Parent of the Year award

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My family and I were out walking one day when we came across a dog. As always happens in these situations, our 16-month-old daughter squealed excitedly and ran to the dog. The dog’s owners, as per usual, were more than happy to oblige our cute, insistent toddler. On this particular day, our daughter had a runny nose. I could tell it was runny because when the dog inevitably licked her face, he pulled away with, well, snot, on his tongue. I was, naturally, aghast, and the logical thing to do would have been to say, “Ew, gross,” and pull my daughter away from the dog. The licking happened several times in rapid succession before I could formulate this proper and obvious reaction. But instead, I looked at the owner, who seemed completely unconcerned and simply commented, “He’s cleaning you up there, isn’t he?” My “Ew, gross!” melted into flashbacks of me trying to wipe my daughter’s nose during the previous cold season. The task was a two-man job requiring the help of my husband: he would hold her arms down and pin her head in a vice grip between his chest and elbow while I attempted to wipe her nose with the softest tissue on the planet. (I believe it was made by NASA.) You would think this would be a successful strategy, but even then the little dickens could flap, scream, and flail her way out of it, choosing instead to wipe her nose with the back of her hands, which she would then rub all over her face and hair. Coming back to the present and watching that dog complete his task of “cleaning” my daughter, to her apparent enjoyment, I shrugged, “I guess it’s okay,” thus earning myself the un-coveted Mother of the Year Award.


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