|He licked that glass by the way.|
What would actually happen seems more like a Scared Straight preview. I don't wake up of my own will and volition, I get an overly enthusiastic jump tackle that would make most NFL secondaries jealous. (Also, no singing woodland animals. I don't know if Oreo scared them away or what, but I need wardrobe help in the morning and the people I live with aren't cutting it, dammit.) More often that not, Sweet Girl and Little Man needs some time to find their smiles. They mostly make demands of the woman with the stringy hair and glowing (rosacea; thank you, hormones) cheeks and don't appreciate that I can't meet those demands before they finish making them. Meals are made on the fly. Games aren't exactly entertaining so much as necessary. Games like Clean the Cotton Balls Out of the Toilet or Wash the Yogurt Off the Dog, these games are neither fun nor educational for anyone. Craft time entails five frantic minutes of keeping things out of mouths, nostrils, ears and off the floor. And the end result usually resembles something the dog wouldn't even consider eating. And as far as organized activities are concerned, I have one who would live outside if I would let her and one that would gladly fore go fresh air if that meant he could have more animal crackers. Bed time is seen more as a suggestion to both Sweet Girl and Little Man, as I've heard them both serenading their stuffed animals at all hours of the night. This is how our life is, and I know it's going to stay that way for awhile because that montage music isn't going anywhere.
Through it all though, I've maintained one sacred separation of Motherhood and State of Confusion. I have kept my: I Will Never Drink After My Children/Eat Something My Child Has Licked Guarantee. I have watched mothers happily pick up one of their children's drinks with visible food particles floating in it and drink away. I have seen mothers finish one of their children's ice creams, though it was mostly a melted pool of delicious dairy and a spectacular amount of spit. And every time I witnessed such things, I had to sit on my hands lest they betray my disgust and slap the offending item from the hands of these mothers. For one thing, if they dropped that cup or ice cream then some of that floating food or spit might get on me. For another thing, it's easier to make friends when you aren't continuously knocking things out of someone's hands. I understand that some mothers feel that anything that comes from their own child is innocuous, and, after all, they've shared a uterus making a little drool on ice cream seem reasonable. Sorry. I can't get behind that. It's part of my own sensory issues and I'm just fine with that. If I give Sweet Girl or Little Man a drink from my water bottle or glass, then it becomes Sweet Girl's or Little Man's water bottle or glass. Then I get myself something else that has not been infested by the slobber armada.
So imagine my horror at the events of our shopping excursion this morning. I made the mistake of going to Walmart. Normally this isn't a problem, but it's tax free week here and when combined with back to school frenzy it produces a mass of humanity that appears to be wholly unaware of commerce etiquette. Today, people forgot how to queue properly. They forgot that the laws of physics apply to shopping carts and that you can not, in fact, safely place a mini fridge atop a dozen eggs and two loaves of bread. They forgot basic social skills (my toes were run over twice) (ok, fine, I ran over my own damn toes one of those times but the other time was a total stranger and she didn't even slow down in her hot pursuit of the tissue twelve-pack to acknowledge the grievous wound) and I found myself waiting in line to check out for 15 minutes despite every cash register station being open. As a means of diversion I often take lollipops for Sweet Girl and Little Man. I find it limits their ability to make noise due to their mouths being preoccupied, which often makes a shopping trip better for all of us. Sweet Girl gets special lollipops, ReVita Pops, which are gfcf, no artificial anything, discs of bio-available B12. They're great for her - she has a B12 deficiency and can't handle too many Dum Dums in general due to all the artificiality running around in there - but cost almost as much a meal per lollipop. Originally I gave Little Man the same suckers his sister was getting, but he never finished them and since they are quite literally worth their weight in gold I switched him to Good Earth lollies. They are also gfcf, organic, all-natural, etc, etc. But they are more readily available and cheaper so it's ok if he decides he's going to drop it on the floor. Sweet Girl chews her suckers so she was finished about a minute after I handed it to her. She gave me back the empty stick (You're welcome, Walmart, she used to leave her sticky remnants anywhere she could reach and now she's learned to look for a trash can of hand it to me. I have learned to hold on to the wrapper so I don't have to carry that loveliness exposed for the entire shopping trip.) and resumed stacking the apples in our cart. Little Man was still enjoying his lollipop. He likes to take his time with it. You know: really savor his suckers and let the flavors develop on his tongue. Actually he's just easily distracted so his lollipops last longer. But he never finishes them. I'm not sure if he gets bored or if he's scared of sticks but he always hands it back to me with a "You hold this now." I always put it back in the wrapper and throw it away at the next opportunity. Except today.
Today Little Man handed me that sucker, glistening with little boy spit, and in that frenzied moment when I had my phone and wallet in one hand, was attempting to push our cart forward in line before I got run over, was in the process of putting our groceries on the check out belt, and was telling Sweet Girl to please hand me her stacked apples before they fell over, my brain recognized I was not equipped with enough hands and in order to free up space had my stick my son's half-eaten lollipop in my mouth. Two seconds later, when my mouth caught up with my brain, I spit it out in disgust. But I'm sure the damage was done. I can not even begin to tell you what has been in this kid's mouth. He has licked bubble wands. He has licked sand off his hands. He has tried to eat Play Doh. He is a walking petri dish for every kind of weird germ a kid can carry. And those germs were on that lollipop. And I put that lollipop in my mouth. If you don't hear from me for awhile, you'll know why. I might as well wash it down with some dirty water. It's probably the only cure for Play Doh ebola.