Saturday, June 15, 2013

This post is about saliva... and poop

Before you have a baby, you will inevitably hear the following phrase in regards to dealing with baby poop: "It's different when it's your own child." The point is that you will be less grossed out (or ideally, not at all grossed out) by your own child's poop. Honestly, I don't think it's the fact that it's your own child's poop that keeps you from gagging uncontrollably when you change a diaper, but rather that if you deal with anything gross 4,397 times a day, you become desensitized.

I have always been horribly grossed out by saliva. Absolutely repulsed. Naturally, I was blessed with the drooliest child the world has ever seen. I'll put a new shirt on him, and within about 45 seconds, it looks like I dunked his chest in a river just for the heck of it. And people will say things like, "Oh my gosh! I've never seen a child drool that much! He is covered with saliva!" And I'll be like, "Huh! I hadn't noticed!" Both he and I spend most of our days covered in his saliva. And not shockingly, I don't mind at all. (Random story: A few months ago, my friend Teri came over to our house with her son Thomas. Thomas is 4 months older than Lucas and significantly less drooly. The two boys were sitting on the floor playing, and Lucas drooled a long string of drool that had some sort of food in it, and it landed in a glob on the rug. And Thomas, who was about 17 months old at the time, looked at the puddle of saliva on the floor and started gagging. I have never seen a toddler so disgusted in my life. It was hilarious.)

Anyway, I thought that my lack of repulsion regarding my child's saliva was because of the whole "it's different when it's your own child" phenomenon I've heard so much about. And then we had Lucas's first birthday party. We sang "Happy Birthday" and then I blew out the candle on Lucas's cupcake. Our friends Cory and Eva's son Paxton reached up for the candle, and since everyone knows that the only purpose of birthday candles is to give kids something to lick the icing off of, I handed it to him. Except that instead of licking it, he took a giant bite out of it. And automatically, I held out my hand under his mouth and said, "Spit it out, Pax." Yes, that's right. I - the woman for whom handling saliva would have seemed like a strange and incredibly cruel form of torture before I had my son - actually told someone else's child to spit in my hand. And I neither gagged nor vomited. That's what personal growth looks like, friends.

So if you have some sort of weird and slightly embarrassing phobia involving a bodily fluid, having a child will probably cure you. But therapy is a lot cheaper.

1 comment:

  1. i noticed this too. not with my own kids, since i still don't have any, but with my two little brothers and two nephews. since the age gap between us was so large, i basically changed diapers for seven years straight. or at least that's what it felt like. you really do get desensitized to all of it.

    gross anecdote: one of my brothers AND one of my nephews threw up in my mouth at one point. (i was playing airplane with them. i do not learn.) that i did not get desensitized to.