Oh, the things they don't tell you about motherhood. Like babies don't care about plans, or childhood development books, or your career. A toddler wouldn't think twice before giving your West Elm sofa a Sharpie makeover. I mean, these things are self-evident, or they should be, but our kids have beaten us into such exhaustion that we don't always remember.
I know that with kids, all bets are off, yet I still forget this from time to time. Fortunately, I have Tiny Boss to keep me in check, which he does by doing things like pooping in the hotel bathtub and leaving me to scoop the turds out with a Nordstrom bistro sippy cup.
It was my fault though. You see, I had begun to get complacent. Our vacation – just me and Tiny Boss – started off without a hitch, with Tiny Boss charming everyone around him on the plane ride from LA to Oakland. Emboldened by our success, and me successfully managing a car seat, stroller and luggage all by myself, I was ready to take on the world.
Hell yes I was proud. I'm sure that was my first mistake.
My second mistake was waiting forever at the carousel for the carseat. We've traveled with carseats before, even to the same airport, but I don't ever remember picking it up from the “oversized luggage” pile. Suitcases came and went on the rotating conveyor belt, and eventually there were none.
I marched over to a JetBlue employee, my pregnancy making me self-righteous, and demanded they find me Tiny Boss's Graco Snugride. Oh, it's just over there? Okay.
The third mistake came after I took the shuttle to the rental car station and started getting on the 880. As I started onto freeway ramp, I heard a thud from the backseat, and crying. Actually, more like angry, hysterical shrieking.
I had completely forgotten to secure the car seat itself onto the backseat. As a result, the car seat, with Tiny Boss securely strapped in, had slid across the back seat and tipped onto one side, with poor Tiny Boss sideways and immobilized.
Somehow I manage to pull over onto the shoulder and leap into the back and sit him upright. He was fine, but I was not. I don't even know how a 20-week pregnant woman leaps from the front seat of a Ford Fusion to the back in half a second, but it happened and I wished I had a dash cam recording myself. I imagine the video would kind of be like those “When Animals Attack” footage, like when bears chase people – they're huge but surprisingly fast and agile.
Anyways, I was shaken and felt like the worst mom ever. I didn't tell Tiny Boss's dad at first, thinking for sure he would agree that I was horrible for putting our son's life in danger and make me feel worse. But he was understanding, and the rest of the trip was uneventful. There was very minimal crying in the car, a lot of naps in the stroller, and I was feeling like a badass mom again, traveling by myself with Tiny Boss, getting some work done at night, just handling it, till the poop thing happened.
It wasn't nice poop – I seriously wouldn't have minded that scenario as much. By nice poop, I mean something solid or log-like. Even softserve-style all in one piece would have been doable. But it was loose, mushy, greenish black poop that babies get from eating too many blueberries. I had turned away for what seemed like a second and when I turned back, Tiny Boss was waist deep in water, floaters and sinkers and WHAT IN GOD'S SWEET NAME IS THAT – WHOLE UNDIGESTED RAISINS!??
Well, it could've been worse. At least we didn't eat corn that night. I took Tiny Boss out, tried not to drip poop water on myself, and washed him in the sink. Then I took a picture for good measure, drained the tub, scooped out the poop with a paper cup and rinsed the tub with the shower. Washed Tiny Boss in the sink. Yes, it could've been worse.
And tonight, it was worse. The tub at our new hotel is old and uses a rubber stopper to plug the drain. I had to stick my arm in cold poopy water to unplug the tub. This damn eco-friendly hotel doesn't have any paper cups, so I sacrificed a plastic sippy straw cup. Agonized whether the cup, once its fate was fulfilled, should go in recycling or trash. I threw it in the trash and hoped that housekeeping wouldn't fish it out for recycling.
By the way, there's definitely a technique to tub-poop-scooping, and I am happy to teach anyone who is interested.
I had to wait till Tiny Boss was asleep before I could clean the tub. Meaning it was 1am by the time the tub was clean and I had washed my arm and hands in hot soapy water for 20 seconds followed by a liberal amount of Purell.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen.
By the way, if you haven't already, check out my guest post at Evidence Based Tits and Teeth, a pretty cool blog from “across the pond” in the UK. The post is part of the Happy Medium Monday series, which contains submissions from different writers about their experiences on both breastfeeding and bottlefeeding.