Stories & Such

From a mother of three to you.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just Not Dirty Enough

The other day I was the first mom on the scene of a two year old with smashed fingers. I scooped her up without a thought and let her press her crying, drooling face into my shoulder. When I handed her back to her mother I glanced at the quickly cooling blotch on my shirt and thought to myself, at least it will dry clear. Back home a couple of hours later I finished nursing my three month old, then set him on my lap and gently patted his back until a big hearty burp erupted from his cherubic little mouth. I turned him towards me and he smiled his great big sweet grin; then he projectile spit-up all over my chest and lap. I grabbed a cloth and wiped us both clean. Not too bad, I thought. If I changed my shirt every time I was spit up on I'd be doing laundry all day every day or walking around my house shirtless (my husband suggested that might not be a bad idea).

I settled my contented infant into the swing-of-happiness, and moved on to my 2 ½ year old. His new favorite phrase was “I don't want to change my diaper”. I always considered myself fortunate that as a baby he had never cried over a wet diaper; whenever I got to it was fine with him. I never imagined it would continue on into toddler-hood. His diaper could be around his ankles and smelling like an outhouse and he would still insist that it wasn't full. Scooping him up I explained that we had to get him changed before his nap so his diaper wouldn't leak pee-pee onto his favorite blanket. The cool moist spot that appeared on my abdomen after laying him on the changing table revealed that I had once again allowed the diaper to go over the 27 lbs the box proclaims it can hold. I changed him, read to him, and tucked him in.

By this point I truly had meant to change my shirt. I mean, drool and spit-up are one thing, but urine? I walked out of his room only to see the heaping pile of laundry on my bedroom floor, and upon getting one tenth of that into the washer it occurred to me I hadn't gotten the mail in a couple of days. Getting the mail led to paying some bills, followed by a late afternoon snack in front of Oprah with my newest edition of Parents magazine. Around 5:30 my husband called to say he was on his way home. At this point I looked down, as I often did, to see if there were any obvious marks of my day on my wardrobe. I was a stay-at-home mom, but I tried not to look like one. It was then that I noticed I had forgotten to change my shirt. I looked at it closely. It was dry. There were no tell-tale circles from dried body fluids. I was pretty sure I didn't smell any worse than normal. I could go get another shirt, but heck, the day was almost over at this point and it was very likely some portion of dinner or another round of spit-up was in my immediate future. That's when I made the decision that the shirt just wasn't dirty enough to change.


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