By Panda of stayathomepanda.com
Parents do weird shit, like lick their thumbs to clean a grimy face or to put their child’s unruly hair in place. They eat their kid’s questionable leftovers (even the ones they pick off their clothes). The have even been known to nibble on baby toes.
My family is no different. We are as weird as they come, which I will illustrate with these seven examples:
1. I let my son stroke my mole. When my preschooler wasn’t even two yet, he discovered a mole that rests on that part of my chest that is just barely my breast. The part that still shows in most tank tops. He touched it and said, “Boo-boo?” I told him that it wasn’t a boo-boo, but a mole. Since then, he’s sought that precious thing for comfort, stroking it while cuddling up to me. During his fourth year, I thought he nearly forgot about it, till he was recently sick and said, “Can I pet your mole?” Of course you can, love, of course.
2. Speaking of sick children, when my youngest was 9-months-old, he wasn’t feeling well, and I slept nearly an entire night in his crib with him. I’m 5’3 and of petite build, but still, it’s not normal, I know.
3. My 3-year-old gets these fabulous crusty boogers that he actually leaves in his nose. Once I spot such treasure, my urge to pick them becomes overwhelming. He always resists, and being the respectful parent I am, I don’t use force. I beg and plead, and then I pay him. A dollar/booger. (I’m still ahead because he usually leaves those balled-up bills in the backseat, and I tend to reclaim them before running into Walgreens for our regular order of chocolate and gum.)
4. We play Dogs. I get on my hands and knees and crawl into their playroom while barking. My 11-month-old lights up with a big grin and out-stretched arms, while making some of his most enthusiastic sounds. My three-year-old crawls under me, pretending to be a puppy sleeping under his mama. I obviously nuzzle him and lick his face a couple times. He whimpers, puppy-style, in sheer delight.
5. We speak our own language. My preschooler and I have been doing this for a year now, and although it is nonsensical, it is a highly effective way of communicating. He insists we are speaking Spanish, but it sounds more like Mandarin to me. Either way, we simultaneously don’t know what they hell we are saying and know exactly what we mean. My husband tells me to stop, convinced I am diluting his intelligence. I beg to differ.
6. I nurse for peace. When my second baby came along, I swore I would only nurse for nourishment and adhere to a schedule. No longer would I lean topless over the car seat to let my child use me like a water bottle in a hamster cage. But lo and behold, I’m at it again – whipping the titty out anytime I need to do anything that is easier when my 11-month-old is still and quiet, like making phone calls, pooping, and reading books to Big Bro. During these sessions he likes to explore my mouth with his fingers or tweak the free nipple if it’s left available.
7. I bathe with them. Am I the only one who draws a warm bath complete with bubbles, Epsom salt, and drops of lavender and doesn’t want to jump right into the little slice of heaven, too? I’d rather be in there with them than have to lean over the side of the tub, hurting my knees and back, worried about wetting my clothes. The other day we were pretending to be pirates when all of a sudden Javin farted. He said, “Pirate fart!” and we had a solid inside joke for like a whole week. He is also a solid fisherman in the tub – catches them wild with a net and cooks them for me right on the spot.
It is true that we are weird, and I can only hope that most families are as crazy as ours. Before our second baby came along, we used to have three-way kisses. Our then-two-year-old would yell, “Freeway!” while grabbing the backs of our necks and forcefully bringing them towards his face so all three of us would share a kiss. We haven’t quite figured out the four-way yet. It’s one of my favorite aspects about family – the closeness. There is a certain disregard for boundaries, but in a healthy and intimate way. If we adhered to social norms, even in the privacy of our own homes, that is what would truly be really weird.
All the weirdness I’ve spoken of, that’s just normal. Right?
About the Author
Panda is a teacher turned stay-at-home mom to two boys, and wife of a resident doctor in Orlando, FL. When she isn’t playing with trains, doing dishes, or having sword fights, she is writing. Her work has been published by Scary Mommy, Blunt Moms, In the Powder Room, and Mamalode. Learn more about her at stayathomepanda.com or on Facebook.