When I was a kid, my grandma had a certain saying that conveyed exactly how close to trouble we (my cousins and I) were getting. If any of us were being a little too irksome she’d sigh and say, “I should sell you to the gypsies! [Wait a beat.] But they’d charge me booty!”
Now, I realize that this quaint little phrase from my dear little farm-bred, Polish grandmother lacks political correctness. And I apologize for that. But now that I am a mother, I understand the exasperation.
Let me illustrate:
The other day when I walked into my daughter’s nursery after she woke up from her afternoon nap, I happened upon a baby semi-covered in shit. And I mean that literally. Her diaper had leaked and she had baby poop all up her stomach, down her legs and in her hands. Don’t get me wrong, she was having a great time and full of smiles — oblivious to the stench and filth.
So, immediately I picked her up, got her clothes off, cleaned her up, gave her a bath and got her into fresh clothes. Now, I had to clean up her crib and changing table, which were littered with shit. Of course, being a stay-at-home feminist I was the only adult home. And for some reason my 8-month-old daughter is going through a phase where it is not just upsetting, it is a desperate crisis that causes her to become unhinged if she sees anyone change her crib bedding or do anything to her changing table. She is also at that phase where she doesn’t like to be alone. So, say, leaving her in her pack-n-play in an adjacent room while I clean up the crib, etc. was not going to be pleasant. There were going to be tears no matter how I played it. But I knew if I took her in the nursery with me and she saw me change the crib sheet, she would be so distraught (it’s terrifying to her!) that she would be crying hysterically for at least 30 minutes and sob-sighing for another half hour at least.
I did the only thing that I could: I left her safely in the pack-n-play and listened to her cry because she could not see me. I sang to her. I talked to her the whole time. But because I was out of her sight-line, she was upset. But she was less upset than if I had brought her in with me. It was the lesser of two evils. When you’re home alone with the baby, sometimes these choices have to be made. She was safe. She was clean. And I got through the clean-up in about 5 minutes, so it wasn’t like I was torturing her forever.
So, that’s a lot right there. And it sucked. Especially since I had just heated up my own lunch and was getting ready to eat it when I heard my baby stirring on the monitor. Like so many days, I didn’t get lunch. (Who would want to eat after that anyway?)
Well, it turns out the shit storm was not over! As I picked up my baby from her pack-n-play I noticed a brown blob on the carpet. Oh no! Poop on the carpet! But it wasn’t baby poop. It was cat shit! Yes, my normally good little kitty had shit on the carpet. This was not only bad news, but it meant that little kitty had probably gotten shit on herself, too. So, not I’m home alone with the baby and a cat who is spreading shit around my house and is possibly covered in shit herself.
Are you still jealous, moms who work outside the home? ‘Cause I’m ready to trade!
Sooo, I put the baby back in her pack-n-play and hunted down the cat (which meant that baby girl started to cry again because she could not see me). I found the cat hiding under a table (lucky me). And — you guessed it — she had wet, sticky shit caked into her fur and all over her ass! Of course! So I’ve got a crying baby, a pissed off shitty cat and I’m all alone!
If that isn’t a time to wish for gypsies, I don’t know when is.
Of course, when you’re a stay-at-home feminist you don’t have time to feel sorry for yourself in the moment. You just have to deal with what’s coming at you — even when it’s shit! So I locked the cat in the bathroom. Washed my hands. Took care of the baby (she was hungry!). Got the baby squared away and playing with toys (distracted!) and then went and gave the cat a bath, cleaned up the cat shit and scrubbed my hands and forearms until they were pink. By then baby girl was crying again because she couldn’t see me. But at least everyone in my home was finally shit free! (Except, probably not me. I’m sure there was some remnant shit on me somewhere!)
It’s days like that that keep me away from the computer and blogging and all my social media stuff (follow me on twitter and facebook!). It’s after days like that that I am glad I didn’t waste time taking a shower in the morning and can wash the day (and shit!) off myself before bed!
And that’s the thing about motherhood, you just never know when a pile of shit is going to come your way. And even though I joked earlier about my mom friends who work outside the home, I don’t mean to set up any divisiveness there. We’re all just muddling through. But having some gypsies on speed-dial might be nice, too. (Just kidding!)