You’d think I’d learn it by now: when going anywhere with the little man – anywhere, I repeat – one should always bring the diaper bag with her.
I know, it’s a no-brainer, but somehow I still think that I can get away with just throwing a diaper and a couple of wipes into my purse and calling it good to go. Without an extra change of clothes. Sans additional 20 back-up wipes but for the random chance that he has a blowout. I mean, I’m only parked a block and a half away at the Thai restaurant, and that for city living is just a hop, skip and a jump away!
[I know, I know, already this post has too much poop in it, but poop becomes like this whole new reality when you have a child. It’s a uniting force, I tell you. Dinner conversations and new friendships alike, an infant’s bowel movements really do bring people together.]
So when Cancan and I joined our new friend, V, for lunch today, and she gave me that are you sure you don’t want to bring the diaper bag? look, I shrugged back: no big deal. I’m already carrying my loaded purse, the kid, his food and the Bob. I got this.
We made it through crab pad thai and green curry and pineapple fried rice without a hitch; Canon even happily and somewhat quietly devoured his peas, mint and banana mixture and downed a bottle of milk for good measure.
Other patrons in the restaurant were smiling in our general direction, and I was giving myself an I’m awesome pat on the back for all my self-perceived mama-success that day.
And then I heard the gurgle.
And I felt the squish.
And I smelled the stank. Oh, baby’s got the stank.
My face flushed, and I pushed my Roy Rogers to the side. We wedged ourselves out of the little corner booth, and I made my way to a bathroom the size of a hall closet with a diaper and five wipes to boot.
Two minutes later, the five wipes were used up, and my feet spanned the width of the bathroom floor, arms outstretched, one holding onto a naked, writhing, and – lest we forget – screaming baby lying on top of the now poop-covered toilet paper cabinet, with the other reaching for the paper towel dispenser and the water faucet in one fell swoop.
It was not pretty.
Eventually we emerged from the bathroom, my armpits sweaty and face flushed, while Cancan, clad in just his diaper, grinned like a Cheshire cat, victory at hand:
I suppose the truth is this: I so don’t have it all together, even though I’m sometimes really, really good at putting on the face. Whether that’s in mama-hood or in writing, in school, in the workplace or even in friendship, I exude confidence, and more than is certainly necessary at times. I forget to ask for help and I try and do things on my own, and I purposefully don’t bring diaper bags, because I think my own awesomeness is above that.
And in that way, as this journey of parenthood is teaching me, I’m grateful once again for those who come alongside me in the messiness and offer me grace. They love me even when my kid is stinky and my floors aren’t swept; they anticipate my needs and they encourage me, and once again, as has been said before, they say I’ve been there. I get it. I understand.
And this grace begats grace begats grace.
So friends, thank you. Thank you indeed.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another. -1 John 4:9-11.0