The most romantic words a father can say to his partner are, “OK, if you can put our kid in clean pajamas, I’ll clean up the vomit.”
Parenting involves fluid and feces. It is raw. After a birth, many moms are leaking blood and struggling to poop. We have milk all over our shirts and/or formula spilled on the counter. Newborns shoot fecal matter out of their cute little butts with a speed and projection that could power rockets. They pee and they vomit and their heads flake and when they catch their first cold they smear snot on every surface of the house including their parents. If you are standing around thinking, “I’ll let my partner handle this and then I’ll play ball with the kid when the rocket-propelled shitting stops” then you do not get a Father’s Day card. Regardless of whether your child comes to you through birth or adoption, and regardless of what age they are, to be a good father means getting messy.
As kids age, they sneeze in your face and they cough on your keyboard. They give wonderful wet slobbery kisses. They go to school and get lice and rub their heads on yours while you are watching TV. They get hurt and have to be rushed to the ER. Their teeth fall out (I keep my daughter’s in a drawer – is that weird? It’s a little bit weird). The boys have wet dreams and the girls get periods. They
Parenting is wonderful but it’s also very physical. Happy Father’s Day to my husband, who changed every diaper for the first 2 weeks and an awful lot of diapers after that, who is unfazed by periods, and who is able to assess a scene ripped from The Excocist and calmly say, “OK, if you can put our kid in clean pajamas, I’ll clean up the vomit.”