Friday, September 26, 2008

Parental Gross-Out Factor

As Sam has aged, and especially now as he's potty training, Joy and I have discovered that we have different levels of gross-out. When you are first married and talking about having children, you picture angelic, chubby babies resting contentedly in your arms. When you imagine them older, you picture snuggling down with them in bed, reading books together and telling stories as the fall sky dips toward sunset.

You don't picture dirty diapers that explode all over their backs and all over your front. You don't picture marathons of throwing up all over their beds and their bedroom floors and the hallway floor and the bathroom walls. You don't picture the strange ways they find to hurt themselves that involve blood and bile. You don't picture the continuous lines of drool or snot that fall from their faces and manage to make their way into your hair (which, granted, you don't realize until your spouse points it out or you find it the next morning as you shower.)

I've discovered that I have a pretty high gross-out factor as a parent. I don't mind cleaning up the vomit; as Sam has had accidents in his underwear I haven't been bothered by cleaning him or the underwear or even the floor up. For the most part, bodily fluids haven't gotten to me the way they sometimes have Joy. But this week, I've discovered exactly where the line sits in gross-out for me.

It sits on Sam's toe.

Two weeks ago, Sam dropped a can on his big toe. The nail turned black and blue and a few days later, the blister under the nail burst and his toenail started to fall off. He's been fascinated and likes to pull at it, especially when things like sand get under it. I've been repulsed by it, especially when he climbs into bed with me in the morning, burrows his feet under my legs for warmth, and I can feel the toenail bend back against my leg.

See why this completely weirds me out?

Fortunately Joy took matters into her own hands and clipped the nail this morning, ending my week of unending horror. Of course now, Sam has started picking at his other big toenail, trying to discover if it can come off as well.


Liz said...

ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww! yuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck!

That made me laugh and laugh.

I can't handle the vomit either, Joy!

Stephen Granade said...

Ew ew ew ew ew,

Jenn said...

Cynthia Coleman once told me that when you become a parent you have to learn to run toward everything you once ran away from (vomit, blood, diarrhea, etc.). My experience thus far seems to echo this statement as accurate. Sounds like yours does too! :)