Ice cube fish
This morning Sam thieved a fish-shaped ice cube from the freezer. He put it to his mouth and immediately let out a little cry of shock as he discovered the fish was stuck to his lip. He began trying to yank it off, so, fearing for the safety of his skin, my automatic reaction was to drop the washing-up and fly across the room to his aid. The logical thing would have been to bring the dishcloth with me and use that to free his poor lip from the goldfish (aka biting piranha) ice cube. But no, although I pride myself on first-rate rational thinking, it appeared this situation was categorized as ‘high risk of bodily harm’ and therefore above the likes of logic.
So, once by Sam’s side, with no weapon in hand, I quickly weighed up the distance back to the sink against the time it would take for Sam to give his lip another yank. The sink looked a very long way away. And with the logic button turned off for the time being, I didn’t even entertain the thought of carrying Sam to the sink.
So I did what seemed natural in such perilous circumstances: I licked my son’s lip and freed Mr Fishy.
Now, aside from my total lack of commonsense, I really don’t think there was anything wrong with this method of rescue. I am hopeful that some of those with children would agree. But those without? No way.
A childless friend recently expressed horror at seeing the way a mother was feeding yoghurt to her baby: the baby would skim just the top bit of yoghurt off the spoon and then the woman would eat the rest – this apparently happened with every spoonful. I waited with gleeful anticipation for my friend to reach the outrageous conclusion to the story, when I too would feel horrified. But no such moment came. Instead I was struck by the sudden realisation of how much I have changed since having a child. The way Sam has transformed my life is glaringly obvious in almost all aspects of my existence; all the way down to how he’s changed my body (which is horribly apparent as soon as I step in front of a mirror).
But there are some alterations of my character that I hadn’t even considered. How did I ever become so disgusting…?
- I always finish the spoonful of yoghurt. Or did until Sam decided he’s skilful enough to have sole control of the spoon. A false self-confidence as it turns out: his attempts are reminiscent of those unfortunate talentless folk who humiliate themselves on X Factor – you don’t know whether to laugh at them or cry for them. Although usually with Sam it’s a case of me crying at the extra laundry I will have to do.
- I licked his lip instead of getting a warm cloth.
- I thought nothing of the fact Sam soaked his trousers during an experimental nappy-off session this afternoon. After the event, I noticed a teeny tiny wet patch on my sleeve – could well have been from washing my hands but equally could have been due to the hasty removal of his clothes. It was purely because people were around that I removed my own jumper. A tiny splash of wee like that never killed anyone!
- When my friend’s 3 month old baby does a little bit of milky dribble sick, I wipe it from his face with the back of my thumb, then wipe sicky thumb on my jeans. Job done. Jeans continue to be worn until they change colour.
- ‘The table’ has become a fluid concept. Approval of the ‘3 second rule’ has been firmly reinstated in my home because without it, more food would go in the bin than Sam’s belly. And if Sam drops a raisin outside and then eats it…well I just turn away and pretend I haven’t seen.
- I give Sam a new snack to try; he does an experimental chew and then spits it out in my hand. Depending on the extent of chewage, the price and tastiness of the food, and the location of the nearest bin…I sometimes find myself eating the snack myself. In the words of my builder friend: ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’!
- This fun fact does not make me disgusting as it was unavoidable both times…but twice Sam has thrown up in my mouth. The revolting part was that I held it in my mouth until Sam had finished throwing up and I had carefully wiped clean his face. But isn’t that the golden rule of parenting? Thy shalt think of thy child’s comfort before thy own.
- Instead of being horrific, it is amuses me that Sam once had diarrhoea whilst having some nappy-free time, and ran the length of the flat to get to the potty, leaving a dirty trail as he went.
- Sam and I inevitably have colds at the same time. As Keeper of the Tissues, I hold incredible power. But with great power comes great responsibility and I am afraid I crumble under the pressure. Two snotty noses require multiple tissues…and I find it an impossible task to keep track of which tissues belong to which nose. Although I always have pocketfuls in my coat, I do not always remember to renew them, so nose-wiping on the go is done with whichever tissue is deemed cleanest and driest. Sometimes that tissue is still the driest even after wiping Sam’s nose…so it does very nicely for me too, thank you very much. Bob would be so proud.
- But the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done? ….when Sam was tiny he had a horrendous cold and was really struggling to breathe. I had read about a device where you could either syringe the nostrils, or use a tube to suck the snot out. With both of us absolutely desperate for some sleep, but without either of those already gross-sounding devices…I put my mouth to Sam’s nose and sucked the snot out myself. Not my proudest moment – not one that’ll ever be repeated – but it worked!
…One of no doubt many blog entries that’ll be used against me if social services ever come a-knocking!