As a Mom, I have found myself doing things that I never thought that I would do. Things like arranging the food on a dinner plate so that it looks like an alien in order for my child to eat it. Or marveling over my child's fascination when he farts in the bathtub and produces bubbles. Even things like feigning amazement when my boy-child describes in rather technical detail all of the deadly features of the latest Bionicle he's created.
The one thing that stands out above all the rest in the category of "I can't believe I'm doing this", is my natural proclivity to identify the ingredients in my childrens' feces and vomit. I mean, c'mon! Who does that? Moms. That's who does that.
Last night at exactly 2:18am, I was awakened by my 4-year old who was sobbing and carrying a handful of puke. It didn't even occur to me to cringe. I ushered him into the bathroom, and because there was no toilet paper in there, I didn't hesitate to use my own hands to wipe away the icky and wash it down the sink. It did occur to me, however, to try to identify what the vomit consisted of. Seriously. Here I am, bleary-eyed with a nose full of eau de puke, and I'm studying the nutritional make-up of the recent contents of my child's stomach. Oh, Motherhood!
I recall the shock I felt when my son recycled an entire can of green play-doh. I'm here to tell ya that when it comes out the other end of an 18-month old, play-doh looks no different than it did before entering that child's mouth. Color and all. I didn't realize how acutely I usually studied the contents of his diaper until I was seeing Kelly Green poo, and couldn't possibly identify what he could have eaten to have that effect on his feces. I used the front of the diaper to smear the poop to see if there were any solids in there. I smelled it - yes, I did. I held it up to the light at an angle for no discernible reason. I had no reason to think that it was play-doh at the time. I thought that maybe his daycare lady had fed him unnaturally colored cookies, or concentrated kool-aid, or... or... It was then that I realized how much I base my childrens' overall health on what they secrete. The smell of those secretions. The appearance and consistency of those secretions. I felt like a goddamned blood hound. I learned about the play-doh after my daycare provider searched her house and found an empty container under a table in a corner with traces of Kelly Green inside.
Back to last night. After cleaning up Little Man and getting him comfortably back to bed with clean sheets, clean jammies, and a hopefully settled tummy, I returned to the kitchen. He had emptied his stomach once again, from over my shoulder, when I thought he was done puking. So, I had puddles of vomit specimens to study under the glare of the kitchen lights... at 3:00 in the morning. I saw last night's dinner splattered all over the floor - egg noodles, watermelon, and though I know he ate a PB&J, I saw no sign of it. Oddly, I wondered why my two dogs who voraciously consume kitty poop, had not cleaned up the puke puddles while I was upstairs tending to the child. I realized that I was hoping that my canines would slurp up the mess while I couldn't see or hear them doing so. So, I studied my fifth puke specimen in under one hour. As soon as I realized that this specimen was made up of the exact same stuff as the specimen which I had earlier studied in the palm of my hand, I quit examining it, and cleaned it up the best I could. I did order the dogs to remove all traces of it that I may have missed, however. Apparently, they were awaiting my permission. They attacked the scene with forensic-like precision, ensuring that the grout between the tiles would hold no evidence of the mess that occurred there. Bless those dogs.