Of all the parenting lows we have to endure, it’s safe to say the lowest of the lows come from having to deal with (and clean up after) all the gross shit our kids are capable of doing around (and on) us.
From that first newborn diaper blowout that literally leaves us scooping up foamy mustard colored diarrhea off our laps, to that whiff of the first solid food poop that knocks us on our ass and requires half the wet wipe container to, uh, contain, if you’re a parent, dealing with grossness just becomes second nature.
There’s that time your two-year-old pulled off his very loaded diaper at nap time, then proceeded to practice his fingerprinting skills with his own shit on the wall next to his crib. And there are all the times that the two bucket sickness made its way around your house. Not familiar with the two bucket sickness? That’s when bodily fluids are making their way out of BOTH ends of the spectrum if you know what I mean. If you’ve never had the privilege of witnessing a feverish child crap and vomit at the same time, consider yourself one of the lucky few.
And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the chore to beat all chores — disassembling a car seat because the four-year-old couldn’t hold in that gallon of red punch, birthday cake, and footlong chili dog vomit in his throat any longer. Man, do I love the sound of puking at 65 MPH!
But after that first decade or so of random bodily fluid tsunamis, of unidentifiable rashes that spread (and flake, and ooze, and blister), of bloodied knees, noses, and head wounds, and all the other accidental and disgusting maladies that our kids encounter (and throw up, poop out, inhale or ingest) we finally get to catch a break.
We finally get kids who can bath themselves, clean up after themselves when ill, and whose personal hygiene and bowel movement frequencies become none of our business.
And then you wake up from your dream because having teenagers means your gross days have only just begun.
What am I talking about? Well, here are just some of these pretty gross situations.
1. Lotions, long showers, and crusty sheets
I once had to stop cleaning a shower to go get a flashlight, and be sure what I was seeing stuck to the back wall of the shower was what I thought it actually was. It was. Because I’d seen it stuck elsewhere in the bathroom too. Boys, please — for the love of that sticky fluid that holds all my future grandchildren — can you just clean up after yourself? And maybe wash your own sheets, if you know what I mean? And stay away from my good lotion. I mean, do what you gotta do but have some damn dignity, man!
There’s really no describing the stench of teen boys (and girls!) accurately. Let me just say, I’ve smelled better smells down an alley in New Orleans the day after Fat Tuesday. I will leave it at that. Start your re-carpeting fund STAT. And no, scented candles don’t work.
It’s everywhere, seems to appear overnight, and nobody (girls and boys alike) can seem to figure out how to shave it off properly, and then how to neatly rid the bathroom of any signs that they have. It’s a damn leg, armpit, and pubic hair party up in here. My poor drains.
Ever seen a starving cheetah take down a hyena and go to town on every single inch of its body, with evidence of the killing all over its face and all around it? Good. Because that’s what teenagers and delivery pizza look like, so you shouldn’t be shocked. Laundry stain removers are your new BFF. (See also, #1.)
Okay, I know periods are amazing and beautiful and empowering, but can you do me a favor, girls? Stop leaving bloody underwear on the bathroom floor, and could you maybe wrap up your tampons and maxi pads with toilet paper and learn how to discreetly and properly DISPOSE OF THEM? You know, before your father and I have the neighbors over for dinner and the guest bathrooms looks like a Tampax crime scene gone very wrong.
If I could go back in time to when I built my house, I would have went ahead and installed an outdoor shower and toilet for teenagers. Hair spray, hair mousse, perfumes, creams, mascara, body sprays, powders, foundations, colognes — and that’s just what’s stuck to the right faucet handle. We won’t even talk about the floors. Start building that bathroom in the backyard now.
Picture all their bedroom crap, their bathroom crap, their locker room crap, their food crap, and all the smells that go with all that crap, and imagine it’s all in the space of a small vehicle. Yep, that’s a teenager’s car. Some advice: buy old and used, then when they move out, put a cement block on the gas pedal and watch that sucker drive itself right into the depths of the nearest body of water.
At this point, the sheer grossness of my teenagers has me begging for grandkids, just to get that fresh, new baby smell back into my life again.
Hell, I’ll even take the diaper blowouts that go with it, because perspective has showed me that that shit was actually quite sweet smelling in comparison.
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