Sunday nights are bath night. As I sit and let my daughter play with Ariel and her pal, hotter sexier Barbie mermaid, I brace myself for the upcoming fight. The fight to wash her hair. The shampooing she says she never needs even though her bangs have syrup in them and the top of her part has glue on it as a result of scratching her head during “craft time.” I use this term loosely, as craft time is usually just cutting magazines into itty bitty pieces and gluing them on “paper.” And by “paper,” I mean the back of the kitchen chair.
I let her play a bit, give her a 2 minute warning and then I get down to business. That’s when the screaming and shrieking begin. Like I am trying to drown her on purpose. MOM! DON’T GET IT IN MY EARS. OWWW! YOU GOT WATER IN MY EYES! Me, being the classic abuser, blame the victim. Quit thrashing around like a cat stuck in a plastic bag then!! The girl has more evasive maneuvers than the Air Force. I feel like I am water-boarding my child every time I try to clean her up a little. Dick Cheney would be proud. She gets so hysterical and screechy, it’s a wonder the neighbors don’t call to make sure I’m not ripping her limbs off.
Sometimes I wonder what a Child Protective Service Agency would think if they heard only snippets of my child rearing skills. Like what if Will told his teacher the conversation we had a few months ago. It was during a particularly rough patch with Molluscum, a viral skin condition that gave him tiny itchy bumps that look like little zits all over his body. After some advice from a mom who’d been there, we tried a homeopathic treatment called ZymaDerm, which is simply a topical you put on the bumps twice a day. (Worked like a charm by the way, and for the bargain price of $26 for a teeny tiny bottle! And no, I don’t know which all natural ingredients are in it. I choose to believe it was manufactured solely from fairy dust and angel kisses.) Well my boy was a bit skittish about this topical, which to him looked like pure acid meant to burn them off instead of slowly and not painfully shrink them to nothing. So, in order to ease his fears the first few times around, I would blow gently on the area where I applied the stuff. You know, to neutralize the flesh-eating acid I was putting on him. Now, some of these bumps were near (not on) his groin area, so yes, I blew there too. Can you see where this is going? One night, as we were beginning our ritual, he says to me very nonchalantly, “Mommy, I like when you blow on my pee pee. It tickles.” “Uh….OK, thanks, I think? Saaaay, how about you NOT say that to anyone else please?” What the freak? How do you explain to a kid why another adult would not want to know this particular comfort technique his awesome mom is using? You don’t. You just pray they never say a word and if they do, hope to God his teacher would call ME before calling Child Services.
Likewise, the problem my sister is facing at the moment with her 9 month old son. Apparently, some doctors prefer to not circumcise boys the way they used to. Some prefer to leave a bit more scarf to the kerchief if you know what I’m saying. She was a bit worried that something was wrong down there, and being raised around 99% females, we are bit uneducated in this area. Sure, we’ve seen ‘em, but not enough by any means to qualify either of us as experts. And personally, I’ve never seen one with its hoodie still up. I missed that when Will was born, being they did it before I got feeling back in my legs, which is a long story about lazy doctors and an epidural being left in for 24 hours after he came out. Not a fun first birth experience, but a story for another day, and six years later, I’m still not sure how I’d make that story funny.
Anyways, how does one go about finding out what normal looks like? Google? How do you Google normal baby penises without alerting the authorities there’s a pervert in our midst? What would you search to get scientific results instead of horrible images you could never erase from your brain? Circumcision mistakes? Nope. Healthy baby penises (or is it peni?)? I don’t think so. Baby girth? Who knows, no matter what you search, it’s not going to be pretty, and what if someone checks your hard drive down the road? We’ve all seen SVU, it happens. Lord help me if they check mine at work, because I swear I was looking for Dick’s Sporting Goods, nothing else. I just didn’t realize you had to type in the actual full name of the store.
I just worry constantly about being misunderstood. Adults think crazy things, and they should, there are some crazy horrible people out there. It’s just that I’m not one of them. Most of the time. I’ll admit that first nice spring day when I open all the windows I completely forget I have to keep my yelling to a minimum. Who knows what the neighbors think when they hear me yell, “Will wipe your own butt!! I’m trying to get the nail polish off your sister’s lips!!!”
Please don’t rat me out. Most of this I can explain. It just won’t be much fun and will still make me look like an inept parent. A loving, nurturing, but utterly inept, parent.