I have come to a conclusion. Any of you folks out there with children may just agree with me. That conclusion is: children are gross. Now, I haven’t had experience with girl children, but I can vouch for this particular sentiment with boy children. In fact, I’m not even sure how they survive the germy onslaught to adulthood. Maybe with a whole ton of cleaners?
For starters, washing a boy child. The closest I can equate getting them out of their clothes is by likening them to a baby slug covered in mud and clutching frantically to the treads of a hiking boot. That is just never coming off. If perchance you have an older model, then instead of physically wrangling them out of their clothing, you have to reason with them. How do you explain why it’s important to wear more than one pair of underwear and socks in a week? Have you ever heard the line “Not dirty!” after you’ve discovered that your child has been secretly depositing his favorite shirts back in his clean pile? And scarily, you don’t know how long he’s been doing that for? (In my defense, my oldest child’s wardrobe is almost entirely orange, and it’s difficult to keep track of three orange dinosaur shirts that pretty much look the same.) It’s frightening. And good luck getting them to sit still long enough to get soap in and out of their hair.
Then there’s things like licking blocks. And wiping faces on shirts. And “washing” hands. And arguing about why we flush the toilet. And making sure that we realize face washing has to be more than licking your chin. And hoping to high heaven no one realizes that the pants he wore are filthy, because you didn’t see it until after you got out the door.
And finally, there’s things like turning around to make tea and suddenly realizing that the quietness from the table is not eating, it’s running spoons through milk that’s been donated to the table. And making the sad discovery that talking with food in your mouth has become hilarious to the other brother and it’s now the game to get rid of (and good luck with that!)
No doubt about it, boys are sticky, icky, grubby, gunky, mess-making machines that are at least willing to duke it out over who gets to wipe the table down first.
PS: We’re still weirdly sniffly, and I’m beginning to think that it’s a side effect of being in the public. So perhaps we aren’t sick anymore? Hard to say, but I’m really, really, really going to be glad for the end of snot. Wish me luck.