repost: grossology

by humanmama on May 29, 2012

I’ll be back in a day, but in the meantime I thought you’d get a thrill from this one again. Hope everyone’s weekend was great! ~hm


Motherhood is wonderful, and amazing. It’ll take your breath away, and leave you wondering in awe at the greatness of the universe. But there are definitely some moments you think, okay, that’s just gross. For every time you sit and hold your baby for hours just to watch him sleep, there’s an equally exciting time which slaps you back into reality. Like (and this is just a random example which may or may not have happened to me) the time when you’re throwing the baby over your head to make her laugh and you realize there’s something in your mouth. You go to wipe it away, spit it out, look at it, and realize (slowly, and with great horror) that this is something the baby was just eating. That’s right, your baby just spit something into your mouth.

How about the “pooping-through?” I remember having my first and wondering what was the deal with those moms always talking about how their baby poops through her clothes? Don’t they just change the diaper more often? One day I was holding my older, bigger baby when I thought, geez, I must have spilled something on my shirt. And what is that smell? I need not continue: you already know.

This begs me to tell you of our best “pooping through” story. Carpenter and I were taking Helena–notoriously hard to manage, being under two (out of a highchair, won’t sit in still in a seat)–to a dinner at a restaurant. It was Steak and Shake, so we figured we’d be safe with a little screaming and yelling. I decided Helena and I would go into the bathroom to wash our hands before eating, and when I grabbed her and began across the restaurant to the bathroom, I glanced back at Carpenter. There he was, four booths back, eyes as wide as saucers, flashing me a peace sign. “Um, okay, see you soon,” I thought to myself, wanly smiled, and went into the bathroom. And that’s where I saw it.

When I went to place Helena on the floor to wash my hands, I looked down at my clothes and saw that I was covered in poop. All over the place. (Incidentally, Carpenter was not flashing me a peace sign, but was trying to discreetly signal me that I was covered in number two.) On my hip, where I had been holding her, and-oh no-the poop had already soaked through. Through my shirt onto my bra. But Helena…Helena was something to behold. She had diarrhea’d through her diaper, down her legs, through her jeans, into her socks and shoes. Aghast, I opened the bathroom door and said a single word to Carpenter, across the restaurant, still sitting in shock. “WIPES.”

Of course it all turned out fine. I began stripping her down, wiped her as best I could. One of those miracle times when I actually had remembered to pack extra clothes for her and had another shirt for me to change into. I believe we took the rest of the order to go and drove home immediately for, I imagine, a shower and a stiff drink. Yes, parenthood, you are filled with myriad delights.

It’s really something what being a parent does to you. This weekend we braved tent camping for the first time as a family. With a four-year-old and a sixteen-month-old. It was as you’d imagine. Except a little worse than that, actually. And with 40-degree nights that we didn’t prepare for. But by the second night we had it together, everyone bundled up to the max, Lilly crying herself to sleep BEFORE it got dark and sleeping the entire night. Next to us camped a couple, obviously in college and dating, and as I lay awake at night listening to the noises around us I wondered what they thought of us. The first thing I heard the girl say when she got out of their car to unpack the camping equipment was “thank GOD for antibacterial wipes!” and she proceeded to wipe down the wooden picnic table.

I did not pity or scoff at this young woman, in her tight black pants and tank top, obviously freezing like we were (only, we could say it; she still had an image to maintain). I just remembered, in holy awe, the times when I didn’t know the feeling of a wet diaper, the smell of spit-up on my shirt. Working a half day just to go to the bathroom and notice I’ve had banana mash wiped across my chest all day, mixed with snot, from the morning’s goodbye hug. And I thought of how much better my life is, for all the snot and germs, and diapers, and heartache.

It’s amazing how much you love them. It’s gross.

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