I have engaged in many avenues of employment in my life, from cashier, to housekeeper to telephone operator…The list could simply go on and on. Yet, not until the moment I found out there was an embryo implanted in my uterus did I know the meaning of laborious work.
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 body down.
I would love to start the story with “It was a wonderful October 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 side. What the hell happened here, was my first reaction in my sleep deprived state.
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.
I glance at the clock, making my best effort not to grace the cold wet spot with my bare thigh, unsuccessful. 5:30 A.M. Alright let’s do this. I will not let this ruin my day, I say to myself in an 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. After all my husband, Jamie will be awake soon and god knows those sheets are going to need to get off the bed soon.
The panic of whether I had remembered to put the mattress protector on last time I changed the sheets crept in, but I managed to ward it off with the thought of a nice warm shower and maybe even some make-up today to conceal the treacherous bags that were beginning to encompass the entirety of my cheekbones.
The shower did feel nice, I daydreamed of a time when I wouldn’t have to daydream in the shower.
“Mamaaaa, I awake, you get me cereal please.” And it begins.
“Yes baby, let me just get out of the shower and I will get you some cereal.” Of course this would not be the end of the conversation.
“Mama, I hungry now!”
As I jump out of the shower throw my robe on and exit out of our on-suite bathroom, I see my husband-still sound asleep. In the dry part of the bed no less. I feel as if I could take that beside lamp and just…
“MAMA I HUNGRY!” OK, OK no daydreaming out of the shower, I know the drill.
Both kids awake, husband awake. Sheets in the wash. Things are going smooth. Jamie does the usual dad thing and plays with the babies before he leaves for work. Regardless of how frustrated I get, he is a wonderful father. This gives me the opportunity to make myself look like a human being by caking on the foundation and mascara until I literally look like a different woman.
For this small reward I am thankful.
Jamie gives us all hugs and kisses and wishes us a good day, the kids are occupied at the moment, so I decide to take the opening to make a call to my best friend for our long-established daily coffee chat.
5 minutes I had been on the phone, when I felt 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. I tell my friend I need to let her go. I don’t know how long this will take.
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 yelling my daughter’s name ‘Sophie’ while the Thomas The Train theme song plays joyfully in the background.
He motions toward the computer chair, and 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 resembles some sort of sludge monster.
“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? The computer chair will need a complete overhaul after I get her cleaned up I think for a brief moment.
That’s when I saw 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 door rang. A little girl selling Chocolates. YES! I could use some chocolate right now. I ran 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, shit covered shirt. A streak that felt as though it could have filled the depths of hell. It was that streak of shit 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 shit 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 couldn’t care less about the damn chocolate covered almonds any more, I literally was wearing a shirt full of poop.
I will always remember that little girl and how kind she was not to mention the rank smell of toddler feces that surely was wafting directly into her line of smell from my 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. However the beauty of the situation was lost on me as I dwelled in a puddle of my own 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, touched my face while I looked up at her, she then backed up a step and started laughing hysterically at me. Just Laughing and pointing, my 2 year old baby, this of course invoked my son to come over and yes, he too began to find humor in my misery.
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 gagging smell of poop that was securely fastened to me, I grabbed the two most important little people in my life and we all laughed together…For about 30 Seconds then I couldn’t take the smell any more.