A Little Spittle
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As I was dropping Colin off for school this morning, I noticed something that made me stop dead in my hurry-up-and-get-out-of-the-car-because-we're-parked-in-the-dropoff-lane tracks.
I swear, I do look at the kid while I'm helping him get ready. I make sure he has clean, reasonably coordinating clothes; I gel his unruly little hair to his cowlick-riddled cranium; I even clean yesterday's dirt off the toes of his shoes with a baby wipe. But it never fails. As soon as I think he's presentable to the general public, I realize at the last minute that there's something - ear wax, a booger, too-long fingernails - that I've neglected to take care of.
And today it was crust. Of the pancake-syrup variety. Dotting the corners of his mouth, complete with a few errant pieces of blue fuzz that must've stuck there while he was putting his shirt on.
"Ohmigawd," I muttered. I could just picture his teacher being, like, utterly appalled at the skanky condition in which I let my child come to school. But because I myself drop him off in such a condition (today it was capri sweatpants, flip-flops and a Wal-Mart tee that says "Ford" across the front), I was purseless and unprepared and therefore without means to wipe his face.
So I employed the built-in weapon that every mom has in her arsenal of tricks: Mom Spit.
There's something amazing about Mom Spit. Does anybody know if science has tested its exact properties? Because seriously, they could bottle the stuff. It's one of the most powerful cleaners known to man.
Unfortunately, it's also one of the most annoying. Because the second I licked my finger, Colin knew what was coming and ducked out of my way. Damn agile Kindergarteners. "Nooooo!" he protested. "Don't spit on meeeee!"
"It's just -" I said, chasing him with a spitty finger. "Just let me -"
He arched his head backward to avoid the Mom Spit in a manner that made me think he'd possibly dislocated his neck. I couldn't blame him. My own mom was blessedly merciful, only breaking out the Mom Spit in a dire emergency (which was almost never), but my aunt Judy had a knack for making children within a five-mile radius run for cover with one swift lick of her index finger. So I know how much it sucks. Still, there was crust.
Unacceptable, dirty-looking, fuzz-studded crust.
So I compromised. "Lick your finger, then," I demanded, and he (reluctantly) complied. I wiped the dried syrup off his face with his own finger covered with his own Kid Spit, which is not nearly as powerful as Mom Spit.
Kid Spit is better for, you know, launching at a sibling.
But at least something made contact with his face and kinda/sorta got rid of the crusty.
In the meantime, the Mom Spit dried on the tip of my finger and now I suspect I might be able to bring people back from the dead. Or at the very least, like, out of a coma.
Somebody really needs to test this stuff.