The minute Justin walked in through the door, I saw the face. At 11 weeks old, I can read Maisy like a book. I know when she’s tired, when she’s hungry, and when she just–how do you say–dookied a shooter in her drawers.
I heard it before I smelled it and thought it was the usual full diaper. I picked the baby up out of the car seat and walked to the bathroom. And then all hell broke lose.
Both stalls were full with another mother and child in front of me. The little girl hustled into the stall with the baby changer before her mother could say “Let the baby go first” but I waved it off. I figured the diaper would hold.
Mother lesson #1: NEVER assume the diaper will hold.
A young woman walked out of the other stall and pointed right at me and said “It’s leaking”. I instinctively looked over my shoulder to the sink before turning back to Maisy in my arms.
My beautiful baby girl, looked up at me with the start of a tantrum playing on her face. She was covered from her chest to her toes in her own poop.
To make matters worse? It wasn’t a one shot and done number two. It was leaking out of everywhere. Through her onesie, through her pants, over her pants, under her pants, through the button holes of her onesie. It was as if my daughter was some sort of alien being who shot excrement out of every pore of her body.
I held her awkwardly across my arms to not only keep the poop off me but also off the floor. It was flowing that copiously.
When I finally got her down to be changed, she was instantly freezing and angry and uncomfortable and that lead to her screaming bloody murder in the little bathroom. I’m sure the droves of women who came into the bathroom when I was changing her thought I was killing her.
I was almost temped to chuck her poop-soaked outfit in the trash with the enormous diaper that was so full it wouldn’t close.
But the worst part of it all was walking through the Chick-fil-a to my table, carrying Maisy in my own sweatshirt because I forgot to pack her a clean onesie. And only when I got back to my seat did I realize my nursing tank was tucked up into my postpartum support.
Two simultaneous blows: one to my presumably excellent mothering skills, and one to my body image. My confidence had been shot to pieces.
It was one of those days where I got too confident. I dressed myself up a bit, spent a day outside the house and without my coveted yoga pants, pushing my smiling baby through the aisles of Target.
I opted to stretch the budget for the day and purchase that cute outfit for my perfect little one, reached for the laundry detergent that wasn’t on sale, and while sipping that splurged-on latte from Starbucks I though to myself:
Look at me. Look at my life. Look at this beautiful child. Who ever said this was hard? Who said Supermom is a fantasy? I’m clearly rocking it.
And then, before I can blink, life slaps me upside the head and I’m carrying my naked child through a Chick-fil-A.
After my embarrassment, I must have walked through getting ready to leave the house a thousand times. I repeated I should have grabbed a onesie over and over and over.
When I got life-slapped today, I thought about all those Hollywood Supermoms who not only drop five sizes in three weeks but also easily balance work with a social life with all the motherly duties. And how for a few hours with my happy baby strolling through the Target I felt like one of them.
I felt like Supermom! Invincible! Certain my child would never misbehave; certain that I would lose this baby weight in days; certain that I had seen the last of my hard days with a new baby; that I was now an experienced mother.
Supermom would never forget a onesie. Supermom would have anticipated a blow out. Supermom would have kept her cool.
I was sitting with my family at dinner, looking at my baby smiling at her hands, squealing with delight, and my mind was hours away focused in something I could not change.
I saw a saying on Facebook the other day that said “Behind every great kid is a mom who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up”. Forgetting the onesie and parading my child naked through a Chick-fil-a in my mind was a big screw up.
But it dawned in me that as mortified as I was moments before, my child could care less. She was tucked warmly in her car seat. She had a full belly. She had a dry diaper and clothes to ruin with blow outs.
Maisy is a good baby, and a lucky baby.
On days with heavy blowouts, remember that even the brightest days have a few clouds in them. Remember that even Superman (and Supermom) ran into kryptonite occasionally. And when you’re busy examining those thighs full of that baby fat you can’t seem to shake, remember that even Beyonce is missing a gap between her thighs (and that she deals with blow-outs too).
I am no Supermom. I forget clean onesies, I sleep through those early morning feedings, I am pretty sure I’m screwing everything up.
I am no Supermom, but Maisy doesn’t seem to mind.