Noah’s preschool teacher is incredible. Miss Gretel astounds me every single day with what and how she teaches Noah and her classroom full of rambunctious three-year-olds. As a parent, she’s taught me just how capable Noah’s little mind is, even at such an early age. She is genuine and sincere. She is kind, yet keeps things in control. She really is awesome.

That being said, awesome has nothing to do with “yuck”.

To eat, or not to eat? That is the question.

Most of you weren’t yet following when I admitted to the world that I have a little problem with obsessive compulsive disorder. I do. And it’s getting worse. In my post Yuck swapping, I discussed my inability to share food or drinks with children. Let’s be honest. No matter how much an adult asks a child to wash up or scrub up, that child is going to (very quickly) find a way to get “yuck” all over those precious little hands again, and usually faster than you can spell “butt gunk”.

Read the Yuck Swapping post if you want a further glimpse into that area of my sick and demented mind. Today, I want your opinion as to whether or not I am crazy and/or paranoid in regards to something else.

Yesterday, Miss Gretel had all the kids bring a plastic bowl to class so that they could make pumpkin bread together. When I picked Noah up from school, he was pretty dang excited to show me his little loaf of sweet goodness. His eyes were like Christmas as he told me about the cinnamon and chocolate chips that he personally got to stir in.

Cute, right? I know it’s supposed to be.

All the way home, he excitedly recounted of the fun he’d had making it with his friends. All the way home he talked about how yummy it was going to be, and how much he wanted me to try some. And, all the way home I could think of only one thing… Fifteen little kids, thirty little hands. And the high likelihood that every one of those hands had been digging inside a bum or mining for nasal-gold at some point during the great preschool bake-off.

It’s my curse. While other parents see a cute little loaf of sweet-bread, I see a cute little loaf of bread mixed with heavy doses of kid poop. While other parents excitedly butter up a slice to enjoy, I grimace, wondering if anybody helping that day had ever attended a food handlers class. While other parents relish a moment with their child, I choke down that moment with mine.

Don’t get me wrong. Noah doesn’t know that eating something a kid has had his hands in is extremely difficult for me. I broke off a corner piece of his Pumpkin Bread and gave a circus show of excitement as I gobbled it up, just like the other parents probably did. I swallowed it and lavished him with praise for a bread well-baked. Just like the other parents probably did. I even asked for a little more, just like the other parents probably did.

But, unlike the other parents, I felt like I deserved a “Dad of the Year” trophy just for eating kid goo in order to show my son how special his cooking accomplishment was.

[ugh] I really wish I could just see a cute little loaf of pumpkin bread like the other parents do.

My mom always points out to me that she’s never cared about kid goo, and she hasn’t died from it yet. It’s a valid point. But not valid enough to convince me to put more poop in my mouth than I absolutely have to.

Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing

PS, Am I the only one who struggles with this? Am I the only one missing out on “special” culinary moments with my child because I can’t get past whatever the black stuff is under the fingernails? And what, if anything, are you OCD about? Anything at all. I know a couple people who have a real hard time with toenail clippings, especially on the bed sheets. Those don’t bother me.

Oh, and I know this is two kind of gross posts in a row. Sorry about that. Maybe tomorrow I’ll talk about sugar, spice, and everything nice.