Precious Bodily Fluids

I haven’t yet had a chance to expose Lennie to Dr. Strangelove, but she could sure use the exposure. That kid leaks every which way. She’s like a blooper reel. She’s a veritable fountain of things yellow, brown, white, and clearish. In short, she has no appreciation for the worth of her precious bodily fluids, and she doles them out freely.

For example, during her first week home, I found her diaper to be full of pee and went to change it. My methodology is to lay her down, hike up whatever outfit she’s wearing, unfold and place a new diaper under her, undo the old one, make whatever ablutions are necessary, tape the new diaper into place, reinstate the clothing, and exit the changing area. I had progressed through step five (making ablutions) and was about to secure the new diaper when she grunted and raspberried the new diaper dirty. A waste of fluids and a diaper! Having expelled such a volume of bodily fluid, I thought to myself, she must surely be finished and very nearly spent of all her energy. So I resumed the changing process at step three (unfolding and placing of a new diaper under the old one) and continued to step four only to discover that she was unspent indeed and that she was being yet more generous with her precious bodily fluids. Another diaper wasted. This time, I learned, waiting several minutes while encouraging grunts and squeezes and other fluid-expulsion facilitating behaviors before picking back up at step three again.

Lennie also happens to be fond of sporting the cheese-neck look. It’s rather like a turtle-neck, but dribbled and burbled down her cheeks and chins to form a fashionable white collar (and after Easter, at that!). She’s been especially bad about this the last couple of days.

But that’s not all she does with her milk. For example, I sometimes call her Daddy’s Little Ruminant as she stares at me, blinking slowly and chewing the cud of a freshly swallowed and partially-regurgitated repast. And she’s been known to blow a bubble or two.

Last night, she performed perhaps her best bodily fluid trick. I sat in my overstuffed chair, feet propped up on the coffee table, holding her upright on my chest as I often do. As often as I do this, I angle her up and crane my head down and plant a big juicy kiss (or two or fifteen) on her little rosebud mouth. She usually makes an ugly face when I do this, but I simply can’t resist. Having already given her a post-dinner horsey-ride jostling last night, I cooed and crooned and talked at her, eventually and predictably bending down to plant the customary smooch on her pursed little lips. Whereupon, with perfect timing, she delivered a sip — no, it was more of a gulp — of regurgitated milk straight into the open spout of my mouth.

I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed harder at anything she’s done, and I find her most amusing on a regular basis. Such timing my little girl has! And she delivered her little practical joke deadpan, which is very hard to do. I guffawed and congratulated her and took a careless swipe at my mouth to clear the splash away from my face (M came along a minute later and wiped some drops out of my beard) and didn’t care one jot that I had been spectacularly and, by some accounts, no doubt, disgustingly slimed.

Which goes to show that once you become a parent, you begin to develop immunities to things formerly considered gross. I’m not surprised by this, incidentally. I knew it would happen. It’s just funny to see it happen, and to happen to such an extreme. I had already established an immunity to poop, happy as a clam to jam my nose into the leg of a diaper to ascertain the flavor, if you will, of the gift contained therein. And getting a smear of meconium on my hand? No big deal. But the ingestion of spitup had always seemed so much more germy, somehow less washable and forgettable. Turns out it’s not forgettable, but not in a bad way. Lennie’s knee-slapping delivery of this bodily fluid was precious indeed. How could I begrudge her such a waste?

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