Gross parenting

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Obviously, the photographer who shot this clip art did not have a child.

Hey, kids, you think your Don’t-Step-on-My-Manolos mom is grossed out easily? Riiight. Here’s some stories from an average parent (me) that will turn your poop purple with fright, and I’m not talking about icky-cute stuff like when my toddler daughter saw a fast-food sign and chirped, “Subway! Eat flesh!”

Fate warned me when my husband and I were lying in bed with our soft, cuddly puppy between us and dreaming of a rosy-cheeked infant to hold. “Oh, yes,” I breathed. “I can’t imagine how much our lives will change when the baby is born.”

“BRAAAP,” barfed the puppy, all over the bed–and my hair.

I discovered parenthood was a parade of yuck. After that first baby, Jake, was born, we eventually took him on a family promotional tour. The first stop was my brother-in-law Tom, a tough country doctor who’s seen–and dissected–it all.

We discovered there is one thing that revolts Tom.

We met Tom at some anonymously fabulous restaurant, and we all ordered Manhattan clam chowder. Tom didn’t have kids back then, and we were all bouncing Jake on our knees, exclaiming what a good baby he was, and trying to convince Tom how much fun! parenthood was.

As our entrees arrived, Tom took Jake into his arms–and Jake barfed clam chowder all over Tom.

Cousin Tommy wasn’t born until many years later.

Back then, Jake was our only child, so we saw nothing wrong with painting the nursery walls a delicate yellow and starching the curtains. That changed one day when I was slow with the diaper, and with a small but resolute squeak, Jake projectile pooped six feet onto the walls and curtains.

Today, I own four black dresses, and I haven’t bought white clothes in five years.

When my twins were born, my family now had three sons and an alpha wolf daughter. Our salon featured witty repartee in which the de rigueur trope was the fart joke. Last year, second-born Josh wore a whoopee cushion costume on Halloween. After trick-o’-treating, we visited Chela’s, a Mexican restaurant in Griffith, with a rollicking party in the bar area. When the revelers realized a live whoopee cushion was eating beans, they asked me to bring Josh to the door.

I did. The crowd was awed. “Would you–?” they asked Josh.

He agreed, and a hush rippled through the throng. I put my arms around Josh and squeezed. He puckered his lips and went, “BFFFP.”

Cheers rocked the room. Josh was a star. Somebody even paid for his meal.

Now that my kids are past diapers, I try to avoid That Which Nauseates, though I still ride in the teacup on the Westfield mall carousel. I consider it a great gift of love that I’m willing to spin until I hurl to make my child smile.

And today, Tweety Bird-lookalike Max told a little girl, “I just farted.”

“Max,” I scolded, “That is inappropriate.”

“All right,” he said. “I burped in my butt.”

Obnoxious, cute kid stories, I know: Every parent has them. And every mom has eaten food half-digested by her child because she didn’t have time to make something for herself. Getting poop on their hands is routine for many parents. Remember all this, kid, before you even consider any acts that might lead to parenthood.

See, most moms don’t tell you how disgusting parenting can be–I tell my kids the doctor just “unzipped” my tummy during my C Sections–but here’s a secret.

Your Halloween costume won’t scare your grandma. But the things she’s seen might give you nightmares.

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About Rebecca Bailey

* Columnist, The Times of Northwest Indiana, for three years. * Professor for twelve years. * Mom of four teeny kids. * Voted "Most Dramatic," Castle Junior High School eighth grade, 1984. * Failed to diaper her first child before he projectile-pooped on the curtains. * Accidentally splattered her white Jack Russell Terrier with her red hair dye, which did not come out.

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