Some days I look around and think to myself, “Wow! I’m doing really well today. I think I’ve got this motherhood thing figured out!” Something usually happens within the hour of thinking that that proves otherwise.
Take today, for example. We woke up, and I cuddled my one-year old because we’ve learned that nothing happens until Baby has received adequate cuddle time in the morning. From cuddle time we moved seamlessly into breakfast time, and after breakfast we cleaned the kitchen because, next to cuddles, my child’s favorite thing is washing dishes (read: dumping water all over herself and the kitchen floor while semi-cleaning the non-glass dishes—but, hey! I needed to mop, anyway, so win-win.). Our morning progressed as we filled the minutes with reading and hide-n-seek and dolls and calling Great-grandma and learning how to bypass the baby gate and go up the stairs (I guess our armchair blockade has become an armchair ladder and now needs to be altered).
Things were going great and I was just about to pat myself on the back when all of my illusions of grandeur came crashing down around my ears. Or, as my Dad would say, I heard the loud SMACK! as I ran into the brick wall of reality. I was innocently cleaning up after morning snack when I heard coming toward me splat! Splat, splat, splat! The unmistakable sound of wet footprints on a hardwood floor. I would have reason to bless those hardwood floors’ beautiful lack of carpeting in about thirty seconds when, with dread inching her cold fingers around my heart, I heard the words that confirmed my worst fears, “Mommy! Diaper!” I looked down and could only marvel at how such a tiny, dainty little person could produce such a mess. I am not exaggerating when I say that rivers (and we’re talking the Mighty Mississippi here) of poo were running down her legs. I felt my jaw drop, and I could only stare for a moment before finally coming back to my senses, grabbing her, and putting her straight into the bath tub. After peeling off her all but useless diaper and liberally applying soap and warm water, she finally passed inspection. I even meticulously went over the floors. But, somehow, my house still smells like poop.
Maybe you can relate. Maybe your day has done nothing but go horribly wrong, but, you know what? I bet the wrong won’t be what your children remember. My daughter thought her bonus bath was the most fun thing she’s ever done. She laughed and splashed and thought it was hilarious when I poured baby soap directly onto her legs and stuck them straight under the faucet. She had no idea that, while she was reveling in what was undoubtedly the highlight of her morning, I was beating myself up for using the cloth diaper that I know is just a little bit too big for her. Of course it leaked like crazy; it doesn’t fit her properly! But the ones that do fit her were in the dryer, and the extra that we just ordered are due for delivery today, so my choices were a bit limited.
And, in all of this, I realized something. Some days smell like poop, and, on those days, you really just need to laugh and pour on a little extra baby soap because even these poopy days end all too soon. Little girls grow up and have problems that aren’t so easily fixed with an extra bath. Besides, as far as she’s concerned, it was all fun and games anyway.