So there are a shitload of responsibilities one has when taking care of children. There are the basics: feeding them, clothing them, bathing them when they stink, making sure they receive an education, and teaching them how to wipe their asses. Then there are the things you should do: helping them to appreciate art and music, making sure they get enough physical exercise, modeling socially acceptable behaviors, teaching them to put the seat down after they whiz, and the like.
Then there are the tasks that you would have never even thought about in a million years had they not smacked you in the fucking face and said, "Wake the shit up, neglectful parent, you missed me!" Like, say, occasionally checking the bottom of your kid's foot for a teeming colony of WARTS!
I swear, I am the shittiest parent in the world. It was about a week ago, and Mr. Z was pulling off his sock and I don't even remember what he said, but I went over and looked at his left foot and almost ralphed all over it. There were about 5 or 6 gnarly, horn-like warts poking out of the ball of his foot! I was like, "Okay, call DCFS, I give up. It was a good run, but I'm outta here. Visit Daddy in prison, kids."
Mr. Z was surprisingly nonchalant about the whole thing -- luckily they didn't hurt and didn't even seem to be bothering him. The thing that kills me is that, about a month or two ago, I did see a tiny little spot that looked like a mini-blister on his foot and I thought, just for a moment, "Hey, I wonder if that's the beginnings of a wart?" And then I'm sure Miss O ran into the room and farted or Mr. Z jumped up and started running around the house naked and I forgot all about it.
Well, cut to two festering months later and the boy's got fucking antlers growing out of his foot. What's next?! Is Miss O going to get scabies, or rickets... or "The Grippe"?! I'm telling you, you can't let your fucking guard down for a minute in this gig. Just when you think you've got all the bases covered, boom, you've got the Seven Goddamn Plagues to reckon with. Holy crapstain.
I'm blaming it all on the Y summer camp he went to. Swimming every day in some high school pool a couple of towns over. And I wasn't there to say, "Mr. Z, don't touch that, don't sit on that, don't lick that!" I guess I'm lucky he only ended up with warts, instead of... I don't know, trench-face?
So, I'm taking him to the family doctor tomorrow to begin the wartal excavation process. I remember getting a couple of those fuckers burned off when I was a kid -- I don't recall it being an enjoyable thing. I'm just waiting for the doctor's reaction when the boy takes off his sock. "Oh, I see this kind of thing all the time. There's nothing that'll surpri--GOOD LORD!!! IN ALL MY YEARS AS A PHYSICIAN I'VE NEVER WITNESSED ANYTHING SO STOMACH-CHURNINGLY HORRIFYING!!! I'VE SEEN THE FACE OF DEATH AND NOW MUST BLIND MYSELF TO ENSURE I NEVER SEE SUCH AN ABOMINATION AGAIN!!! GET THEE BEHIND ME SATAN!!!!
I'm ready now, though. I'm gonna make both kids do complete self-inspections before bed every night and give a full report before lights-out. Nothing's gonna be growing on, out of, under, inside or between anything that's not supposed to have something growing on, out of, under, inside or between it. Henceforth, this house shall be the land of germless dermis. If I see so much as a pimple, it shall be immediately located, cordoned off, and obliterated.
Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice? Oh, it's go time, papillomavirus.