Parents need strong stomachs and nerves of steel, says Tracy Engelbrecht.
Parenthood is no place for the squeamish, as you know. Mostly, we handle the yuck bits with dignity and grace (haha) and not too much complaint. Failing all that; a big sponge works. However, for some of us there is just that ONE thing that we can’t bear doing and would happily sell our grandma’s to avoid. If you are a lil weak in the ol’ constitution, you might want to look away now…
For me, it’s the dentist
. It’s the weirdest thing. I don’t have a problem with blood in general, and I don’t mind going to the dentist myself (not going to mention the time I escaped the chair and ran away screaming. I was six). But taking my children to the dentist? For the love of fecking Pete, don’t make me do it again. Once, I nearly fainted. It is that ridiculous.
It’s not the nightmarish bill at the end which causes the swooning. Maybe it’s the helplessness I feel, standing at the end of the chair while the dude chisels away at my child’s head; holding a little foot gently and smiling encouragingly while my lunch inches ever higher into my throat, waiting for that malpractice accident to happen. Urp.
I’ll do anything else, I swear. I had no problem with the grossness which comes with pregnancy, birth and babies. I had my squishy bits poked and prodded by strangers, with nary a blush. Enemas, stitches and stirrups? Pfft
. I handled it all with aplomb and a gratifying sense of womanly strength (insert ROAR
here). I didn’t even moan when the bits didn’t quite match up again afterwards.
I have mopped up poop
of every conceivable shade and consistency, from every conceivable surface including my own ponytail and two separate tables at Wimpy. I have been wee’d on innumerable times, to the point that I wouldn’t even bother to change my clothes. I have wrestled with hysterical constipated toddlers and a supersize jar of Vaseline. I’ve fixed oozy ingrown toenails and been vomited on in my own bed. I have stood by as the doctor lanced a nasty abscess on a child’s ear, splatting green stuff on the ceiling in a pleasing paisley pattern.
Drawn by the stench of decay and sulphur, I have ventured into the Land of the Forgotten Lunchbox, and discovered a squished naartjie colonized by tiny creatures with more eyes than limbs; who were just minutes away from splitting the atom. In an act of motherly selflessness unmatched in the known world, I’ve even sat through back to back episodes of Zack and Cody
without making a single snide remark about wankers-in-training with overlarge heads.
I reckon I deserve a frikking break, people. So here’s my plan. We’ll do a swap. Next time you have a sickly child, I’ll personally COME to your HOUSE in the middle of the night, and scrape the vomit from the bedsheets. I’ll hose down the poopy preschoolers and disinfect the bilious babies. I’ll pick the remaining chunky floaters out of the drain with my bare hands, if necessary. I will bring my own sponge.
All you have to do in return is dentist-duty, twice a year. It’s a bargain, seriously. What’s your breaking point when it comes to the yuck bits?