The process of making a child is messy. It involves fluids and cleanup. The process of birthing a child is anything but tidy. It should be no surprise that children, who begin in mess, continue in mess. But, the little ones are so adorable. Their cuteness overflows even as they make that first itty bitty poop. You coo and awe at the babe’s first tiny pitch black blob on its buttocks. Then the frustration begins because instead of simply falling off into the diaper you have to pull out the industrial cleaners and heavy duty chemicals to remove this two square centimeter blob of tar on your baby’s butt. This really should serve as a warning as to what is to come.
People without children have different views on bodily fluids. Their lives are sanitary. Their houses adorn with glass and sharp edges. I know. I was once a person without children. Pre-children, bodily fluids are something that should be private. Even drunks are expected to neatly pray to the porcelain god and clean up their own mess. A parent has a different stature. When a child glazes over, the parent will smoothly rise to the occasion and sprint to the child only to cup their hands in front of the child’s face as an unnatural sea of split pea soup flows from the child’s mouth with the parent never stuttering, stammering or losing a beat in their conversation. The friend simply pauses to ask, "Can I get you a priest?"
This morning I groggily enter the bathroom, dazedly flip the light, and as I stand there in the middle of a necessary morning ritual I glance at the sink to realize that either:
- somebody performed surgery in our bathroom last night
- we need to call the Ghostbusters because something evil is bubbling out of our sink
- Jack Nicholson is in the house
- Noah had a nose bleed
Most people think of nose bleeds as these things kids get on the soccer field. A few drops of blood drip from the hose, the child panics, and the mother frets over getting the stain out of the white uniform. When Noah has a nose bleed we consider calling the blood bank for either a deposit or withdrawal. He had one of these once in the CVS drugstore parking lot and cars were pulling over to ask if we needed an ambulance! Granted, once or twice we have taken him to the emergency room because the bleed was so bad. Clots will erupt from his nose that are so large you think a piece of brain fell out.
Panic? No. I shake it off. I simply prepare myself for the bloody hand prints on the wall. The stains on the floor. The pools in the bedsheets. Turns out Noah did well! Only one minor drop on the sheets. Nothing on his clothes. He actually made it to the bathroom and mostly contained the blood to the sink! For the record, he has had the cauterization and his nose bleeds are far less frequent. But when the weather changes dramatically, and the moon is full, I can guarantee there will be blood in this house.