Everyone Likes Their Own Brand

– Posted in: Cleaning, Diaper Disaster, Grosser than Gross, Guilt, Poop, Worst Mom Moments

Meet Lindsay. She sent in this story that’s like the Energizer Bunny of World’s Worst Mom days — it just keeps going and going and going. . . You can read more about her crazy/funny life at her blog, Peekaberry. And then see how cool and professional she is at her video production company, Mulberry Street Productions.

Ever have one of those days where you feel like your mother’s license should be revoked?

You know the scene: your child hits his head on an end table while you’re making yourself a cup of coffee, you let your daughter cry for a full hour in her crib only to realize she’s been sitting in a dirty diaper the entire time, you can’t understand why your newborn is being so fussy until you remember it’s been five hours since his last feeding. . .

“How could this happen?” you ask yourself. “I am seriously the worst mother in the world.”

Sound familiar?

Well, folks, if we’re talking about the reigning Queen of Motherhood Missteps — I’m here to tell you: It’s Not You, It’s Me.

How can I be so sure? Keep reading. . .

My husband took two weeks of paternity leave from work when Erin was born. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. We did not leave each others’ side during those first two weeks. The dynamic tug of new baby bliss and abject fear kept us joined at the hip like two disheveled, sleep deprived fridge magnets. We had no idea what we were doing — but at least we had each other.

The night before Jon went back to work for the first time, real panic set in. Could I do this by myself? Every feeding? Every diaper change? Every bout of colic?  Could I handle it all without going absolutely insane? “This is no big deal,” I kept reassuring myself. Like the zookeeper who whistles a happy tune to keep from blowing his lunch whenever it’s his turn to feed the lions. “Mothers do this all the time. Some of them even without the aid of a calming, fridge magnet counterpart to talk them down off the ledge when things get tough. If they can do it, so can I.”

It’s my first morning flying solo. I awake refreshed, promising myself that no matter what happens I will keep my renewed sense of resolve in firm grasp. I pick my brand new daughter up from her Pack ‘n Play bassinet in our room and lay her on the attached changing table. “Look at us Erin,” I say chirpily. “We’re doing it! Just you and me!” I start singing as I remove her previous night’s diaper. Before I even have a chance to put a fresh one beneath her — it happens. A gastrointestinal explosion of astronomical proportions. Which wouldn’t have been the end of the world — had it not been for the sheer number of casualties resulting from the blast:

1. Erin’s pajamas: Deemed untreatable after two visits to the Oxyclean/Spin Cycle triage center. 
2. Three fresh diapers: D.O.A. 
3. Four independent sections of my white bedroom carpet: Still undergoing extensive rehab. . . 13 months later.
4. My clothes: Though, truth be told, I looked like crap anyway.
5. My What to Expect When You’re Expecting book, located on a night table across the room: The unintended victim. An excerpt from my eulogy: “Thanks, What to Expect, for taunting me with your illustrious pregnancy index whenever I had a question. . . but for never being able to reassure me with a definitive answer about anything. Ever. Including, but not limited to, whether or not I was ever actually pregnant in the first place.”

The whole “explosion experience” leaves me more than a little shell shocked. . . but I know I need to take action. I strip my baby down to nothing. She’s now completely nude and squealing on the changing table. It’s only then I realize the last of my clean diapers has just met its untimely demise. Ok. No big deal. Don’t panic. I make a mad dash for the nursery, grab three diapers and sprint back. I’ve been gone less than 10 seconds. I return to find my naked child, cradled within the confines of the GRACO Pack ‘n Play changer, now floating in a sea of her own urine.

How did I not see this one coming?

My brain is running on overdrive: I need to get her to the tub. But I can’t just pick her up — she’ll be dripping all over my carpet the entire way. I decide to snag a roll of paper towels from the bathroom and sop her up first. I’m just about to make my move when my baby does the unthinkable.

Undoubtedly confused by the liquid sloshing around her face, she turns her head to the right, sticks out her tongue and. . .

begins to lap up her own urine.


I’m pretty much convinced that whenever I do meet my maker, I’ll have to account for why, exactly, I let my kid drink pee.

I scream out in horror and scoop up my child, causing her to scream out in terror. We’re both screaming, she’s dripping, my t-shirt is rapidly absorbing her urine, my tears and at least five year’s worth of motherhood guilt.

I’d like to say the carpets made it through that first day unscathed. But that would be a lie. I’d also like to think that other mothers have these moments, too — though I doubt many of them sit around the dinner table telling their girlfriends about “that time they let little Johnny consume his own bodily fluids.”

I guess I’m okay being the only one.

Though I wish some other mom out there would have given me a friendly little heads up that “mothering with resolve” really doesn’t mean a thing, unless you’re talking about the carpet cleaner.

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18 Comments… add one

andrea August 3, 2011, 5:34 pm

Nothing like hitting the ground (and carpet) running! I remember my son's first gastro-blowout. We were at a friend's house as the mess made its way up his back…I was truly paralyzed as to how to proceed! How would I get the clothes off his too week old body without causing him to ingest poop? Could I even put him in her tub? Was I going to have to strip down and shower with him? Did any books let me know if I was allowed to do that?! Loved your story! Brings back memories…and it has been long enough that they are fond ones now!

diane August 3, 2011, 5:38 pm

well … my mother always says, "you'll eat a peck of dirt in your life time" … and I'm sure that includes more than just "dirt".
I was on a first name basis with the poison control center when my youngest was a toddler … the kid could get to, and would ingest, ANYTHING … from laxatives high up in the bathroom medicine chest, to icy hot buried deep within the confines of my daughter's soccer bag. we all have those moments where we think, "okay, we can never talk about this"

Sarah August 3, 2011, 6:46 pm

This. Is. Awesome! Thank you for sharing this.

My oldest is eighteen months and, well, you can read about him on my blog ” target=”_blank”>http://www.justoutsidetheloop.blogspot.com but suffice it to say, the lady at our regional poison control knows us both by name! He is continually ingesting stuff I'm embarrassed to tell the pediatrician about. We at least narrowed down last week's episode of 10-15 diarrhea diapers a day to him a) sticking a frog in his mouth (alive…ugh) or b) climbing into a contractor's truck and drinking out of his coffee cup full of *shudder* chewing tobacco spit. His dad is out of town and I seriously considered not even telling him. What kind of mother would let things like that happen to her child on an unfortunately regular basis? Well, me for one and I love this site because it lets me know…I'm not alone!! You are in good company!

Kimberly August 3, 2011, 7:03 pm

Laughing so hard right now. When my son (now closing in on 17 months old) was a newborn, he "sprayed" during a diaper change. Straight up, like a fountain. And some of the stream rained back on his face, which he also proceeded to lap up. So glad I'm not the only one. You've helped to lessen some of my guilt.
My recent post Lazy Days

Erika August 4, 2011, 12:57 am

Ohhhh…I've been there too. Mine consisted of a liquid poop explosion that shat out all over my arm (and the floor), projectile vomit straight up in the air (a very short phase–luckily!–that he was going through at the time) and peeing straight up in the air and landing and pooling in his eyes. I didn't know WHAT end to attend to first. I did actually stop and realize that THIS was "one of those moments" I would always laugh about…and I do.

Hang in there! She'll never know and she won't be scarred for life, I promise. 🙂

Kelly O'Sullivan August 4, 2011, 1:25 am

My favorite blow out moment was with my second son who after a diaper changing, while laying on the changing table all fresh and powdered (this is important), let out a large bit of gas that became a visible puff cloud of baby powder….and then the poop came and splattered on the wall. We went from cooing at how cute the gas cloud was to shrieking in horror as our child shot poop across the room. Who knew he had that kind of power.

Monica August 4, 2011, 1:44 am

We all have horrible, I am the worst mother in the world events and some how our kids manage to survive and thrive. Mine are 14 & 16 and I have had soooo many.

One time my son was in the Exersaucer and his poo went out the side of his diaper and into the botton of the saucer where he tap danced in it. Another time when he was about 6 months old, we were in Chicago for the day. I had fed him a bottle because I didn;t have time to nurse and he projectile-fountained the entire 4 oz in the middle of the dinning room at the Drake Hotel. Thank goodness they had a busy patterned carpet. I dropped a napkin over it and kept walking.

Melissa August 4, 2011, 1:55 am

I'm sorry to be laughing but this post is all kinds of awesome. I remember that sheer panic my first hubby-free day too. Isn't it the *worst*? I ws smart though. I married a carpet cleaner. Who was known to be one of the best at getting stains. Which was just as well. Both of my boys left a few of them in their poosplosions.

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 10:47 pm

Thank you to all the new friends who offered their encouragement here, and who stopped by my blog. You are all fabulous! 🙂 In my short time as a mother the only thing I can say I have learned definitively is that sometimes… you just have to laugh to keep from crying. I'm sure you can all relate. Needless to say, we do a lot of laughing at our house. 🙂

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 10:50 pm

Doctors? Lawyers? TOTALLY OVERRATED. A guy who can clean my carpets is a man after my own heart. The best at getting stains, you say? I might have to get that man of yours on speed dial! 🙂
My recent post Don't poke the hair

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 10:51 pm

Haha… you kept walking? Seriously, Monica. You are MY kinda gal. 🙂
My recent post Don't poke the hair

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 10:54 pm

Hilarious! I just keep picturing the A-bomb over Hiroshima. Complete with mushroom cloud. 😉
My recent post Don't poke the hair

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 11:00 pm

Pee in the eyes, eh? Haha. That's a pretty amazing badge of honor he's carrying around there. THANK GOD there is another woman out there with a pee story. I feel like we've been in the trenches together or something! 🙂
My recent post Life Lessons: Time Machine Edition

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 11:11 pm

Lessen the guilt, you say? That's what I'm here for. 🙂 In fact, I think my tagline should be: Making you feel better about yourself as a mother… one pee story at a time.
My recent post Life Lessons: Time Machine Edition

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 11:12 pm

Haha. I love how you say "sticking a frog in his mouth (alive…ugh)" — as if it would have ben any better if the frog were dead! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog… I will certainly be checking yours out, too!
My recent post Life Lessons: Time Machine Edition

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 11:16 pm

I'm hoping the phrase "peck of dirt" also implies that my child can also eat lint, hair, paper towels, 6 month old cheerios found under the couch, cardboard from the recycling bin and used clorox wipes hanging, ever so slightly, out of the trashcan." Otherwise I'm pretty much screwed. And also, we can never talk about this… 🙂
My recent post Life Lessons: Time Machine Edition

Lindsay August 4, 2011, 11:18 pm

I can totally relate!! The first time I took my daughter out of the house she had a gastro blowout that somehow ended up all over the front of MY shirt. Huh? I have no idea how she achieved the proper bowel trajectory, even to this day– but I will say I learned to always ALWAYS pack an extra set of clothes for myself, too! Thanks for tripping down memory lane with me! 🙂
My recent post Life Lessons: Time Machine Edition

dianne August 21, 2011, 7:28 am

When my daughter was about 6 months old, we were having a Easter dinner at the in laws where we were living. She had spiked a fever and we had been monitoring it by taking a rectal temp every few hours. Her fever had finally gone down and stayed down for a few hours. Right in the middle of dinner she starts screaming bloody murder. My MIL hands her to me saying she feels awfully warm again. I take her diaper off and insert the thermometer. Turns out she also had an explosion of epic porportions. All over me (including my face), the chair, the wall, the floor, the fire place and whatever else was close. All while people are trying to eat.

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