Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Parenthood is Gross

I'm standing in the kitchen with my screaming daughter on my hip.  I'm offering everything she can possibly want to which she responds "No!" and continues to scream.  My pajama bottoms are sagging with her weight.  My right arm feels like its breaking and there isn't a clean sippy cup for me to get her what she initially didn't want, but now does: juice.  She rubs her tear stained face into my shoulder leaving a giant trail of snot from my arm to collar bone.  My husband happily bounces into the kitchen with her juice.  "Here you go-OH MY GOD!!"  He throws the cup onto the counter, dry heaves a few times and bolts out of our apartment into the hallway.  Yes, the man was crippled by the sight of a booger.


Being a parent comes with a fair amount of disgusting things and a build up of tolerance one must go through like a hazing process.  I'd like to say I've had a pretty good threshold thus far.  Poop diapers are nothing to me and due to her bad stomach, are often welcomed in my home.  I've even found remnants of one small poop floating in the water during bath time.  I stared at it trying not to think of the bacteria creeping towards my daughter and retrieved it quickly with toilet paper before she thought it was raisin.  There was another cringe worthy incident when right before bath time she pooped on the rug.  Another quick scoop up and we continued on with our day.


Then there was the stomach flu.  Even after every ten minutes of her throwing up in bowls, on Mickey, down my shirt, in her hair, in my hair, and in towels, I didn't start to lose it until the 8th hour at which point I was starting to get the virus myself.  Throughout the clean up I put Vick's under my and my husband's noses to make it through the stench.  But even after having three straight days of someone vomiting in my house I was still able to hold it together and not freak out or run away.   


I certainly don't blame my husband for a small mushy green thing putting him over the edge.  If I ever turn around at my daughter's request of "Hey Mom look at me!" and find her eyelids flipped up, I may just pass out.  I just think my inability to deal with all repulsive things before I had my daughter made me more capable of handling this new version of Fear Factor. 


Though it wasn't poop or projectile vomit that used to make me almost lose my lunch, its certainly no stranger to other people's list of fears.  Cockroaches and mice. My old apartment had the occasional, yet seemingly frequent cockroach that would surprise me when I reached for a fork.  After the initial jolt to my heart I'd forget my food and start dumping out and rewashing all of my flatware.  Then I'd spend the next few hours trying to shake the feeling of things crawling on me. 

Throughout the months of capturing and killing 18 mice, I would scream, cry, and runaway when finding droppings on the counter.  Once slightly composed I'd pick them up with a giant wad of papertowel and douse the area in bleach.  Many times I camped out atop my kitchen table when one scurried under my feet.  And when I saw one lying in the middle of the living room floor, not quite sure if it was dead or not, I trapped it under a Tupperware topped with about seven textbooks and called my husband screaming to him to come home.

I was beside myself.  Unable to get over my fear and managing the anxiety that came whenever I faced it.  I became determined to rid my life of all that skeeved me.  I baited mouse traps with Agave nectar and peanut butter, setting a few dozen around the perimeter of each room, sprinkled powder on the floor so I could track the paw prints and locate the  entry point.  The cockroaches were harder but no match for my determination.  I left traps everywhere and bought Raid caulking gel to plug up cracks.  I pushed steel wool that had Raid sprayed on it, into every hole and crevice under my bathroom sink with chopsticks. 


My husband rolled his eyes, informed me I was being insane and threw the "I'm going to leave if you don't stop being crazy, they are just mice and bugs" threat around a number of times.  I couldn't understand how it didn't bother him that we were surrounded by disgusting things.  He told me it was out of our control and I'd just have to get over it.

Despite my efforts, we were plagued with cockroaches and mice until the day we moved. By our last days there  I had come to terms with the fact that we lived in a crowded apartment building, next to a Japanese restaurant and above a subway.  It came with the territory.  But it was still downright disgusting and made my skin crawl.

So while I stood there in my kitchen with my screaming daughter, a sticky booger on my skin and a sick husband out in the hallway, I couldn't help but laugh.  I put my daughter down, fetched her the juice and cleaned myself up.


The apartment door squeaked open and I heard my husband's footsteps near.  "Is it gone?"  He asked, still choking on his words at the very thought.  "Yes, its gone."  I said, still laughing.  He came in, eyes watery and looking a little green.  He started to laugh nervously and I opened my arms for a hug.  His embrace wasn't as tight as usual.  I knew I wouldn't get a good snuggle until I took a shower.  I figured it just comes with the territory.

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