1) There’s nothing more loving and humiliating than sniffing your child’s ass–Poop check, I call it–when he farts right in your face.
2) Poop checks are an anomaly only parents will ever know–unless there’s some ass-sniffing fetish I haven’t heard of yet. In our house, one with a baby, two adults, two dogs and a cat, we don’t live by the axiom “Whoever smelt it dealt it,” and instead do the rounds. First, depending on who smells it first, we’ll look at each other. “Oh my God! Was that you?” And if it is, our quiet smiles give it away. When we’ve ruled each other out, we move on to Sonny and the obligatory poop check, putting out nostrils against the rear of his soft diaper and inhaling the bouquet. If it’s not him, then we locate the dogs. Most often the culprit is Lulu (You read about her penchant for vomit-eating here.), our 20-lb Boston whose SBDs linger long after the pin is pulled from the grenade. If it’s not her, we know the cat didn’t cover her latest contribution to the household, and then we call her a dick the next time we see her.
3) I am becoming one of those weird men who’s into feet, but not just any feet, Sonny’s feet. His elbows, too. I find myself kissing and massaging the tender bottoms of his feet and meaty rolls around his elbows because, unlike mine, his are perfect. Sometimes, when I’m raspberrying his little toes, I wonder how his will ever look mine–hairy and dry and rough and scaly. Right now, they are so perfect, like the unturned pages of a freshly printed newspaper or a pair of new sneakers before they have creases in the soles, and although I know Sonny’s feet and elbows won’t stay this way forever, I pledge to embarrass the shit out of him with stories of nibbling on his little toes whenever he starts dating.
4) “NAKED BABY!”
That’s what I yell whenever we strip Sonny down to his diaper and give him some Tummy Time in the near-buff. (Word to the wise: Don’t let your baby be completely naked without taking proper measures to ensure you don’t get pissed on. You think, “Oh, he can’t piss that far!” and then he does, and you find yourself both proud of his distance and horrified that you must now clean piss dripping down a wall several feet away.)
Like kissing his little feet, “NAKED BABY!” reminds me how precious Sonny is, how unashamed he is to be naked. I used to run around my house naked all the time when I was a child. Well, not exactly naked, I had these yellow galoshes and a fireman hat that I’d gallop around in while my mom played records. Sometimes I’d tie a towel around my neck, pretending to be some naked superhero, flying around with my arms stretched out, like Superman. When I look at the “NAKED BABY!”, I always want him to have this level of trust in the world, to believe he can be naked and not be ashamed of his body and its differences. But parenting a young child is truly about achieving a proper balance of knowledge and innocence, teaching them enough about “the real world” to not crumble at the sight of adversity while ensuring they maintain a level of wonder that allows them to not be fearful of the unknown. Hopefully, that means we’ll have more “NAKED BABY!” in the future.