As a parent you do things you never thought in a lifetime you would do. Many of these unusual actions take place around those two lovely numbers… Number 1 and Number 2.
As a single guy standing over the porcelain throne I’d occasionally, and accidentally mind you, get a drop on either my finger or my jeans. What would be my reaction to this? Well, those jeans probably need two washes before they are wearable again and despite the pain I run my hands under scolding hot water with enough soap to wash a horse, just to make sure my hands are sanitized.
Now I am not even a “clean freak”. I love to fish and will gut a fish with my bare hands no problem. A simple rinse with river water is enough for me to feel clean after that. Pee and poop is just a whole other side of gross.
As you experience fatherhood year after year you realize the early years of a kids life numb you to these things you thought were so disgusting in the past.
Let me give you a few examples.
The Blow Outs: I am sure every single parent has experienced the blow outs. This is when that diaper, which is supposed to hold all that stuff in, FAILS! There is junk all up the back of your child, running down both legs and how in the world did that get on his cheek.
Some parents have kids that make a habit out of this type of discharge. Literally every single time it is up the back or down the legs. Cute outfit after cute outfit is ruined (that was for the moms!).
Trying to clean your kid is extremely fun (please note the extreme sarcasm, it is actually disgusting). You will touch more gross in one of these diaper changings than in the previous ‘however long you have been alive’.
After years of blowouts it is really no longer that big a deal. Slap a pad down on the floor, expect you are going to get crap on your hands, clean the mess as quick as possible, breath through your mouth, new change of clothes, grab an apple, realize “Oops, I forgot to wash”.
The Smell Test: As a single guy about 50% of my wardrobe selection was based on the smell test. “If it doesn’t stink wear it”. As a dad not much has changed, except it’s mostly pee that I smell now (not my own pee).
I never could have imagined that I would have shoved my face in a damp fabric, pulled my head back and uttered the words,
“Yep, I think it’s pee.”
Is smelling really the only way to tell whether the spilled liquid is pee? I think it is.
Sometimes I catch myself shoving my face so far into the liquid ring on the couch, or smothering my face in a wet pair of pants that after I think, “What am I doing! What if that was really pee?” Sometimes it is.
Do you see how numb you can get?
Now, I know some parents will never soften on their disgust for this portion of the baby trinity… Eat, Sleep, Poop. But I say embrace it! My oldest daughter is already out of diapers and is now sleeping through the night with no pull up. Don’t get me wrong, I love the no more poop and pee thing, but wow has she grown up fast… and she’s not even 5.
Parenting can change us in so many great ways. I’m not sure that being more tolerant of Number 1 and Number 2 is so “great”, but it does show the profound effect kids have on us “adults”. Touching, cleaning, feeling, brushing, contacting, dabbing, examining, handling, inspecting, patting, pawing, rubbing, smelling, breathing, detecting, discovering, finding, get a whiff of, identifying, inhaling, sniffing, snuffing and puffing are all worth it for our kids. (Yes I used a thesaurus (and spell check for the word ‘thesaurus’). )