Over the weekend I had planned on writing out some Deep Thoughts about Important Things, but as I sat down after a long day I decided that being open to change is a really great virtue that I should practice more.
So, I’m just gonna tell you a story from a couple months ago when the weather was just starting to warm up. After a full morning of errands and naps, I went grocery shopping how I usually do- wearing my 1 y/o on my back in a baby carrier and the 3 y/o riding on the back of the cart fairly safely.
(…I did run over her foot once when I didn’t notice she hopped off the cart and she cried. Parent fail. Never again did she get off without telling me, but that day I felt like a bad parent. A fun one, but a bad one. )
Today, however, I am ON. IT.
I am getting errands done, both kids are happy, dinner is waiting at home, we are almost done shopping, nobody’s toes are run over…I am feeling pretty awesome about how I am juggling everything at this point.
And then I catch a whiff of a faint poop smell.
*At this moment, please pause and imagine the current scene rippling away from the present grocery store and into a grocery store in the past*
When I was a first time mom, the possibility of a baby poop happening in the grocery store really scared me. Terrified me. To the point where I actually brought a friend with me the first time I went to the grocery store with my 6 week old. It sounds ridiculous, I know.
What, you may ask, could be the worst thing to happen with a tiny little bundle of precious cuteness?
The blowout. That’s what.
When the Dijon blasts down their legs and up their neck, staining their clothes and carrier/carseat, smearing and staining whatever comes too close.
Tactical and logistical planning is essential. An abridged list of my thought process:
“External” factors that I cannot control include:
-Where can I go to clean this mess up?
-Does the bathroom have one of those plastic pull-down thingies you can lay babies on?
-If so, is there a way to pre-clean it while holding a squirmy slippery baby?
-If not is there a bench in a corner somewhere that is safe but won’t draw too much attention
-Either way, can the clothes be taken off without making a bigger mess? (The answer to this one is theoretically yes but always actually no).
“Internal” factors that I could plan for:
-Did I bring enough wipes (or any at all)?
-Did I bring a diaper or two just in case the blowout continues mid-diaper change (it happens more than you’d like to admit, folks).
-Do I have a change of clothes for baby, and an extra shirt for me because mine was part of the blowout?
-Do I have a blanket to layer over the blowout-affected part of the carrier OR do I have an extra carseat cover?
-Will my baby and I have to ride home in poop because I was not prepared?!!
This happened once to me. And no, I was not prepared. And yes, it is something a new mom is allowed to fear.
3 years later, now I’m like, I’ll just stuff a diaper in my purse and hope there are paper towels in the bathroom.
*Squiggle screen back to the present story*
Don’t get me wrong, to be in the current situation – possible poop away from home base- is not FUN by any means, but at least I have grown out of the newborn blowout stage (and also the slightly type A/fearful new mom who must plan for blowout armageddon stage).
So, the poop smell startled me, but I was no longer terrified. As I quickly thought out how to best deal with the problem I begin to smell each kid’s butt, because, you know, that’s what you do to find the culprit.
Thing 1- Clear.
Thing 2- Clear.
Wait…what? I checked by pulling back the back of the diapers for a visual check on both kids- nothing. The startled feeling turned into mortification.
It wasn’t baby poop. It was me!
I smelled it again after a quick sniff of my armpits. (FYI I DID attempt to find a nicer way to say say this, but “underarm” seemed too formal and “BO” sounded like what a teenage boy would say, so “armpits” it is). Evidently in my rush to shower and get ready before the kids woke up I totally forgot the deodorant. Plus, the mix of a warm day running errands with the warm baby on my back made the perfect sweat coctail.
The smell was me.
Ashamed, I hung my head and mourned during a moment of silence, during which a store employee walks up- “Excuse me, ma’am- are you ok? Can I help you with anything?”
“No, I’m ok. My kids didn’t poop, it’s just me…Wait… I mean, I didn’t poop. I just thought my kids did but they didn’t. So… I’m good thanks.”
I avoid eye contact with that employee when I go to the store now.
But, you know what? I really thought I smelled real poop. I kept thinking this as I drove home and when we got there I trusted my gut and did my third diaper check and found one evasive poop marble rolling back and forth (which explains the faint and elusive poop smell). I rechecked my armpits and for sure they didn’t smell like roses but I was not even close to smelling like poop. I must have just smelled the poop at the very right (or wrong) moment.
Ha HA! *raises arms, pumping in “I just won the gold” style* I’m sure!
I feel adult again. My kids look at me, uncomprehending why I am so happy that one of them pooped and I’m dancing in the living room because of it. The victory I joyfully celebrated reflected a small but significant connection with adulthood. I don’t smell like poop!
I am back ON. IT.
Take care, my friends. Really. Take care.
P.S. I thought of some morals to this story:
-“Triple check before you decide you should take the blame for a problem.”
– “Go ahead and take a few extra seconds for yourself, using them to apply deodorant after you shower, so you don’t confuse your own smell with a slightly dirty diaper.”
-You know what, even if you do end up smelling like poop at the end of the day, that’s OK; it’s probably because you were ON. IT. all day long!