One of the interesting thing about having kids is that you are innately immune to the awfulness of whatever discharge comes out of them. It's not even something you "get used to". Rather it's something the good Lord seems to have hardwired into us to make sponging the beige-feces that looks like the spilled innards of a chicken tikka pastie off your children an emotionless, mechanical chore. But there are still plenty of things that being a stay-at-home dad that pokes me in the Ewww Button. Come crash the party in my mind....
- Enduring whatever died-in-the-mouth stink my kids get some days in the morning. I'm aware that sometimes I have this - but not like they do. And I'm polite enough not to demand that I shove my face into someone else's and then burp/cough/guffaw into theirs.Yet my son wants to sort of move his mouth over my face like it's a metal detector and my face is a public field. And my daughter insists that when she come downstairs that I give her breakfast and sit with her. At which point she will then repeatedly gurn right into my face to show affection - thereby releasing the dead-mouse odor and stinking waft of Cheerios.
- The volcanic sudden cough that kids have that they explode right into your face without any warning. They don't exhibit any body language that suggests a cough is building up. Rather it just jumps out of them. This is only out-done by the weird insta-burp things my daughter does that thrusts out of her without any indication that they are about to happen. It's almost as if she's been possessed by a burp-demon and it is trying to communicate with the outside world in a very loud, fast fashion. It's particularly annoying that she does this in the morning's over breakfas. Often it feels like this.
- Performing the job of picking the crusted-ring of snot off my son's nose when he has a cold. I will confess that there is some satisfaction in getting it all off. Sort of like chipping away at ice on a windshield on a cold January morning and feeling whatever that feeling is when it's all been removed. But mostly it's not rewarding and just unpleasant. Especially when a small part of it is attached to some sort of root six inches back in his nostril and I unexpectedly end up yanking out what looks like a mayonnaise-jellyfish out of his nose.
- Handling that rank meat-diaper thing they put under grocery store meat to absorb the juices that run off. Years of visual-friendly commercials for feminine hygiene products have tricked my brain into thinking that because the juice run-off isn't blue (like royal Smurf's blood) then something abhorrent and dreadful must have happened. When really all that happened is I'm cooking dinner. Disclaimer: on occasion this can be the same thing. Abhorrent and dreadful I mean. I'm not suggesting that I've ever treated my family to a bowl of feminine hygiene drip-tray juices. No sir.
- The complete lack of a gag reflex that my kids have. Often they'll remark on the smell of dinner (in a positive light). And my daughter's keen sense of smell is developing to become as sharp and precise like her mother's. But being kids they aren't able to combine information about a good/bad smell with common sense. So if something (especially on their own body/clothes) they aren't smart enough to deal with it but will just complain about it as if no solution is possible. But mostly I'm complaining about how it bothered me deeply that they waltzed into the downstairs bathroom after a relative stopped by on the way past last week wiith the clear intention to defile my home with their bran-barge. What they created was atrocious. It smelled like someone had taken the time to press hundreds of whole cloves into a rotting lobster and then - for some reason - mashed it up with human feces and red wine that had been left percolating in a glass on the kitchen counter for a few days. And yet both my kids wandered in - mouths open - vacuuming in all the poo-molecules like a whale inhaling krill. Vile.
- Strolling inadvertently into a room when my daughter is getting dressed only to find her folding herself (I don't feel I need to explain what part of herself) inside out like she's operating one of those poppers that jump once they flip back the right way. Deeply unpleasant on principle and doubly moreso without the opportunity to brace yourself.
- Gathering laundry from various rooms and having to perform the "have these been warn?" underpants check. And then identifying the unmistakeable stench of other people's rubbed nether regions. I've actually given up doing this now and take it upon myself to be the one who chooses the family underpants for the day. That way I won't have to find myself in the position of acknowledging that yes - I can smell arse, crotch, urine, bum-sweat and (for some appalling reason I'm not privy to) what smells like Tipp-ex.
- Realizing that you hadn't cleared all the dishes away from the night before and now your son is eating cereal with last night's spoon that had congealed beef soup on it. And he doesn't even care.
- Now - after inadvertently reading about it - being unable to avoid adding the word "enema" to the word "coffee."Visual images of Prince Charles and said-enema are difficult to erase.
- Watching my children play on the hardwood floors of the house for hours. I'm not referring at all to any notions of picking up germs or anything like that. No - I'm referring to the empathetic agony my own knees feel at the sight of it. Having been a carpet-fitter/floorer for a brief period in my former life this is particularly hard to witness. And yet there they are - practically walking around on their knees for eons - seemingly ignorant of the fact their mashing grit, debris and solid lumpy objects into their patellas.
- My son - now gleefully aware that his willy is hilarious - pressing it onto anything in his way whilst waiting for a bath. He takes his clothes off in the bedroom and then is unable to walk to the bathroom without squashing it on things and laughing. It's like he's marking things - the door, the the leg of the ironing board, the dog - like a graffiti artist. Which is weird and also innocent too. But then the last two baths he's squashed it into the outside of the ceramic toilet bowl as well. That just seems more dirty and vile than it likely is.
- The fact that my kids are perfectly comfortable to have gargantuan finger and toe nails. They grow at an alarming rate and I'm always amazed when I am allowed to cut them that they've grown that big again already. I can't bear mine to get long enough to even see. But theirs grow into massive jagged beastly things. My son's toes are especially vile as he won't let me anywhere near them ever. Add that children's fingers are magnets to dirt and they often look like coal miners.
- The care-free attitude to dipping stubby amounts of food in condiments and getting it all over their hands and ace. The hands thing especially makes my skin crawl. Ranch dressing or whatever smeared all up the outside of their fingers right up by the knuckles is something I cannot tolerate on myself. And yet my son will barely notice the sauce from his dinner that's smeared on the meaty part of his hand (the part you hit people with when you're pretending to do a karate chop) and then will rub it all over his temples and into his hair.
- My son's amazing ability to find nipples. As a breast fed child he adores his mother's nipples. Even now well after being weaned. But she's not home - I am. Which means I sometimes find myself carrying or holding him and he instinctively reaches down and rubs his fingertips on a nipple through my shirt. It's a repulsive sensation. And he never misses. His accuracy is frightening. He's like that bastard who you used to play Goldeneye against that was so much better than everyone else that he only used the magnum on One-Shot, One-Kill and still won easily. I hated that prick.
- The congealed swipe of dried snot on my son's cheeks. I know that many non-parents would just reply, "well bloody wipe it off". But frankly you have no idea. A child's nose will leak perpetually for a days. Using a tissue to deal with it at an efficient rate would mean going through boxes of them and neither of you actually doing anything else. So instead you deal with the nasty stuff at regular intervals and clean the detritus off if going out in public.
-Speaking of - neon stalagmites.
That'll do for now.