There comes a point in life when one must stop, sit back, and glance at the situation you have been given. Then chose the wisest road to drag your tired and sleep deprived body down. Over my 6 years of parenting I’ve had many of these moments- but this particular one seems to stick out in my mind the clearest.
I would love to start the story with, "It was a wonderful November morning, the air was crisp and I was feeling buoyant…"
Instead; it was a bitter, god awful morning. I woke up to a massive sodden spot smelling of urine on one side of me and my husband sleeping soundly on the other. What happened here? I thought groggily. But that's when I noticed the Scooby Doo blanket resting ever so gently across my left foot. My 4 year old son must have woke up at some point in the night to simply make his way into my bed, lay 2 inches away from me, pee, and then wander back to his superbly dry urine free sanctuary. Wonderful. I glance at the clock, making my best effort not to grace the cold wet spot with my bare thigh. Unsuccessful.
5:30 am- Alright let's do this.
“I will not let this ruin my day.” I recite to myself in a desperately optimistic voice.
After 3 cups of smoldering coffee, I am beginning to feel a bit more like myself so I decide to shower and get ready for the day. The warm water dribbling down on me managed to ward off the stress that was consuming me this early morn.
I was beginning to feel good- great even. I daydreamt of a time when I wouldn't have to do all my daydreaming in the shower.
30 minutes later both kids are awake and husband’s awake too. Sheets are in the wash. Things are going smooth. I take the opportunity to make myself look like a human being by caking on foundation and mascara until I literally look like a different woman.
As it always seems to happen, just as Jamie exits the door for work I detect a familiar tingling in my nostrils. When I say tingling I mean burning sensation that would offend anyone who is not well versed in the parental condition. I knew it must be bad, it never stinks this much when it is confined in the diaper.
At first I see nothing, then my son rushes me, yelling in a tongue that I can't quite make out. He's pointing and screaming and all I can recognize is him shrieking my daughter's name 'Sophie' while the Thomas the Train theme song plays joyfully in the background.
He motions towards the computer chair. I spot a pudgy little leg sticking out. Except it does not wear the pink leggings I had dressed it in this morning, but instead a thick brown that somewhat resembles a sludge like substance.
"NO, NO, NO." It is all I can bring myself to say as I frantically begin to search for the diaper in question. Where could it be? I finally spot it violently shoved under the desk, hidden away from disciplinary eyes. Its contents destroying the one piece of clean carpet I could still speak of.
Keep it together Lindsay, keep it together.
I pick up Sophie clean her off, calmly make my way to the cupboard with the cleaning supplies, pick out the tools for the job and make my way back to the computer desk.
I clean up that poop with grace and dignity, because that's what mothers do, we do what we have to do…Because that's what our mothers did, and when we became mothers, that's what they taught us.
I was doing okay, until the doorbell rang. A little girl selling Chocolates. YES! I could definitely use some chocolate right now.
I run to my change jar to retrieve the needed 3 dollars when I glance down at my brand new- albeit from Walmart but new none the less- sh*t covered shirt. A streak that felt as though it could have filled the depths of hell, it was that streak of poo on my new Walmart shirt that started the breakdown. The tears were welling up in my eyes, and that poor little girl selling her chocolate- she saw the poo streak, she knew it was there. I knew it was there, and she knew I knew it was there.
We still exchanged our trade though, because at this point what else could I do? I could care less about the chocolate covered almonds. I literally am wearing a shirt full of poop right now. I will always remember that little girl and how kind she was, not to mention the rank smell of toddler feces that was now emanating from me and my now not so new Walmart shirt.
It was when the door closed that the tears began to flow. Streams of Lash Blast mascara flooded my face. The foundation I had caked on earlier streaked in a manner that held a Van Gogh-ish appeal, but the beauty of the situation was lost on me as I dwelled in a puddle of self-pity… And poo. In the back of my mind I began to wonder how I would ever pick myself up from this guilt ridden moment of self-involvement. My daughter, Sophie, came to me. She saw me with my face in my hands sobbing out tears of frustration and anguish. She raised her pudgy little hand and touched my face. For a split second my heart skipped a beat and I reveled in the touching moment we were sharing. But then backed up a step and started laughing hysterically at me. Just laughing and pointing.
And this my friends is life, I very well could have lost it, thought it was unfair to be put in such a situation. Instead I felt the laughter rise up within me and in-between sobs and the inevitable gagging I grabbed the two most important little humans in my life and we all laughed together…For about 30 Seconds then I couldn't take the smell anymore.
Lindsay Brown is a mother, wife and freelance writer. Her two kids and husband combined with all of their misadventures in family life give her more than enough material to keep her writings fresh and funny. You can find more of Lindsay's work on her blog- The Blogging Mama as well as her Tuesday's column 'Me Plus Three' in the Red Deer Advocate.