Thursday, November 10, 2016

Zoe vs. the Children's Book I'll Never Write

Last night Zoe wanted me to tell her a story before bed.
Though I call myself a writer, at the same time I don't think I'm good at making up stories---not off the cuff, not without working them out on paper first, and certainly not children's stories.
But then I remembered Zoe's two favorite subjects: herself and anything disgusting, and I had the ingredients of a bedtime story perfect for Zoe.

Children's Books, Bedtime Story

This story will never be a children's book. It's like if a gross-out comedy met On the Night You Were Born. You see, I told Zoe about herself as a baby, specifically, how disgusting she was, as disgusting as only an adorable creature without control of her bodily functions can be.
I called it: You Were So Disgusting Then (and You're Still Kind of Disgusting Now).
When you were a newborn, I began, you had chubby little thighs. Everyone said they were so cute. And they were. Except I knew all that cute baby fat had a dark side. Or a dark inside.
I told her how when I gave her a bath each evening, I'd have to make sure to spread apart the fat of her thighs so I could clean within the folds---sweat and dirt got trapped in there during the day and by nighttime it was gross and yucky. And it smelled bad too. Here I made a face for emphasis.
"More," Zoe said, laughing.
Well, if she thought the dirt inside her rolls of thigh fat was disgusting, it was nothing compared to what greeted me when I pried open her tiny fists. The sweaty dirt that had gathered in the creases of her hands put her thigh rolls to shame. It was SO disgusting. And sometimes, as a bonus, when I prized her fingers apart, I discovered the gummy, almost unrecognizable, remains of a cheerio transformed into brownish-gray sludge. Yuck!
"More, more!" Zoe urged.
"Shall I tell you about all the spit-up?" I asked her.
She nodded.
"Well," I told her, "because your digestive system wasn't fully formed, you had a hard time keeping down all the milk you drank. You'd be sucking on a bottle when suddenly: back up it came."
"And the spit-up was nothing to when you actually vomited. Milk, some of it curdled from your stomach acid, would just come right up.
"Once, it happened while I was carrying you. I thought you were asleep when suddenly vomit shot out like a geyser directly into my face---straight shot---and I almost dropped you. But most of the time it just sort of flowed out of your mouth, in lazy spurts, to drip down your chin. Out of your nose too. And the smell! It was just ghastly. But do you know the most horrifying thing of all? You'll never guess."
"What?" She leaned off the edge of the bed.
"Your expression never changed. You weren't just disgusting, you were creepy. "
"More disgusting!" she yelled.
"Shall we discuss your snot?"
"Sometimes you'd sneeze and the snot would hang down your face and dangle in a long gooey rope in front of your mouth so that on the next breath you'd suck it right in. As you got older this got better, but also worse. You might wipe it away from your mouth, but in doing so you'd swipe the mucus all the way up either cheek to your eyes, resulting in this sticky viscous mask. And pink eye."
"And it's not so long ago---in fact, I believe it was just the other day---I saw you pick your nose and when I yelled, 'Don't wipe that on the couch!' you ate it instead. Remember how you did that, cutie?"
"I'm disgusting!" she thrilled.
"Indeed, you were, and still are, very very disgusting."
Finally, exhausted from laughing, she drifted off to sleep.
I'd save the one about The Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Diaper Genie for the following night.

Zoe: 151; Universe: 0
If you enjoyed this post, you may like this one
in which Zoe confronts a Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day.

For more of Zoe's hijinks, follow me on Facebook and on Twitter at @zoevsuniverse
I need a win here, people. 

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