I have put up with a lot of shit from men over the years. Insensitivity, unreliability, crappy taste in jewellery. I spent years with a man who never told me he loved me. True story. My revenge – I never told him either. Ha! Take that!
Yes, I have made many (really dumb) concessions for the men in my life. But experience brings wisdom (right?) and so I like to think I have built up a fair catalogue of behaviours I deem 'dealbreakers'. I feel I have earned the right to put some concrete rules in place. And I don't think I'm being unreasonable.
For instance, young man vomiting into my cleavage? One hundred percent DEALBREAKER.
Unless, of course, that young man is my youngest man, my baby son, Zee.
After spending half a day on an emergency ward with suspected pneumonia, my tiny beloved coughed so hard the other night that he upchucked milk all over my chest.
Previously, depositing vomit into my bra was a definite dealbreaker. So was wiping snot on my top, wearing nappies (and expecting me to change them – eww!), interrupting my sleep multiple times a night to ask for a snack and ordering me to stop singing.
It seems I am back to making concessions. A LOT of them.
When I stop and think about it, I am kind of amazed. Because I don't do germs. Or bodily functions. I love the idea of public transport from a green perspective but I find the reality of so much humanity squeezed into a confined space to be excruciating. Tramming it to work one morning, I witnessed a man blowing his nose – INTO HIS FINGERS. I'm not even joking. And that's not the worst of it.
I wasn't born with this particular phobia though. As a child, I used to love travelling and especially enjoyed checking into hotels along the way. I thought it was very glamourous, collecting toiletries and stationary as I went. Now, I know all hotel rooms are just a UV light away from being a total blood and cum den – and of course, the remote control is covered in faeces.
So, the dirty, dirty realities of life have made me this way. That, and one too many episodes of CSI. So by the time I hit motherhood, it was any wonder my first nappy change didn't send me rocking back and forth, dousing myself in rubbing alcohol. Just the idea of B's snot/piss/shit makes me want to hurl. Hell, I can't take a swig out of a bottle my own mother has been drinking from. But my kids remain golden. There's nothing they have done thus far that has triggered my phobia. I'd rather be elbow deep in my kid's dirty nappy than let my arse cheeks touch down on a public toilet seat. Motherhood is that profound.
So I'm making concessions again but they're kind of nice. I sort of love that I'm not a princess when it comes to my kids. I am proudly hands on…… and hand sanitising like there's no tomorrow.