Spit vs. Snot: Why spit wins

by Jen Rouse
The Short Years

Here is another eternal question to ponder:

Why is it that I can think my children are perfectly presentable, only to get them in the car, lean in to buckle their car seat straps, and discover that their faces are disgusting?

Seriously. I look at them before we head out the door. Sometimes, I even notice a spot of jam or something and tell them to wipe off their face. Sometimes I even wipe it off for them. And I think everything is good. And then suddenly, when I get to the car, I see that their faces are covered in gunk. Boogers, snot, jam, peanut butter, toothpaste…they’ve got it all.

Pretty eyes. Pretty smile. Disgusting food all over the face.

Is the lighting better in the car? Is it just that when I do the car-seat buckle I have to lean in real close, so I can see the gunk on their skin in all its glory? I don’t know what it is. All I do know is that every single day I think we’re ready to go, and then we get to the car and I find myself licking my thumb or pulling a crumpled napkin out of the glove compartment, or sometimes even using the cuff of my shirt, and then wetting it with my own saliva to wipe their faces clean before I pull out of the driveway. I fully admit that this is disgusting. And, as Beth pointed out to me, I’m not really making their faces cleaner. “You’re making them *dirtier,* Mama. Because you’re putting your spit germs all over us.”

Guilty as charged. But I don’t care. You know why? Because if I go out in public with kids covered in snot and jam, people are going to think I don’t care about keeping my children clean. When in reality I do care, it’s just that a strange rip in the space-time continuum occurs inbetween my front door and my car, making it so that children who appeared clean one minute earlier are now revealed to, in fact, be filthy.

If I wipe their faces with spit, I may indeed be coating their faces with germs. However, while germs may be disgusting, they are INVISIBLE. Boogers and peanut butter are highly visible, and also disgusting. If my children must be covered in something disgusting, and there is a choice between invisible-disgusting and visible-disgusting, I’ll take the invisible variety every time.

Spit. It’s my disgusting face-coating of choice.


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