Love is Messy  

When most people learn that I have children, their initial reaction is typically one of shock; in part (I can only assume) from the natural disbelief that comes with discovering someone so dashingly handsome and young in appearance has kids, as well as some other part about being unfit to blah blah blah... I tend to gloss over the finer points of these objections after a few drinks. In my defense, it wouldn't kill them to make those PTA meetings a tad more engaging.

However, it's not like being a parent is a nonstop adventure through some magical land where the clouds are made of panda bear farts and Kristen Stewart doesn't exist. Think about it - your kids basically spend their first year screaming at you no matter what you do. Sure, you tell everyone that "they're such a sweet baby" and "it hardly feels like work," but only because parents secretly feed off the weakness of lesser parents. What's that -- last week you locked yourself in the bathroom with a bowl of ice cream so you could cry in peace for five minutes? Yesssss... your shame sustains us.

Yet no matter how stoic a face we try to put on, all us parents are united by shame in one form or another.... even if, as in my case, I'm not given much of a choice in the matter:
  • One Sunday back when my son was two'ish, I was enjoying a lazy afternoon on the couch while he toddled around the house, checking in every so often to feed me a Cheerio from his afternoon snack bag. Only after he fed me one that came with a side order of giant gross hair did I realize that I had yet to give him an afternoon snack. I asked him where the (10 or so) Cheerios I had eaten came from, to which he responded "unda fidge". For those of you not fluent in twosenese, that loosely translates to "under the fridge, where you've been sweeping shit into instead of using the dustpan for the last year".
  • Once after changing my daughter's diaper, I used a fresh baby wipe to playfully clean her messy face. It was such a gosh darn silly good time that my son wanted a piece of the action, so I indulged him when he accosted me with a baby wipe as well. I made funny noises, he squealed with delight while mushing that wipe around the entirety of my face. When the novelty of this game wore off, I was left to clean up the spoils of war. Unfortunately in doing so I discovered that the baby wipe my son attacked me with had been pulled from the pee-filled diaper I relieved my daughter of moments earlier.
  • Somewhere around the 6-month mark, I was goofing around with my son (yeah, that one again) on the floor. Since the way to any baby's heart is a solid round of upsy-daisy, I burped him in preparation of a good time that wouldn't also include stomach-soured breast milk being expelled onto my shirt. A fate I managed to escape this time, but at the less-than-fair trade of it being expelled DIRECTLY INTO MY EYE. Right on my eyeball. If you've ever had salty kimchi poured into your ocular cavity, you know what I'm talking about.

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