Just over a year ago, when I was still a mom to just one and wasn’t yet pregnant with number two, my cousin got married on the west coast. And since I am a midwesterner, we discussed going. It was finally settled that I would travel with the little one and my parents. We flew, the baby was great, and probably the worst part was keeping her on her Ohio schedule in Washington (which means I was up at 4 everyday and didn’t go to sleep till 11).
On the day of the wedding, we made the trek to downtown Seattle. On the way there, I noticed THE face. The one that said I HAD to change a diaper before the wedding. I don’t really like public changing tables because I never feel like I can have room to work and for my stuff, so I always change the kids on my lap in the car (until they are too big then they lay on the seat and I stand).
So we’re in the parking lot of a very hip art gallery/wedding venue and I’m changing a baby on my lap. Already I’m chuckling to myself. I’m sure she’ll be the only baby there. (There were 3.)
As I open the diaper, I see one tiny little turd. Not what I was expecting from THE face, but nonetheless.
Then it happened. Suddenly, she started to pee. EV.ER.Y.WHERE.
Now, I’m not the brightest crayon in the box. No matter how often people tell me to have the new diaper ready to go, it never happens. But I also never get peed on. It may go on the changing pad but not me, so I guess I don’t worry too much.
So here I am in someone else’s car, and my daughter and I are covered in pee. As I’m starting to process this, SHE POOPS. On the outside of the diaper laying on my lap. The biggest poop of her solid-food-eating life. On her wedding clothes. On my wedding clothes. In the car.
I start frantically yelling for my mom. She opens the door, takes one look and starts to laugh. I say “Not a WORD!” and she helps me by doing something to clean up. I have no idea, these details get fuzzy. I can tell you that for the first time EVER I had packed a second outfit for my daughter (see, Carmen, I finally listened). I however had no options for myself. Not only was my ENTIRE skirt soaked in pee, but so was my underwear. I’m about to go to a super hip art gallery wedding in underwear that is wet from someone else.
Luckily there was a drug store next door, I got new skivvies (although not the right size because under pressure, I can’t buy underwear, but that’s a different story for a different day) and aired out my skirt and went to party hardie. No one noticed or cared that my daughter was in a onesie instead of a pretty dress. And to my knowledge, no one noticed that I was covered in pee. My parents, were, however, sworn to secrecy and this is the first time the story has been told publicly.
Fast forward to yesterday.
I’m sitting in the my chair, feeding the baby. He’s a fickle guy in the morning because everything’s getting moving again. I have him sitting up to burp and I hear a rumbly in his tumbly and I think “hear comes a man burp”.
Next thing I know comes the all-too-familiar little baby poop noise. And then warmth.
I look on my lap and somehow the POOP has managed to shoot sideways out of his diaper and onto me in a weird flood of breastfed baby #2.
Before the pool even has a chance to form, it begins to mudslide. Towards my chair. No not my chair. My DAD’s chair. Which is this crazy weird fabric that’s super hard to clean. And so I know I have to stop it.
I put my hand under the mudslide and catch it. With my hand. HAND.
I yell for my mom to help and we get kid and mommy cleaned up, clothes in the wash. He was a very happy boy.
Later in the day my sister asked me how I was doing. I said “My day started with poop in my hand. It could really only go up.”
Now, I share these two stories for a few reasons.
1. Who doesn’t need some poop-based comic relief in their day? I hope I have painted a vivid enough picture for you to truly enjoy the hilarity of both of these events.
2. I, like you, am right in the thick of it folks. Some days are excruciatingly hard. Like fall-in-bed-fully-clothed-and-sleep-like-the-dead hard. And some days are totally awesome and the baby rolls over for the first time and the toddler goes to Bible study child care without crying. And sometimes, this is all one day.
3. And last, but most importantly, is the point I would really like to make which is how do find joy and gratitude in the middle of all of this?
I would say that it’s attitude. Could I be angry? Yes, and I’m sure to a degree and for a while I was. And some days that degree and time are longer. But then I try to refocus and see what am learning? How will this impact me down the road?
For me, it always starts with little things.
I am thankful I packed a second t-shirt.
I am thankful there was another adult to help.
I am thankful for dry underwear.
I am thankful for normal bodily functions.
I am thankful for laughter.
Then it grows to bigger things.
I am thankful that my kid(s) is healthy.
I am thankful that this happened to make me laugh.
I am thankful I can see the humor.
And these things lead to joy.
Wow what a cool story to remind me of this trip.
Think of how much we laughed.
This of his face.
Think of how God has entrusted you with those little lives to watch grow and care for.
I know some days are hard, but also know God is walking with you. Joy is available even in the worst of situations.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 says 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
This may be one of the hardest commands when life isn’t going as you planned. But God has a plan. And this verse may help you to pray to find thankfulness then joy and see the situation in a new light.
Laura G. Jones says
What a fun read, Leah! I loved it. And what a stinking cute daughter you have! Oh my goodness, she’s so pretty.
The way I find joy in the midst of all the “poo” in my life is by reminding myself that I’m just where I need to be, and God always sends us tough experiences to teach us a lesson, even if that lesson is just to take ourselves less seriously. Thank you so much for sharing these funny stories!
Chris Stockman says
I definitely didn’t know you went through all that before the wedding! You looked great and so did Adie!! Fun memories!
My daughter and I were running a few errands. My granddaughter was just a week old… and she initiated her mommy (my daughter) but good. My daughter… a great mom after only a week… thought it best to feed & change the baby before we made the 45 minute drive back to her house. She had my granddaughter settled in the seat of the car with the changing pad under her back side. We’d heard those tummy rumbly sounds and thought for sure she’d loaded her diaper up. Upon opening the diaper, my daughter exclaims that there is nothing but pee. As she wipes the little baby hiney, I guess a tickle was all baby needed because a valcano of breastfed baby poop shot out… not trickled, not eased, not eeked… SHOT out at the speed of light! It creamed the door jam of the car, the door handle, the rubber seal for the window, AND the asphalt about 4 feet from the car. By the way, only a speck or two landed on the changing pad. Oh I forgot to mention, it also went down my daughter’s shirt and soaked her bra. (I can see you wrinkling your nose at this one because I am at the memory.) Well, true to my usual doings, I roared with laughter. I laughed until I cried. I apologized for laughing but couldn’t stop. After the initial shock wore off my daughter laughed until she cried, too. What made it worse is that is was time to feed. And the poor baby was very distracted by the smell that was literally in her face! Momma had brought change of clothes for baby but none for herself. After all, it never occurred to either one of us that a poop-filled missile would be the end of our shopping spree! Oh, and the ride home was pretty smelly, too… But it was a great day and one that I still think of fondly. Laughter truly is good for the soul.
JUST heard this quote…”Joy is the overflow of the unchangeable truth that you are loved by God…Joy is NOT letting out a psychotic laugh when all you really want to do is cry. Joy is NOT faking a smile. Joy is NOT being that one person that you wanna punch ’cause nothing in their life is ever wrong. Joy is NOT dependent on other people coming through for you or people giving you the recognition that you are due…Joy is the good stuff that bubbles over from knowing that NO MATTER what is wrong, your foundation is secure.”-Matt Popovits
Because THAT’S the only joy that’s constant through all the “poo” of life.
Your story is perfect, both of them are, and they are great reminders about the other poo we face in life and the choices in our responses, preparedness and attitudes! Leah you have a gift, thank you for sharing it!
It also reminded me of a story I want to share, in the name of open poo sharing! I always covered Mr. Man with a cloth when changing him. He loved to pee during changes. I think he held it waiting for his chance. You also knew by his face and grunts not to change too early. Or you’d get a handful. Unfortunately a family member who thought she was ‘all that’ ignored my warnings. And changed him without cover, towel or adequate under pad on her new bedspread. Yeah. As we cleaned up I laughed inside. And got her to laugh with me out loud. After all it was kinda funny…
Carmen Snyder says
Oh my, Leah, I know these things about packing. I was caught in a kind of similar situation at Christmas eve church with grand baby. I obviously was not the one who packed the diaper bag. Lol. But, sometimes, no matter how much we think we are prepared for things, life happens differently. It’s like,” thank you God, that you have this under control, cause I sure don’t , please help me get through this. ” Growing on the journey in faith, trust, and gratitude. And thank you God for laughter!
The afore mentioned Carmen(: