was just wetting the toothbrush and smearing some toothpaste around the sink to fool me. (Impressively detailed deception though.)
7 months: Tonight, she peed all over me as I carried her from her changing table to the bathtub.
7 years: He farts as often as he can during every single bath he takes, then laughs hysterically at the bubbles. Apparently it’s just as funny on the 100th night as it was on the first night.
7 months: Cradle cap.
7 years: One word: LICE.
So there you have it. In case you had any doubts, the 7-year-old wins the gross-off contest hands down. Now, if you’ll please excuse me, I just realized he’s been wearing the same shirt for at least 36 hours. I need to go pry it from his body, douse it in bleach, and wash it on the “Industrial Strength Boy-Grime” cycle.
Wish me luck.