I was doing the dishes the other day and there was a bowl in the sink that was just icky. I have no idea what was in it or how long it had sat there. Because no, I am not one of those perfect parents who keeps the sink clear every day. When I rinsed it out and shoved it in the dishwasher, I wondered if Mike Rowe ever considered doing a Dirty Jobs episode on homes. One doesn't even have to have kids for this, especially if you have pets. As I have six kids, well, I have mostly kid stories.
Gross: When your son gets distracted by something while peeing and turns to look at it. Because when a potty training little boy turns, it's not just his head but his whole body that swivels, which then gets pee not only on the toilet, but also sprays the walls and floor and whatever else is nearby.
Gross: The leftover moldy bit of something hidden under a child's bed that is the source of that smell you've been wondering about for days.
Gross: Finding a sippy cup under a couch with rotten milk in it. Note: the sippy cup in question was not used by a toddler. Those I could keep track of. No, this one was dug out of a cupboard by a six year old when mom wasn't looking, who then filled it with milk, took it to the basement and then promptly forgot about it. Nasty. I threw the cup away.
Gross: Finding the toddler has painted the wall with the contents of their diaper. Lots of parents have these stories. Lots of kids are not afraid of poop. In fact, quite the opposite. It's more of a fascination with the goopy stuff that comes out of their body, much to the adult's dismay and the child's utter enjoyment.
Gross: Having people over for an evening show in the back yard with a projector and finding poop where you're setting up chairs. "Oh, I didn't know you had a dog." "I don't. I have a four-year-old boy."
Gross: The hair that clogs up the bathtub drain. With six girls in the house, including mom, not only does that add up quickly, but one becomes best friends with a snake tool really fast.
Gross: Teenage girls' laundry. Specifically the bloody kind that they forgot to soak and has sat at the bottom of the hamper getting smelly and nasty and stained beyond repair. It's not that the blood itself is gross. Because, seriously, it happens every single month. A girl gets used to blood pretty darn quick. It's just the mess that comes with it that's nasty. It's like leaving a snack trail for vampires.
Oh, yeah, and on the subject of teenage laundry, let me add something about sports. One of my daughters was on the basketball team, ran track, and played rugby. Her gym bag smelled horrific. Not that she didn't do her laundry, but sometimes she'd forget about her gym clothes and leave them in the hot van, thus letting them bake for a couple of days in between games or meets or whatever. Ick.
I'm fairly certain I'll have these issues with my son, but for now he's six so his sweat glands haven't yet decided to add their input to his messes.
Gross: That litter of kittens your cat just had because the kids let your un-fixed cat out? Yeah, those babies may be cute, but they don't come potty trained. Four cute little balls of fur became four pooping and peeing monsters. They didn't just do it in the open where I could find it and clean it. No, they had to climb out of every enclosure I could think of to seek out every unknown corner and crevice in the house to leave their little presents. Several months after finding a home for the last kitty, I found poop in the shoe closet behind some snow boots.
And while the smell of cat pee does come out... eventually... and with special cleaners, it's traumatic for an 8 year old to have to wear her sister's coat to school because the cat peed on her favorite pink leopard print winter jacket. Traumatic for the mom, too, because she has to convince said child to wear the alternate coat. Never, ever, ever again will I let a cat have kittens in my house. Worse than potty training children.
Gross: Trying to clip the dogs' nails. My dogs think it's pure torture and can't figure out why in the world I would do such a thing to their beautiful long nails, and don't I know they will die a horrible death if I clip that nail?? They hate it so bad that they pee and try to poop on me so I'll leave them alone. I'll admit, that's why their nails get so long in the first place. I haven't figured out who it's more traumatic for, me or the dogs.
Gross: My 2nd child having an upset stomach. Kids get sick, everyone does. But this particular child didn't *want* to be sick. So even though she had a bucket, she'd put her hands over her mouth every time to try to stop it from coming out. Which then got it *everywhere.* The hubster and I would just pray and pray that she wouldn't get the flu or whatever stomach bug was going around, because we dreaded the clean-up.
There's the puke, the snotty noses, the sick messes, the food messes. There are the messes you don't find for days and/or weeks.
One may start out parenthood with a soft stomach. Honestly, I still dry-heave over some of the messes I have to clean up. But they do make funny stories eventually, and one builds up a tolerance over the years. Sort of. At the very least, you learn really quick that hands ARE washable, thank heavens.
The not-gross messes, like a 2 yr old little girl completely covered from head to toe in mom's lipstick? Those are just as fun stories to tell, years later, but not so much while it's happening. Looking back on it, I wish I'd taken a picture of my daughter and how proud she was at making herself all beautiful. Cleaning her up - and getting it out of her ears - turned my bathtub pink. I scrubbed that tub for weeks before it came off, but she was pleased as punch with herself.
As a parent, I think Gross never really gets easier, but we learn how to clean it up without freaking out. Um, most of the time. Because Gross Happens, whether you just have pets, or one child, or ten.