Friday, June 26, 2009

...And I Said "I Will NEVER..."

Parenthood definitely changes a person. Over the past month and a half since becoming a foster mom, I've found myself doing things that I SWORE I would NEVER do when I had children. There must be some kind of weird pheromones that ooze from children's pores that cause adults to do unspeakably odd things when it comes to their care.

So what have I done that has caused me to cringe you might ask?
  • Butt-sniffing - Yes, it took all of one day for me to pick up the fully-clothed baby and sniff his rear end to see if the offending odor was coming from him or the catbox. The first time I saw someone perform the butt-sniffing maneuver, I wanted to cry. I remember my Aunt Amy, who I always thought of as extremely cool and sophisticated, picking up my tiny baby cousin and sniffing her hind end. I was MORTIFIED! "Say it isn't so!!! Please tell me you didn't just do that!!!" After one day with Booger, however, I quickly learned the logic behind the baby bottom sniffing. It's a hassle to take off all of the clothes only to discover a dry diaper. And trust me when I say you DO NOT want to take your finger and pull at the diaper to "take a peek." I learned that the hard way.

  • Spit-cleaning - I have always thought the most disgusting thing my mother ever did to me was the whole "licking her fingers and wiping my face" thing. I can still remember how it felt. SO GROSS!!! I swore that if there was only one thing that I would never repeat with my children, the spit-cleaning thing would be it. So imagine my dilemma the other morning when I noticed that the baby had dried something on his face, and I didn't have a wipe or any water handy. I'll admit, I did think long and hard before licking my fingers and rubbing away at his face. "Will he remember the trauma of being spit-cleaned at this early age?" "If I do this, will I scar him for life as I was?" "Will spit-cleaning spread nasty germs that will make him sick?" Ultimately, my need for a clean appearance won out over my need for sanitary conditions, and the baby made it into daycare with a clean face and, hopefully not, overly-scarred ego.

  • Self-Banishment - When I was a teenager, I always thought it was cool that my parents would make themselves scarce when I had my friends over. They would go to their bedroom, and my friends and I would have the run of the house. So cool of them, I thought... But then the selfish side of me had me thinking. Well, when I have kids, there's no way I'm going to let them push me out of my own living room! They're just going to have to hang out with me, or find someplace else to chill! That was all fine and dandy until I suddenly found myself with a 16-year-old foster daughter and a houseful of her friends. The first night they were all over at the house, I found myself sitting OUTSIDE on the patio talking on the phone while they were all watching TV (the TV that I had been watching until they showed up) in my living room. And you know what? It worked for me! I had a little peace and quiet, and the kids were all in the next room where I could walk in on them at any moment to see what they were up to. My parents actually knew what they were doing! Imagine that! ;-)
  • Playing "Detective" - I was always irritated that my mom seemed to know every little thing I did. My sister was so convinced that Mom was psychic that she would just confess everything before Mom even had a chance to question her. I was a pretty good kid. I never really got into much trouble, but that was because I was convinced that my mother was spying on me. I would never do that to my kids! But now that I have a teen of my own, I know that I was right about her spying on me. I know, because I've had to do it myself. Parents are SO much smarter than we ever gave them credit for! I know when my girl is "embellishing the truth." And it's amazing what kind of information and proof you can get from the Internet and stay-at-home neighbors.
  • The Soothing Car Ride - I'll admit it. I've done it a few times already even though I swore I'd never resort to it. Crying, fussy, sleepy baby absolutely refusing to go to sleep... He's done everything he can think of to keep himself awake. He talks, he sings, he slaps his head, he "jumps" in my arms, he blows spit bubbles, he plays with my glasses, he picks my nose... ANYTHING he can think of to stay awake. After about 45 minutes of this, I'll admit Mimi (that's me) has resorted to loading Booger in the car and driving on the bumpiest road I can find. Mimi is a smart woman. He's usually out before I leave the parking lot. While I don't want to make it a habit, I will admit the occasional soothing car ride works miracles. :-)
  • To Bathe, or NOT to Bathe - Yeah... I'll admit it. There have been a few days where I have let personal hygiene slide for a few extra minutes of sleep. I'm not ashamed of it either. Sleep is a good thing. I never really thought that I would forgo cleanliness for beauty sleep (especially seeing as how "beauty sleep" doesn't really work if you stink), but when you go from eight hours of sleep a night and two-hour naps on the weekends to six hours of sleep and NO naps, you'll do just about anything for a few extra minutes of rest. With a baby and a 16-year-old in the house, it seems that I am always awake for one reason or another! In my defense, I always smell myself first to make certain I'm not too rancid before deciding to forget about a full-fledged shower and shampoo. And I promise, it's not a regular occurrence. For the most part, I'm clean. :-)
Yep... I've found myself doing lots of "I would NEVER's" over the past couple of months. I suppose it's all good though. I never thought that I would have a baby and teenager at the same time, but it's turning out to be the best thing I've ever done. So what if I'm a butt-sniffing, spit-cleaning, car ride-soothing, smelly, self-banished detective!?! These kids are worth it!!! :-)


Nana said...

I want to hear it again! "Mom was smart. Mom was smart. Mom was smart!" Gosh... I just love that phrase coming from you! ;-)

Patty said...


I would love to know how fostering a teenager is going as my partner and I are at this time meeting with a teenager so that the 3 of us can try to figure out if our home would be a good fit for her.

Hope that it is all going well.


onemorebaby said...

Okay, I know you are busy... but where is our update?!!! Hugs, onemorebaby...

Related Posts with Thumbnails