For all of the hours I have spent reading What to Expect, Parents Magazine, and American Baby, I feel I've been both unprepared and ill informed on many of the realities of parenthood. I notice that each of these publications features articles on raising sensitive children, how to fit exercise into your busy day, and the power of birth order. Blah. While I find these articles as entertaining as the next Mom, where's the real stuff? I mean the real nitty gritty. Nowhere to be found. I suppose this is where the motherly instinct is supposed to kick in. I'm considering writing a strongly worded letter to these magazines and books. It may include the following conundrums.
The diaper bag is packed, you've spent twenty minutes getting your baby bundled up to forge the Michigan winter, keys in hand, one foot out the door - and baby turns red in the face and the unmistakable "poop grunts" commence. Foot back in door, drop keys on floor, undress baby, start again.
What do you do when your child decides to actually poop their diaper off while your away from home? Well, ideally you have several alternative outfits and diapers. This is usually no biggie. It becomes a bigger deal when their car seat and stroller are involved. Should I carry doubles? Wipes make a bigger mess. If you have my luck, you notice you're on your very last wipe exactly at this moment. Oh, maybe I'll just walk around the store smelling like dirty diaper - that should make a few friends.
What about when you're out and about and during a routine burp session, baby decides to spew not on your shoulder, but all down your back? Some would say a burp cloth is the answer. In some cases this is true. In Grace's case, she prefers to vomit just left of where the burp cloth is located and then gently rest her head upon the fresh cotton. What to do? Again, I guess I'll hustle through the U-Scan, praying that the person behind me doesn't notice (or smell) the Florida shaped milk spill on my back.
I realize now that while books and magazines are very entertaining and offer an abundance of interesting information and advice - it is impossible to truly prepare yourself for parenthood. But just in case I'm ever looking for a hip new stroller exercise regiment or a creative way to puree okra and water chestnuts to please baby's palette. - I'll know exactly where to look.
It was when Ryan greeted me one day with "I think you smell like puke..." that I realized the days of Burberry perfume and wool sweaters were a distant memory now. It was only when I replied "Duh" that I realized I am truly a mother - urp covered flannel and all.