He must, because he made me, the lady who hates dirt, the germ-a-phobe, the clean freak . . . he made me . . . the mother of a little boy. My adventures with Ethan probably provide him with his recommended daily allowance of laughter.
Today's joke occurred as we were walking into the mall. Because he has the boy gene that requires him to touch every single possible thing that he encounters, Ethan proceeded to touch the bumpers of each and every car in our path in the parking lot. At the end of the aisle, he held his hand up to his face and looked at its blackened hue in amazement. "Look ma! I cleaned the cars," he stated proudly.
Immediately, I shrieked one of my high level decibel shrieks, "Ethan! Gross! Let me get a . . ."
But before I could get out the word "wipe," Ethan proceeded to lick the palm of his hand clean. Yes, that is right. He stuck out his tongue and just lapped up that bumper dirt. (He is either vitamin and mineral deficient, or just plain yucky. I vote the latter.) As mortified and disgusted as I was, I couldn't say that this was out of character for him.
You see, the licking shouldn't surprise me. After all, this is the kid that has licked, in no specific order, the dining table at a local McDonald's restaurant (eeeew!), his sister's back (gross!), the bottom of his tennis shoes (stomach turning . . .), and the banister at the football stadium during a crowded rival game (There are just no words.) None of these were too sanitary a place, but apparently, just right for this four year old's discerning palate. If it is gooey, filthy, or just plain disgusting, no matter. It seems that my boy is up for the challenge, even if his mother is not.
Case in point, lately, we have been having a bathroom challenge, Ethan and me. For some reason, Ethan feels that it is necessary to strip down to his birthday suit each and every time that he has to poop. Now, even with my fabulous persuasion skills, (Read: "Ethan, puh-leeeeeeese! For the love of God!!!!) I can not convince him to remain in his clothing to do his daily deed. Hubby thinks that he is afraid that he will get his clothing soiled. You know . . . fashion a la feces, but I have a problem with his theory. If the kid is willing to lick dirt, why should a little poopie be a problem?
Now, normally, this little personality quirk would not be a problem. I would just follow the trail of clothing, daily, to discover my naked little boy perched on the potty. But, when you throw traveling in the mix . . . well, it makes it a bit more challenging. Our recent trip through the Atlanta airport almost did me in. As Ethan began to perform his striptease in a public restroom, it took every ounce of sanity I had not to pull a "Mommie Dearest" in public.
Wanting to ignore the obvious, I questioned, "Ethan! What are you doing?" to the closed stall door.
"Pooping ma. Why?" he answered nonchalantly as I watched his shoes then his pants hit the grimy floor. All I could think of was how many times those open toilets had flushed poop particles onto every surface in that bathroom.
Softening my tone, I started in again, "E buddy. We talked about this. You don't have to take off ALL of your clothes to go to the bathroom." It was at this point that I heard several snickers and giggles waft out of other stalls. Silently, I cursed them with the worst curse I could think of, "Bitches!" I thought. Unoriginal, I know, but at the time, it was what I was feeling. E's words brought me right back to battle.
"Ma! I have to take off my clothes!" he answered stridently and with no explanation. And, since I could not get into the stall with him, I knew at that moment I had lost the battle. E was naked and touching poopie and pee pee germs all over the place, and I could not do one thing about it.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and heard it.
It was God, and his sick sense of humor.
He is such a man.