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I’ll grant first off, that I haven’t been on this parenting project for all that long – slightly less than a year-and-a-half so far, so the bar is as yet set low, but I have two things that have been on my mental radar of Bullshit I Am Not Going To Visit Upon My Kid. I’m sure there are other things if I sat down and thought about them for a while, but honestly I am scrabbling for precious minutes during a nap to write this anyway, therefore sitting down and thinking doesn’t enter into it.


1. Cleaning his grubby face with my spit on a hankie. Seriously, how fucking gross is that? Very. And yet parents everywhere, since handkerchiefs were invented, have done it. My mom, being the humane sort of woman that she is, made us spit on the hankie ourselves and that is the tradition I have carried on with Bubs. At this phase in his life, he’s a seemingly inexhaustible font of drool anyway, but I make the point of a token command. “Give me some spit,” I say as I swipe drool off his chin with a cloth, then using it to swab away a bit of dried-on banana from near his ear, or a probably-a-booger from the tip of his nose. It’s still kind of gross, but much of the day-to-day business of caring for very small children is at best faintly disgusting, so I have accepted that and moved along.

2. Kiss-it-better. I always hated this scam when I was a child. I’ve always felt that kissing-it-better was a bit condescending, even before I was able to articulate it as such. Clearly, it was a fatuous sop to small children’s credulity, when really, all I wanted was a damn BandAid. Never mind if the injury was bandage-worthy or not, the humble BandAid is the child’s first practical experience with the placebo effect. It’s acknowledgment of the indignity of your average minor injury and far more effective than ritualistic osculation. BandAids are cheap, easy to acquire, and much faster than enduring the protracted whining of a child who patently does not believe in the restorative powers of a kiss. Therefore, I plan on continuing to keep a bountiful supply in the house, backpack, wallet, and baby trailer, as opportunities for bumps, bruises, scrapes, and general small-time physical malaise are everywhere.

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