Monday, May 23, 2005

All this and poopy, too

As you're preparing for parenthood, you watch the behavior of other parents. You immediately decide these people are employing a different parenting model than the one you're going to work from. You wonder what could drive the behavior you see: Why would parents scream at their kids in the mall? Who would feed her six-month old french fries at the zoo? And what is it with these parents that discuss their kids' various waste products in public? In an introspective moment, you tell yourself that you'll never be the kind of parent that engages in any of these behaviors.

I still wonder what kind parents think they're setting a good example by screaming at their kids in the mall. I'm still more prone to fishing through the diaper bag, looking for the little container of Cheerios than to giving my daughter the crud I'm ingesting [editor's note: The red licorice I'm currently eating is, however, the best red licorice ever made.).

Alas, I found myself at the bookstore a few days back. Buying a Mother's Day gift. Daughter in the stroller. We're browsing among the stacks, while also engaged in Sylvi's favorite new game, the Let's Toss Our Toys Out of the Stroller and Make Dad Go Get Them game. Her Whoozit hits the carpet. I lean down to pick it up. Sniff. Sniff. And then, the voice of the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be: Are you poopy?! Subsequently, the actions of the Parent I Swore I'd Never Be: Remove child from stroller, hold her up at my nose level, sniff child's rear.

The story does have a happy ending - she was not, in fact, poopy. (Thus leading me to wonder what else at the bookstore I might have been smelling...) But since that fateful day, I've caught myself doing things that a year ago, seemed a little far-fetched -- i.e., starting to work on a baby-sized booger with the Evil Blue Nose Vacuum, then deciding it'd be faster, easier, and slightly less-invasive to just pick my daughter's nose.

This afternoon, my wife and I are taking Sylvi to the doctor for a follow-up to her ongoing Medical Issue: An abundance of ear wax. For the past four days, we've been faithfully putting drops into our daughter's left ear (which she doesn't seem to mind) and then plugging it up with a piece of cotton ball (which she minds a lot), in the hopes that the drops will dissolve the ear wax, and thus her pediatrician won't have to again use a forklift to remove another sequoia-sized wax log from her ear canal.

More importantly, once the ear wax issue clears up, I can stop talking about it in public, and go back to being the Parent I Swore I'd Actually Be -- the Dad Who Actually Remembers to Bring the Diaper Bag to the Bookstore With Him In the First Place.

1 comment:

Carol Davidson said...

There is simply no more effective way to do it than nose to diaper. Of course, there's always the finger inside the leg of the diaper tactile test, but then... well...