Parenthood is, in fact, one lie after another perpetuated by those "in the club" to those considering membership. When it comes to honest conversations, you're likely to find more straight talk in a timeshare sales pitch.
"You'll fart, pee, puke and poop in front of ten complete
strangers who'll be staring intently at your vagina."
From the act of birthing a child on through college and beyond, it's one fabrication after another. OK, I don't know about college and beyond since I'm not there yet, but given the track record of parenting reality vs. parenting marketing, I'm going to assume it's a continued pack of lies.
The first rule of Parent Club is never talk about Parent Club. Ha! Just kidding. Everyone knows that 75% of what we do in Parent Club is talk about our kids, our way of parenting, other people's kids, other people's ways of parenting and our kids. I've never actually seen the rules, but I'm guessing the real first rule of Parent Club is never tell the whole truth about Parent Club.
Here's a perfect example. The grossest part of parenting is usually advertised as changing dirty diapers. FALSE. I'm not even sure if changing a poopy diaper cracks the top ten list of nastiness in the parenting world. Why don't we find out? Here is my honest take on the top ten grossest experiences in parenthood.
10. Cleaning boogers off of walls - Old, hard, crusty boogers. Smeared on the wall next to the bed. These things are nasal concrete.
8. Picking another person's nose for them - Sometimes baby needs you to go for the gold on her behalf. It's a revolting feeling. Makes the hair on my neck stand up just thinking about it.
7. Someone sneezing in your open mouth - Kids have a fascination with the insides of mouths. And they have the uncanny ability to sneeze directly in one when they have it open for inspection. You would think the odds of these events converging would be astronomically low, but somehow it happens. All. The. Time.
6. Wiping a runny nose on the inside hem of your shirt - Sometimes there just isn't anything else handy. Nothing. Sure, as a parent you should have tissues stuffed into every pocket on your person at all times -- even that useless little coin pocket in your jeans. But one day you won't be prepared. And on that day your child will be a fire hydrant of long, stringy, chunked out snot.
5. Changing a dirty diaper during/after an illness - This is not the same as changing an everyday poopy diaper. Not even close. The stench and consistency is both unpredictable and unbearable. You'll know it when you change your first one. You'll probably briefly lose consciousness.
4. Cleaning the bathroom after potty training is over - How do I know that changing dirty diapers isn't the grossest part of parenthood? Because if you have boys, eventually you'll actually long for the days when they were in diapers. How can such little things create so much filth in so little time?
3. Recovering an old sippy cup that six months ago contained milk - Oh, you finally moved the couch to clean under it? Surprise, there's that missing Mickey Mouse sippy cup out of which she loves to drink her afternoon milk! Spoiler (heh) alert: It's now cheese. The stankiest cheese you've ever encountered. Might as well throw that nastiness directly in the garbage can. The outside garbage can.
2. Cleaning up after a toddler that learned how to remove his own diaper - I know he's up from his nap, but I can hear him on the monitor and he sounds like he's entertaining himself in his crib. What a cutie pie. I'll just finish loading the dishwasher before I go get him... Rookie mistake. If you think cleaning shit off of a diapered butt is grand, you'll just love cleaning it out of fingernails, hair, pajamas, pillows, curtains, stuffed animals, walls, crib rungs, belly buttons, ears, blankets...
1. Catching vomit in your bare hands - Kids don't vomit like adults. There's no moaning. There's no dry heaving. It's all smiles one minute, projectile vomit the next. Strangely, though, there is some parenting instinct that gives you a 1/10th of a second warning. I don't know what it is. Maybe you see their eyes suddenly dilate or the hue of their cheeks alters ever so slightly. Maybe their lips twitch. Whatever it is, you'll know it. And, reacting faster than you ever have in your entire life, like lightening bolts from Zeus himself, your hands will shoot under your child's chin to form a receptacle for the oncoming deluge. After all, cleaning vomit off your hands is far better than cleaning it out of the shag carpeting. Just kidding! It's not like you actually catch more than half of what exits your retching offspring. Congratulations, you got barfed on AND you have to clean the carpet.
Well, there you have it. Run of the mill changing of dirty diapers doesn't make my top ten list of the grossest realities of parenthood. Truth. I'm sure any parents that are reading this are thinking of several disgusting experiences that I left off the list, too. It's a dirty job for sure.
Remember this, though, prospective parents: Once your kids are out of diapers, parenting only gets easier. And being a parent is the greatest joy in life. There's some truth in there somewhere. I swear. You can trust me... I'm a parent.