"I guess I have a lot of problems, so many that I don't have time to go into them all in detail. Suffice it to say I'm anal, obsessive, vain, quick to temper, overly introspective, lazy, judgmental, insecure, and self-righteous. Probably the most annoying thing about me is that I'm hugely opinionated. But I kind of make up for that by always being right."

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Babies, Bad Breath and Barf

I have two boys, aged 12 and 14. And though I love eveything about them, I miss the babies they used to be. I miss holding them, kissing their impossibly soft cheeks, their toothless smiles.

Do I remember the day their cute, green poop turned brown and took on the stench of death? Yes, I do. Do I recall the countless nights their wailing drove me crazy with anger and despair? Unfortunately, yes. Do I admit that they drained the spirit from my marriage and drove a stake through my once romantic heart? In all honesty, yes. Yes I do.

But I miss them still.

When watching TV or a movie, there are three images that always evoke within me a very strong visceral reaction. The first is a hypodermic needle being plunged into a plump, blue vein. This sight invariably gives me the willies, forcing me to avert my eyes from the screen.

The second image is of two people kissing before they've had a chance to brush their teeth in the morning. This sight invariably gives me the heebie-jeebies, making me want to race into my bathroom and floss until my gums bleed.

The third image to evoke this kind of visceral reaction is the innocent face of a baby. For some reason tears spring to my eyes every time I see one on screen. Not only that, but I'm compelled to speak to the two-dimensional infant as if it could actually hear me. Even worse, speak to it in baby talk. This causes my grown kids to roll their eyes and call me an idiot. The little bastards.

By the way, I used to be bothered by scenes of people throwing up. They would see something disturbing, then turn their backs and evacuate. As the viewing public grew more sophisticated, they began to evacuate on camera. Today, of course, it's common to see close-ups of actors spewing curdled chunks toward the camera itself.

Which brings me back to the magic of babies. See, it never bothered me when one of my sons spit up on me. It was natural. No big deal. But if Cameron Diaz threw up on me, that'd just be gross. And I certainly wouldn't kiss her afterwards. Until she brushed her teeth, that is.