My son and I used to be buddies. We would read books together, crack jokes, discuss which shirt looked best on him and debate what vacation to take next.

But lately, I am struggling to relate to this boy that I created.

If you’re a parent, you know our job can sometimes be gross; you get peed on. Pooped on. Puked on. You have to wipe snotty noses and stinky butts. My absolute favorite? Washing blankets with puke all over them, especially the chunky puke.

I would much rather wax vaginas and penises all day then clean up chunky puke. Parenting is a dirty job but somebody’s gotta do it, right? But lately, it seems like I am perpetually grossed out by my son.

He picks his nose and wipes it on the couch, no matter how many times I offer a tissue. I put those damn tissue boxes all over the house…why must he wipe elsewhere? His fingernails are long and disgustingly dirty. Son, cut that shit and scrub your hands!You could feed China with what’s under those fingernails.

He farts ALL day long — really loud, juicy ones and laughs. No “excuse me.” Just laughter. I don’t know where all that gas comes from. If he held it in, he’d blow up like a balloon and float off into space.

A few weeks ago I made the mistake of letting him buy a fart toy. When he was showing me the product online, it looked cheap so I figured he’d get it and it wouldn’t work. I was wrong. Oh, it works. It works too well. It sounds just like a fart and, now, when I hear the noise, I question whether it’s my son’s ass….or the fart toy.

Now that he has the toy, he wants to bring it everywhere we go. To the grocery store. To the mall. To school. Last week, I scolded him in Banana Republic for “farting” in line with me. Dear GOD, son….not Banana Republic! You can fart in Old Navy all you want but, sweet jesus, not Banana Republic!

He also brings it to restaurants. Here’s how it goes on most visits:

“Hi, maybe I take your order?”

SquealllllllFFFFaaaarrrrrrtttttttttt! (My son and daughter start rolling with giggles)
Oh, for fuck’s sake. Yeah, that was a toy, it’s not real. Can I get the Caesar salad, please?! Why are boys so gross? My son occasionally asks me “mom, why don’t you think it’s funny?” Ummm, because I’m a girl?
“But mom, Ava (his sister) thinks it’s funny!”

Yeah, that’s because she’s SIX, dude.

Give her a few more years. So I’m struggling to relate to my son that picks his nose, has dirty, green fingernails and farts on command. I want him to enjoy himself, and BE himself, but it’s taking everything in me not to burn that effing toy while he sleeps.