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.”
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.