I have been a mommy for five years, ten months and 2 days, and I have also been dirty for five years, ten months and 2 days. It is an odd coincidence, that the dirtiness starts immediately with parenthood, and you won’t even know what hit you, but one day you’ll look in the mirror and see the white crusty spit-up you have been wearing proudly like a well-planned accessory on your shoulder all day without noticing. And spit-up is not the worst of it, you’ll be peed on, pooped on and puked on, the sad fact being you get used to wearing the “Three Ps” and then eventually come to expect it.
During your child’s infancy your primary adornment will be mostly involuntary bodily excretions. But soon your little blessing will start to develop hand coordination, which of course means dirty hands. They will grab, touch and hug you, which is one of the best parts of being a parent, but they also grab food, dirt and any and everything sticky. So when those chubby little arms wrap around your face and you are getting the best hug you’ve ever received, you’re also getting a facial of sloppy wet teething cookie infused with cat hair.
And the dirt seems to grow along with your child, taking on a life of its own. Sometimes you won’t even be able to identify it or figure out its original origins. This is most obvious during the next milestone, crawling. When mobility starts, all of a sudden you will notice first of all how dirty your floors are, then how much of that stuff gathers on your pants right around the ankles. It moves up your legs and to your knees like a vine circling round and climbing, finally ending with little blooms of hand prints on your derriere.
Through the years those hands get bigger and so do other parts like that cute little nose and all the things it holds. You will soon become a human tissue and the preferred one as well. And when you squat down to hug your little “big-kid,” who is running toward you at full speed, you make contact and then in all the excitement, an unexpected sneeze! With a wipe of their face on your sleeve, a new embellishment rests there.
Wear your badge proudly parents. It’s a dirty job, but somebody has to do it!