My favorite excuse for occasionally being a very lazy parent is, “Oh well, it’s good for her immune system.” As in, even though I just dropped this somewhat damp cracker on the floor and it is now covered in dog hair, I will go ahead and give it to my kid without trying very hard to remove the hair because, you know, it’ll be good for her immune system. Or, I notice that she has crawled over to the dog bowl and that she is currently bending over and licking up what the dog left behind this morning, but I am not going to run over and stop her because that would teach her not to follow her projects through to the end, and as an added bonus it’s good for her immune system. Dirt? Good for the immune system. Dead worms on the sidewalk? The immune system sure could use them. Toilet water? One sip and the immune system is impenetrable.

My favorite exclamation of exasperation caused by parenthood would have to be what I overheard coming from Leta’s room this weekend as Jon was changing her diaper: “You will stop screaming now BECAUSE I INVENTED YOU.”