I used to dream about motherhood in the way that only
someone who fears it may never happen ever could. I spent nights, months and
years praying for my baby—just wishing for the chance to be a mommy. It was
all that mattered. For the longest time, waiting for this day consumed me.
And now, here I am. A mommy. In love with my daughter to no
end. Realizing more and more every day just how disgusting she
Don’t get me wrong—I adore this kid. I can’t imagine my
life without her, and I would take her most disgusting days again and again
over returning to the point in my life when I did not know her.
But, wow ... babies are gross.
Her poop is out of control, finding its way into every
crevice and fold, working out of the diaper and up her back more often than
For a while there, she would pee on me every time I pulled
her out of the tub. Without fail, as if she were waiting for the precise moment
when she could make sure to hit me with that yellow stream.
Some days I will be on the third load of laundry when she decides
to spit up all over my bed. I used to find her drool kind of adorable, but now it just
astounds me, particularly how many times she has managed to launch one long
string of saliva directly into my mouth whenever I make the mistake of swinging
her above my head.
You would think I would have learned by now.
Too late, I realized. That was not a piece of cracker.
The other day, on one of our first attempts at solid food,
she threw up all over us both. A mixture of avocado and formula worked its way down my
shirt as she smiled coyly at the mess she had just made.
More than once, I have found poop on my pillow.
And then, last week, it happened. I had been holding her down
with the booger sucker, attempting to clear her poor nasal cavities as she
thrashed and wriggled away. With one final suction I managed to grab hold of the
snot I had been seeking, spitting it back out onto a piece of Kleenex in
victory. I brought her into my room to play while I picked up the plate of
crackers and cheese I had been eating and resumed my snack. Upon clearing the
food, I noticed something on my hand—presumably a fleck of wet cracker I had
somehow allowed to escape my mouth. Without even thinking, I brought it to my
tongue and ate it.
Too late, I realized. That was not a piece of cracker. No, I had just put my daughter’s booger in my mouth.
Do you want to know the most disturbing part? This
realization didn’t even elicit a gag out of me. I took a swish of water, but otherwise,
I was unfazed. Immune to the nastiness, it seems, in a way I can’t imagine I ever would have been just a year
Kids are disgusting, but being a mother? It somehow makes
everything seem just a little less gross, to the point that you can laugh about
getting a booger in your mouth, instead of wanting to cry at the prospect.
I still wish the kid would stop pooping on my pillow, and it
would be cool if she would figure out how to extract her own boogers. But, for
the most part, her giggles make up for every ounce of gross she emits.
Motherhood isn’t exactly how I always pictured it, but I’m not sure I would want it any other way.