My boy turned blue in the tub tonight. That sounds horrifying, but it wasn’t quite what you think. Rather inexplicably, the bathtub appliques we have peacefully coexisted with for six years suddenly shit their ink like a shoal of frightened squid. When he got out of the tub, the boy appeared to be the product of an illicit union between myself and Papa Smurf.
After a week of all manner of What-The-Fuckness occuring; a visit to the ER after a reaction to Novocaine, some manner of child plague resembling mononucleosis, night terrors, dog mishaps, impromptu birthday parties, tickets selling out, and a million other irritations etc., I considered leaving him blue. Just for a moment, I thought, well, eff it. There’s a point, you know? Where it’s too much What-The-Fuckness and you don’t want to deal with it anymore.
And then my parental anxiety that the blue was somehow harmful took over. And the realization that if I didn’t scrub him down, there was no one else who was going to swoop in and do it. And that eventually the scrubbing will have to be done, whether it’s tonight or tomorrow. Because I am the mother. My job to make sure this little beast is safe and clean, no matter how much What-The-Fuckness has gone on. It never ends.
That’s how I found myself a shower, a bath, and another shower later on my knees dabbing rest of blue ink off. The boy was intently watching the iPad while I used up a half a bottle of the good olive oil and a years’ supply of make up pads. We decided it was unlikely Papa Smurf was his dad, but thought maybe if this cleaning effort didn’t work out he could join the Blue Man Group. We agreed this would be funny when he was older.
And it made me calm, sitting on that bathroom floor. My other boy running in to show me his pyjamas and asking about words in books. The dog checking out all the amazing garbage we were producing for her later consumption. We got him back to his normal pale self. We figured it out. We laughed, knowing that all manner of What-The-Fuckness is ahead. It’s kind of what this parenting gig is all about.