When it comes to kids, I’ve done some pretty unsanitary things. For example, I’m a firm believer in exposing my kids to germs at a young age. Heck, all them were introduced to the subway before they turned two weeks old. I’ve been known to wipe their boogers with their clothing, and hand-washing with soap isn’t necessarily the first thing they do when come back from a long day. They pee in bushes and might drink sprinkler water (Note: Is that a thing? I’ve heard kids getting busted by their caregivers for doing that, but it looks clean to me. And if it actually contained deadly micro-bacteria, wouldn’t the Parks Department post a warning sign or something? Okay, rant over). They love to open packets of Sugar in the Raw, lick their fingers, dip and repeat. The five-second-rule doesn’t exist in our house. Believe me, I’m not bragging here. In fact, a friend of ours swears that her husband gets diarrhea every time he comes to our house without fail. Personally, I think he’s a weakling. But yeah, not everyone is a fan.
I have this thing where I love dirty kids. If we come home from a long day out and they look like they did when we left, I consider the day to be a failure. I like it when they splash in puddles of mud and dig in the dirt with their hands. I even used to polish Annie’s nails just so you wouldn’t see how much dirt was embedded in there. I don’t mind if they run around barefoot outside. In fact, I can usually be found with my shoes off as well, both so I can see for myself just how hot the ground is, and because I like it! Relax, I’m no hippie. I happen to love shoes — I’m an avid collector — but you get my point.
On the subject, let me share one incident with you that happened a couple weeks ago. You see, Craig is very sentimental. Or should I say, more sentimental than I am. One of Craig’s most prized possessions is his collection of our kids’ umbilical cord stumps. You know, those raisin things that fall out of a baby’s belly button at around a week or so? Well, he saves them and keeps them on the shelf of his closet, and will occasionally pull them out to show guests. Anyway, when New Lisi was about 9 days old, I was sitting in our backyard and my friend who was holding her noticed that her umbilical raisin was missing. I panicked; where’s the damn raisin? A second later my friend excitedly pointed to the concrete ground. There it is! Relieved, I grabbed it and stuck it in the front pocket of Judah’s backpack, the only safe place I could think of. I eagerly called Craig to spread the joy and, believe me, he was over the moon.
I played the incident over in my head a few times. What if my friend hadn’t noticed it had fallen out? What if no one saw it on the ground? Lots of what ifs, but it didn’t matter because stumpy was safe and sound in Judah’s backpack. Or so I thought. Later that night, Craig asked for the raisin. He said he checked the backpack and it wasn’t there. Trust me, it’s there — it was the only safe place I could think of (I still stand by that!). He checked again, totally not believing me. I checked for myself, totally not believing him. But he was right; it was gone. Alright, I don’t know what to tell you. That’s where I put it. The poor guy was so disappointed.
On to the next morning. Lisi has been coping with New Lisi in her own two-year-old kind of way. The first week was her climbing out of her crib around 5:00am, sprawling herself on top of me in bed, and loudly sucking her thumb. If you think this sounds cute, it kind of was, but it would have been a lot cuter three hours later. Well, that particular morning she woke Annie first, so I had both of them in bed with me. Wonderful. When the sun came up I suggested that we go outside and look for the raisin. Needle in a haystack, right? Wrong. We went outside at this ungodly hour and I headed toward the bench I was sitting at the day before. Without looking too hard, I saw one of those giant armies of ants. You know what it looks like when you see hundreds of ants on a lollipop? Same thing. And amongst that army was a little raisin rocking back and forth. It was beyond nasty. I found an piece of cardboard and started flicking at the raisin. I kept flicking until all of the ants were off. Success. Apparently, ants like human flesh.
I came home beaming, holding this raisin stump. I woke Craig and told him the news. His smile was worth it. I still don’t know how it escaped Judah’s backpack, but now there’s a great story to share. I’ve done many nasty things but this one might take the cake. And for what it’s worth, I will likely never eat a raisin again.