Remember when you were a little kid and you used to high five like you meant it? Like when you wrapped Super Mario Bros. 3 with your brother for the first time, or when you and the popular girl won the badminton tournament in junior high. For one brief second she forgot she was supposed to hate you, and she slapped your hand so hard it itched. You’re pretty sure she gave you Planter’s warts, but you didn’t care because for that “one hand slap in time” you were cool. Yeah, back then high fives meant something.
Since then high fives have been replaced with cooler things like fist pumps and knuckles. High fives have become lame. Now that you’re a grown up they’re reserved only for when a kid wants to show you stupid stuff they’re proud of. Like this:
“Hey Mister, watch me do the splits.”
“That’s great, Sally, high five.”
And then Sally tries to high five you but she misses because she’s little and you’re big and it’s just stupid. Or this:
“Hey Lady, I can say the alphabet.”
You tediously listen to the neighbour’s kid up talk through each letter then say, “That’s great, Billy, high five.”
And then Billy tries to high five you really hard to prove his boyhood. It makes you flinch because you’re kind of wimpy and uncoordinated, and then Billy laughs at you and you feel like yelling, “Yeah well I know the alphabet too and you don’t see me getting high fives for it! Plus there’s no such letter as en-en-en-oh-pee. I was just trying to be nice!”
Yeah…high fives used to mean something…
Luckily becoming a parent causes an old school high five revival. I’m not talking about the standard milestones that deserve some sort of recognition like when your kid rolls over, or starts walking, or learns Mandarin. I’m talking about the things you never thought you’d celebrate. Like poop. I guarantee you at some point you and your love muffin will high five when your kid poops. It could be during those early days when your baby hasn’t learned to push yet. He just sits there grunting and squirming uncomfortably and instead of leaving him alone, you try to ‘help’ by doing bicycle legs, or bum pats, or singing the poop song. Then all of a sudden with what seems like no effort at all, there’s an explosion and you and your love muffin slap hands like you had something to do with it.
Or like that time you decided to feed your baby formula all day just so you could binge drink coffee. It was the best day of your parenting life being reacquainted with that sweet, sweet, bitter bean. Even though your baby had never even had a whiff of formula up to that point, what could go wrong, right? And then your baby doesn’t poop for three days and you feel terrible. You even go out and get a rectal thermometer to see if you can help get things going. You are so susceptible to peer pressure and hate confrontation so much you buy the suppositories the pharmacist is pushing too. You race home like the crazy person you actually are honking and giving people the finger. You tear into the driveway squealing your tires and slamming on the emergency brake only to find out your baby pooped three days’ worth of poop while you were gone. Yeah, you and your love muffin are going to high five like you’re little kids again after that one. Oh what? You would never do that in the first place? Yeah…me neither.
Unlike poop which you want to come out at regular intervals, barf is something you want to stay put until it BECOMES poop. If you have a barfer like me, you will celebrate the feeds that stay down. Even in the middle of the night you will go so far as to wake up your love muffin just to spread the exciting news.
You: Love Muffin! Love Muffin!
Him: (all groggy and angry) Stop calling me Love Muffin.
You: But Love Muffin, I have some exciting news.
Him: I don’t care if you beat your father at Word Chums.
You: No Love Muffin, it’s The Beast.
At this comment, he sits straight up, bug eyed.
Him: What’s wrong?!
You: Nothing. He just didn’t barf for once.
Your love muffin will slump back down with a sigh of relief. You will initiate a high five anyway. You might have to hold his limp arm up yourself and swing it towards you as your love muffin has probably fallen back to sleep already. Nevertheless, this will count as a meaningful high five, because even though he won’t remember, you will. You will remember because milk that stays down means a couple more minutes of precious sleep before your beast squawks for more. Oh what? You’ve never done this before? Yeah…me neither.
And speaking of sleep, you’ll high five for that too.
There is one final unsuspected high five experience you and your love muffin will share. That is when you master the nose suction thing you use when your baby has a cold. At first you’ll gingerly place the end of the sucker into his nose. Your beast will swat you angrily and cry until his face flattens like a turtle. Your hands will shake nervously and you will apologize exceedingly even though your baby doesn’t understand English. Eventually you’ll put up a white flag and your beast will be even snottier than before due to the extreme fit he pitches from the nose sucker experience. You and your love muffin will not high five. You will merely pat each other on the shoulder like a hockey team who just lost the gold winning game.
That’ll be day one of his cold.
By day three, you and your love muffin will do a complete 180. You will aggressively own that nose sucker like hardened surgeons. You might even wear white bathrobes and shower caps to better play the part.
You: Nose sucker?
Love Muffin: Nose sucker.
You: Warm facecloth?
LM: Warm facecloth.
You: Brace patient for procedure?
LM: Bracing patient for procedure.
You will continue to pin your beast to the change table like a pair of WWF wrestlers. You will repeatedly suck snots from his nose until you extract Slimer from Ghostbusters. (Geez, can you tell what decade I grew up in?) Yup, the nose sucker experience will harvest a huge high five. It’ll be better than wrapping Super Mario Bros. 3 and it’ll make your hand itch harder than it did that day in gym class. Just don’t forget to tell your love muffin you have Planter’s warts first.