The spit wash is one of the many, many things I said I would never do when I was a mother. Ah, the heady days of youth when I had two hands to do everything and didn’t wander about with snot stains all over my clothes. I realised the folly of my ways the other day when I came across a younger version of myself in a shop.
I was (surprisingly) early for a baby music class. As mothers, you will know this is a rare occurrence, so my friend and I decided to kill some time browsing. We went into one of those shops that has a mixture of expensive furniture, clothes and general knick-knacks, all of which a lovely and oh so appealingly expensive. As I wandered around looking at things I was never going to buy, Otto started to point at some bowls and shout random noises very loudly.
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Now, at home, this type of pointing and wailing is the universal sign for ‘give me food’, so I dutifully trotted out a small tub of grapes – already cut no less. Feeling rather pleased with my motherly preparation, and ability to avert a meltdown, I was just mentally patting myself on the back when Otto decided he didn’t like grapes today. He liked grapes two days previously, and he liked them again the following day, but right there, in the expensive shop oh no … he didn’t like them at all. This was the point at which he started spitting the grapes out and throwing them out of the buggy. Oh, the joy!
In order to avert yet another disaster – one which could be costly should said grapes land on an expensive item of clothing – I quickly scooped up the half chewed, saliva laden grapes, and shoved them in my mouth. As I did this, I looked up to find two 20-something shoppers, in full work wardrobe, heels and make-up, looking at me in utter disgust.
So, there I was, in sensible flat shoes, wearing clothes that probably boasted a few snot stains and remnants of Ottos’ lunch, not a scrap of make-up, and hair that hadn’t seen a hairdresser in a while – face to face with a version of myself from about ten years ago. Not only that, but I had a mouth full of pre-chewed grapes. Awesome!
In my head, I made some witty comment and walked on, but in reality, my witty ‘mum-liner’ probably wouldn’t have made sense to them. Why would it? Before I had Otto, I certainly wouldn’t have understood that eating food from the mouth of your own child is perfectly normal. It doesn’t even make you gag! On the scale of the baby detritus I have to deal with daily – pre-chewed food is very minor. But, I wouldn’t have known that in my 20’s and neither did they. All they saw was some madwoman possibly stealing pre-chewed food from her own baby.
Later on, I did have a little chuckle to myself at how naïve I used to be, but then I remembered the spit wash and realised I’m probably on that slippery slope. The day is nigh when I will spit in a hankie (preferably drawn from my sleeve), and wipe it over my sons face. Maybe it’s inevitable. Maybe the spit wash is just one of those things that mums do.
This article was originally published on Selfish Mother. Read the original article here.