The Crown Drools
I wouldn’t claim to have NO prior experience with babies– Robin and AJ are both moms, I babysat as a teen, the usual stuff you do to come into contact with babies. My experience was wide, but not deep. Mac had far less experience, insofar as he has a very small extended family and also, this is said with love, for about 15 years of his adult life he looked like a hardcore punk rock Disney villain come to life and no reasonable mother would leave so much as a rutabaga with him.
This is why we were a little surprised the first day the baby let a big stream of clear, viscous fluid stream right out of his face and onto the floor. This was unprecedented. He hadn’t been eating, it wasn’t coming out of his nose, it didn’t seem related to crying or being distressed in any way. I had heard of drool, sure– but this wasn’t a little dribble coming from one side of his lips. This had actual volume and mass.
The strangest part was that it didn’t stop. There was so, so, so much. OK, so drooling is associated with teething. That could be exciting! He might be getting a tooth! MILESTONE! We had a good root around Baby’s mouth, figured it would come in the next day or two, and
Bob’s your uncle. Whoa. Watching too much British telly. TV. Anyhow…no tooth. Weird. Surely liquid in this quantity is a harbinger of something. This was varsity squad liquid expulsion from a walk-on.
By the end of the evening, we had changed his pajamas twice because they kept getting soaked. It finally dawned on me that this must be why people gave us bibs. We had assumed bibs were for eating only. Want to laugh at some new parent math? We had been given about 25 bibs. We kept the cutest 12. Why 12? Because the baby would eat three times a day and we would do laundry every three days. Don’t you see how clever we were being? We only needed nine bibs and with 12 we had THREE WHOLE EXTRAS. Oh, don’t stop laughing yet. We only kept the cleanest looking ones. Because we were going to pre-treat every stain, then put them in the laundry, and remember to take them out of the dryer right away so the bibs would always look clean and freshly pressed. Yes. We actually had these thoughts. This was also during my “I’ll never give up on cloth diapering” phase, “I’ll NEVER complain when the baby cries because we were so close to having no baby to hear crying” phase, my “the baby will never eat food I didn’t prepare myself” phase, and (the 80’s hair of embarrassing phases) “the baby will hear Spanish everyday so he still think the world sounds familiar and comforting outside the womb” phase. For the record, we did come back to that one, but I’m pretty sure it’s only because the best childcare in our area happens to be run by Mexican-Americans.
By the next morning Mac and I can’t believe the drooling didn’t abate. Hell, it got worse. Baby had the Niagara Falls coming down his dimply little chin and pooling around his neck fat. Of all the things I have Googled concerning this child, ‘how much drool is too much?” isn’t even in the top ten. But it did make the highlight reel for that day, if only because it auto-completed to “how much do Newfoundlands drool” and I didn’t realize they were talking about the dogs. I spent a fair few minutes laughing at the idea of an entire section of Canada unable to wear a nice suit or get married without a formal little bib to catch their uncontrollable streams of saliva.
So, that was 5 months ago. We now own 30 bibs. Most of them are quite ugly. They are mottled little cloth things that have shriveled up from washing and being velcro-ed to each other for days. There are two bins on our kitchen table: Clean Bibs, Disgusting Bibs. He has drooled for 5 straight months without a single tooth in sight. He happily accepts the bibbing ritual and even laughs if you lift up his neck fat to make sure you’re catching all the good stuff. It’s a good thing he’s used to them, because he leaves a visible drool path in his wake we have dubbed the Snail Trail. He has even drooled directly into my mouth and at this point I hardly notice. Well, I DO notice, but it doesn’t freak me out. Much.
If you were wondering what to call a baby who drools this DAMN much, here is a handy list of nicknames for you to try. I can’t claim all of these, our brilliant friends have chimed in on the act. Use them in good health.
- Droolia Childs, Drools Verne, Droolie Andrews, Raul Droolia, Droolia Roberts, August Strindberg’s Miss Droolie, Drool of the Nile, The Crown Drools, LL Drool J, Ja Drool, Count Droolcula, and Mark Spits.