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December 3, 2013 / MissSteele

I Think We Both Know That’s Not Chocolate

I’m not a mother. This fact excludes me from a massive pool of other bloggers who are able to discuss their adventures in parenting, the hardships of raising children, and the awesomeness of motherhood/fatherhood. Maybe one day that will be me, but for now I’m sticking to stories about sexually perverse lumberjacks and thieving roommates with personality disorders.

I’m only bringing this up because I have had a tiny taste of motherhood in recent days, and I can attest that what they say is true. I have always heard from parents that “nothing is gross anymore once you have kids” and “parenthood is awful and wonderful all at the same time.” Now, I will reiterate again that I am not a parent, so I can’t rightfully say that just because I kept a child over the span of a few days that I am some sort of expert on parenting. However, I can share with you my experiences with the disgusting, wonderful, horrifying, dramatic, and magnificent magic that is a child.

I mean all of those things, by the way. It really was wonderful. We crafted, we painted, we did science experiments I saw on Pinterest, we sang songs together, we baked cookies- it was like a Norman Rockwell painting up in my hizzle fo’ shizzle. Amelia is five, so she is old enough to put on her own pants, but still young enough to be fascinated and overjoyed by everything. It’s an exciting age, for sure.

Well, my excitement was about to be cut short by the repulsive filth that lurks at the shopping mall. You see, smack dab in the middle of the mall is a playground that comes standard with most malls around the country. It has a few ceramic-looking objects to climb on/through/in. And, it’s conveniently shaped like a tiny arena so the parents can observe their shoe-less tots with sticky fingers as they climb atop a shiny pirate ship. Needless to say, this playground is an unavoidable mecca of joy if you are toting a small child through a shopping center.

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To an adult, this just looks like a bunch of random objects thrown onto some multi-colored carpet. To a child, this is only a step-down from Disneyland.

Immediately upon us entering the threshold of glossy equipment and carpeted rivers, Amelia was greeted by another eager child and off they flew together. As I stuffed her boots into the cubby-holes, I searched for a vacant seat and happened to spot one next to a very friendly lady who appeared to be knitting a potholder.

She and I were in the midst of small talk when I noticed Amelia had something on her ankle. A leaf? I thought to myself. Please let it be a leaf stuck to her tights. 

“Amelia,” I called out to her. “What is that on your leg?”

She calmly looked down and looked back up at me without a response.

“Come here, please,” I asked, and motioned for her.

At that moment, I saw her reach down and pull at the thing with her fingers. My worst fears had been confirmed and I knew it wasn’t a leaf on her white tights.

“It’s OK,” she said nonchalantly still picking at it. “It’s just poop.”

JUST POOP? Chocolate is OK, mud is OK, POOP IS NOT OK! By this point, half of the parents in the vicinity were eyeballing me like I had allowed her to waller in a pig trough before bringing her to play with other children. Suddenly, the friendly woman next to me was recoiling in disgust as Amelia came to me as if I was going to rip her crochet potholder from her hands and wipe the poop with it.

“What do you mean it’s poop?!” I asked, horrified. “Where was there poop?!”

Her newly-found friend politely chimed in and said, “Someone pooped over there, on the slide.”

I quickly slid her boots on over her poop-tights and reached for the hand sanitizer pump next to the cubby-holes. “Do not put your hands in your mouth, Amelia!” I demanded as a put her coat on and gathered my things.

“Where are you taking her?” her playmate asked.

“I’m taking her home,” I said, after informing some parents their children had been smearing their hands in freshly-made poop next to the frog slide.

“But…but I’m not done playing with her!” the little girl shouted.

“Sorry, kid,” I replied. “She’s covered in poop.”

That’s when I realized they were right. Nothing can be gross anymore once you have kids. For God’s sake, they waller in poop and insist it’s OK because it’s “just poop.”

As revolting as another person’s poop can be, that was actually pretty funny. What was not funny was being up all night two days later because she had a fever. When I tried to give her Tylenol, she screamed and cried like I was forcing her to drink sacrificial goat’s blood.

“What’s wrong with her?!” my husband asked. He was obviously concerned because she was screeching like a banshee and had snot bubbles popping out of her nose.

“Nothing,” I said. “She just really doesn’t want this medicine.”

“Geez,” he replied. “It sounded like you were sawing her arm off in here. Little girls are so dramatic.”

To be fair, this came from the guy who once told me he would rather shove a pencil in his eye than go ice skating. But, that’s not at all dramatic.

Yes, she was dramatic. And she was whiny. But, she was also wonderful. She made me laugh, especially when we were watching Rudolph. She watched the majority of the movie without so much as a peep. Then, Yukon Cornelius made a wisecrack about food by angrily insisting, “You eat what you like, I’ll eat what I like!”

She turned to me and said, “You know, men are really like that.”

This is the epitome of a man, as defined by a 5-year-old.

This is the epitome of a man, as defined by a 5-year-old. Gingers rejoice. 

It was the most hilarious thing I’ve ever heard her say. And it was funny because she didn’t realize it was funny. Just like when we were trying to make a gingerbread house together and it resulted in a plate of unsightly garbage. The icing was gooped on, the walls were falling over, and it looked nothing like the picture. But, that’s what you get for trying to make a building out of snack foods.

I suppose she sensed my disappointment in the failed project because she tried to comfort me by saying the very wise and kind words, “This isn’t very good.”

“I know, it didn’t turn out very well, did it?” I responded.

“No. But, you know what? You know how some people know how to do something, they just can’t do it? Like, some people know how to do cartwheels, they just can’t do them. Well, you know how to make a gingerbread house, you just can’t make one.”

Good point.

So, what people say is true. Kids really do say the darnedest things. And they are not afraid of poop. But they are terrified of medicine. So, there you go. The things you can learn just by spending a few days with a child. Also, do not attempt to drink ANY of their Cherry Icee while at the movie theater because they will notice. And they will be pissed.

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2 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Aunt Shey / Dec 3 2013 11:08 pm

    Bravo!!! You captured Amelia perfectly 🙂

  2. Winifred M. Reilly / Jan 14 2014 4:49 pm

    Very funny. Can’t decide if the best line is about the pencil in the eye or the keen observation that poop on your tights is nothing compared to taking Tylenol.

    It’s a tie..

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