I consider myself to be a competent parent. After all, recent hospitalizations aside, my kids are still alive and well. I'm still alive too, so that's saying something. That must have been what Darwin meant by survival of the fittest. Come to think of it, I'm pretty sure that I've never been directly or indirectly linked to the demise of another human being.
Those facts therefore give me license to share with you nuggets of wisdom that I have accumulated through experiences which, since they did not kill me, made me stronger.
One night, about 4 years ago, when AJ was just an infant, he and I were playing after dinner. I was laying on the couch and had him aloft over me. He had eaten squash or sweet potatoes, something like that. As an infant, AJ never spit up.
See where this is going?
My mouth open with the joy of playing with my first-born son, I wound up eating squash or sweet potatoes, or something like that.
Fast forward 4 years to yesterday morning. Playing joyfully with my first-born daughter in a similar position, we anxiously awaited the arrival of her nurse with the hospital discharge paperwork.
Gee, she seems a little stuffy. Let me get the bulb suctioner. She hates the bulb suctioner. I love getting snot out of my kids' noses. Sometimes I think I'm close to actually pulling out some grey matter. What can I say? There is something very satisfying about it. And when I squirt the saline up there to loosen that junk, I show no mercy.
So there I was, laying down with Miss Abby sitting on my chest, bulb suctioner firmly up (way up) one nostril. Ahhh. The sound of that suctioner doing its job. It's a delicate technique you know, considering the stringiness of most saline-soaked snot. You need just the right touch to pull the snot from the nose and suck it up into the bulb. It's tricky.
And when things don't go well, you don't want to be laying down with the child sitting on your chest suctioning goop from the deepest part of his or her nasal cavity. As good as you think you are, it's not worth it.
Alas, I didn't have my 'A'-game that fateful morn. And much like I found myself with AJ's dinner in my mouth so long ago, so too did my precious daughter's boogie juice end up in a very bad place. Though she found it delightful to watch Daddy helplessly grasp for a towel, Daddy did not enjoy the experience as much.
And so, as a hunter tries to be downwind from his prey, so must we as parents be mindful of the devastating effects of gravity with respect to matter expelled from our dear, dear children.
Take heart. Take note. And stay dry.