Saturday, September 18, 2010

Live and Active

I have an aversion to yogurt.  I know, I know.  It's chock full of calcium and protein and low-fat goodness, but I can barely bring myself to look at the stuff.  I blame this entirely on the live active cultures.  Cultures?  I don't even like the sound of that word.

Of course, my children love yogurt.  It's a staple in their lunch menu.

Most days, I can grit my teeth and bear this, but not yesterday.  Brooke knocked over her newly-opened container -- an innocent accident, of course, but one that sent yogurt shockwaves over the floor, the wall, the chairs, and the legs of table.  A forensics team could have discerned exactly how the container hit the floor based on the ample evidence.  Case closed.

My skin crawled.  I shuddered.  I did an internal eebey-jeebey dance.  And then, like a good mother, I gave Brooke a new container of yogurt and got onto my hands and knees beside where she sat so I could clean the mess.

As I wiped the yogurt and silently hyperventilated, I had two fleeting thoughts: 1) Perhaps now is not the best time to mop considering that she's still eating, and 2) Oh man, I'm directly in the line of fire if she would...

And that's when I heard her sweet voice say, uh-oh, and felt the cold sensation of yogurt oozing down my neck.

Live active cultures were dripping down my back.  Saturating my shirt!  Contaminating my hair!

I'm still not quite over this.

Parenthood is not a clean experience.  Before having children, getting dirty was relatively controlled.  I’d put on old clothes to do yard work.  I’d shower directly after exercising.  Contrast this with the yogurt experience, or the fact that two minutes before I left for work yesterday morning, Kerrington spit on me with such enthusiasm (gallons, I think) that I had to change my entire outfit -- including socks.

Still, these messes let us tap into bravery and patience that we may not have known we possessed.  Afraid of spiders?  You'll still go after one if your child is scared.  Sensitive to smells?  You still survive the worst diaper changes.  A lover of fashion?  You still feel sympathy for your sick child when he wipes his snotty nose on your pants leg.

Motherhood is live and active, just like that yogurt.  Here's to a good, clean day.

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