I never leave my house without at least two changes of clothes for my infant, as well as backup pacifiers, bibs, burp cloths, and enough diapers and wipes to open my own childcare center. I am that overly organized mom who thought she'd never be caught in an "OMG, what am I going to do now?" moment. Then I learned I should always pack a change of clothes for myself in the diaper bag. The hard way.
Our family – my husband and I, three older kids, and the new baby – were finally all going out to dinner. It was the first time since the birth of my son that I actually put on a dress that hadn't come from the maternity section. I was proud to be out of my yoga pants and T-shirt. I’d even taken a few minutes to apply eyeliner. I mean, this was a big night.
When we got to the restaurant, I decided to breastfeed in the car before going inside. Everything was going great until I heard a distinct sound, one that every mother recognizes. Swoosh. The audible poop. A big one. I finished the feeding, figuring the diaper change could wait a few seconds. Oh, how wrong I was!
When I lifted my son off my lap, I realized there was poop everywhere: all over him, his clothes, and, you guessed it, on me and my clothes as well. It was like a scene in a horror movie. This was not an "Oh, just blot it off and you'll be good to go" situation. It was more of a "You can't wear that dress now – in fact, you might want to just throw it away and hit the shower" kind of thing.
It was easy to clean up my baby as usual with wipes and change him into a fresh outfit. He was ready to walk the baby runway in no time. As for me, I turned to my husband and whined, "I can't go into the restaurant like this!"
Sniff. I hadn't been out of the house much since my son was born. I had so been looking forward to a night out, eating a meal not in front of the TV, and without a baby swinging off my nipple.
We were so close. We'd made it out the door with four kids. No one was sick. Everyone had dressed up in clean clothes and I think two out of my three daughters had even brushed their teeth. Now we were hungry, and the restaurant was just feet away. But there I was, suddenly pretty much naked. The poop had seeped all the way through to my underwear by the time I stripped off my dress, so those had to go, too, and I was cowering out of sight in the car. I scanned the parking lot for someplace, anyplace that might sell clothes. What did I see? CVS.
Off my husband went to buy what I assumed would be at best a beach towel or a marked-down Halloween costume for me to put on. At that point, I didn't care. Anything would beat hiding between the seats in a nursing bra, praying no one we knew recognized the car and came over to say hello.
After what felt like forever, he trotted back to the car clutching a small plastic shopping bag – my rescue kit. With a mixture of trepidation and amusement, I peeked inside and pulled out a pair of tights and an oversized shirt. This was going to be an interesting look (especially since I had to put my flip-flops back on over the tights, but oh well)! I put them on, and by all definitions of law, I was now sufficiently covered enough to go into a public place. So, triumphantly, inside we went.
Trust me, I never wore that outfit again, but I learned a lesson to last a lifetime: If you're a mom, a time will come (probably more than once) when you wish you had thought to pack a change of clothes for yourself. At any moment, like a surprise rain shower, your child may poop on you; pee on you; spill milk, juice, yogurt, or pizza on you; or eat pizza and then barf on you. You've been warned.
Here's hoping my story will serve as a cautionary tale for all parents out there: Don't wait until you find yourself trapped in your car bathed in excrement to think about popping an extra pair of pants and a shirt in your trunk or diaper bag. Act now and save yourselves.
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