Month 16: Tub Torpedo

There’s no way around it: being a mom means dealing with gross stuff. I knew this going into it. And I’m not a gal who likes gross. From the moment I got pregnant I was bombarded with icky words like mucous and discharge and placenta. And the birth itself? Just yuck, people. Y-U-C-K. (I still can’t believe they offered me a mirror to watch the horror show myself. No thanks, playing the starring role is enough for me!)

And newborns, as everyone knows, do little more than pee and poop and spit up. Gross, but not that big a deal. (Except to some people.) Yet in spite of all my exposure to extreme grossness in the past year, I encountered a new level of nastiness the other night: the dreaded tub poop.

Now, I have been warned of this phenomenon by other moms. It’s even happened to C., who usually gives Miles his baths. I’m actually shocked that I’ve avoided it this long.

But no, that fateful evening, the baby stopped splashing, stood up, gave a telltale grunt and … the rest is just too gory to go into. But why stop now? You know what they say about, um, “stuff” hitting the fan? Well it’s worse when it hits the water. It immediately starts to dissolve and scatter in every direction. I swooped Miles out of that tub like I was rescuing him from the Titanic. Mayhem ensued. Gags were stifled. Powerful disinfectants were administered after the offending party was put to bed.

So now baths are back to being solely Dad’s domain. Isn’t it bad enough I went through childbirth? I can’t deal with this kind of carnage.

In other news, I found myself in the very unfamiliar position of being the only mom in a group recently. I was having lunch with an old friend and some of her new friends. Mostly sophisticated career women, dressed in skirts and heels even on a weekend. I was SO out of my element. I considered my leather flip-flops dressing up.

I noticed that interest in mom-world was limited to my baby’s age and gender. Anything beyond that and eyes glazed over, instantly. Understandable. But quite a change from the hour-long debates about naps and strollers that I’m used to. Thank goodness for the one pregnant chick in the group or I’d have had nothing to talk about. Sad, maybe. Reality, definitely. They’re just lucky I didn’t launch into the story about my son’s bathtime bombshell.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: In an egregious oversight, I forgot an important Mommy Award last week — Most Pioneering Mommy: My Very Own Mom, Gram2Miles. She played a key role in a landmark case concerning women’s rights in the ‘70s, when she was fired from her teaching job when she got pregnant with my brother, even though she was married. Her case was taken to federal court, where her employer was charged with discrimination. The ruling allowed other teachers to get paid maternity leave. This was before the Internet was invented or I’d include a link. 😉 Love you, Mom, you rock!


Month 16: The Mommy Awards

In honor of the recent Emmy Awards, we’re proud to announce the launch of a prestigious new awards show: The Mommy Awards. Sure, the fashion’s not as exciting, since many of the nominees sport juice-stained jeans and nursing bras. And there’s no red carpet, since carpets just need to be vacuumed.

There’s not even an actual awards show, since the nominees are all too busy and couldn’t coordinate their calendars, what with raising their kids, working, cooking, doing laundry, taking the dog to the vet, and reading “Goodnight Gorilla” 16 times a day, not to mention squeezing in the occasional workout, date night or UN summit.

Still, there ARE winners, and isn’t that the point? So without further ado, here are the winners of the 2007 Mommy Awards.

The award for Best Success Story goes to J.K. Rowling. She rose from a divorced single mom who wrote in cafes while her baby was sleeping to become the author of the Harry Potter series, the fastest-selling books in history. At 42, she’s now one of the richest women in Britain, and the world.

The award for Best Do-Gooder goes to Angelina Jolie. The American actress, 32, is a goodwill ambassador for the UN Refugee Agency who regularly visits poor, war-torn countries to raise awareness and improve conditions. She’s adopted three children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, and gave birth to her biological daughter (with hottie Brad Pitt!) in Africa. She has donated millions of her own money to humanitarian causes throughout the world.

The award for Best Survivor goes to a fellow Baltimore mom, Lara H, 35. Diagnosed with cancer shortly after the birth of her second baby, she underwent chemo and is now cancer-free and training for a 100-mile bike race to raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Runner up: Claire from the ABC show “Lost.” The girl survived a plane crash, gave birth on a deserted island and is raising her baby with little more than some rags and a couple of coconuts!

The award for Most Musical Mommy goes to Lori McKenna. The singer-songwriter, 39, is a mother of 5 in Mass. Though she’s written music most of her life, it was only when Faith Hill recorded three of McKenna’s songs recently that she became well known. McKenna just released her own album, “Unglamorous.” I heard her on a radio interview and it’s clear that she loves being a mom, and that’s where she gets most of her material. Rock on, Lori!

The award for Best Multitasker goes to Tori Spelling, 34. Even though I was a huge 90210 fan back in the day, I never thought much of this chick. But I started watching her reality show, “Tori & Dean: Inn Love” because I wanted to see how a 9-mos-pregnant celebrity was going to open and operate a B&B while preparing for the birth of her first child. Damned if Tori didn’t get right in there with a paint roller and a toilet brush! She actually is pretty funny and not as dumb as you’d think. And now that her cutie-patootie son, Liam, is born, there’s even more reason to watch. He even peed on her in one episode. Been there, Tori. 🙂

Wow, this was fun! I can think of lots more categories, so maybe this will be an ongoing feature. Feel free to send in your own Mommy Award nominees!

TIP O’ THE WEEK: Seek out moms who are making a difference in the world. I’m as celeb-obsessed as the next gal, but what I find really inspiring are real women who are managing to both raise their kids and do something cool, creative, and/or charitable with their lives. Whenever I come across a story like that, I tear it out, bookmark or Tivo it for a pick-me-up when I’m having a down day.


Month 16: Is it Bedtime Yet?

My parents came to visit this weekend. My mom arrived with a complete fall wardrobe for Miles. He’s now got a rugged quilted vest for outdoorsy activities, a sporty dump truck sweatshirt for the gym, and a crisp khakis-and-doggie sweater vest ensemble to wear to … I don’t know, his toddler book club?? The kid dresses better than I do, that’s for sure.

We went out to dinner one night and my mom remarked that my flowy Old Navy top looked like a maternity shirt. And there I was thinking I was looking stylish for once! Anyway, we had a very nice weekend, filled with multigenerational fun. Which mostly consisted of sitting around watching Miles do funny things, like spin in circles and shout “Moo!” at any toy with a tail.

I have to admit I felt pretty vindicated when my mom, clearly exhausted, asked at 6:50 one night, “Is it his bedtime yet?” There’s been many an evening when I counted the minutes until 7:30 p.m., a big bottle of wine waiting in the wings. Not that anyone accuses me of spending my days lying on the couch eating bon-bons … but still, it’s nice to have someone else recognize the rigors of my daily life.

The other day I called my neighbor around 3 p.m. to see if she and her 2-year-old were available for a playdate. Miles had woken up from his afternoon nap (1 -2:10 p.m.) and the long afternoon loomed. I thought the point of one nap is that kids sleep LONGER. Miles? Not so much. My neighbor called back at 4:30 and said, “Oh, we both just woke up from a 3-hour nap!” I hate her.

My pediatrician, however, never fails to remind me that I’m lucky I’ve got an all-night sleeper. Except for the fact that Miles wakes up before 7 a.m. EVEN ON WEEKENDS, I really can’t complain. I mean I can, and I do. But it could be worse, I know. It’s just that in my pre-baby life, I never knew how bad weekend morning shows were. And I was happy in my ignorance. Also, I relished late-night reruns of “The Fresh Prince.” And now I can’t even stay up past prime time. In fact, it’s going on 9:30 p.m. I’m calling it a night.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: I’d like to give a shout-out to some new moms: my real-world friend E.M. and her gorgeous girl, Luisa, and my virtual friend Dooneybug and her new baby girl! Congrats, ladies!!


Month 16: Rookie vs. Veteran Moms

So Miles’ lip has finally healed. Now he only sports the usual scrapes and bruises from his everyday adventures. Over the weekend, I had several opportunities to reflect on people’s reactions to baby behavior. I noticed there are stark differences between what I’ll call Rookie Moms (RMs) and Veteran Moms (VMs).

In reality, the RM category includes Rookie Dads, Childless People, and People Who Had Children So Long Ago They’ve Forgotten What It’s Really Like. PWHCSLATFWIRLs will say, “My babies starting sleeping through the night at one week old” and “We fed you kids steak as soon as you could hold your heads up.” These are patent lies, but time — and years of sleep deprivation — has erased the facts from their memories.

Anyway, let’s say a group of RMs and VMs are sitting around visiting a mom with a new baby. One woman is holding the newborn when he has a diaper blowout of epic proportions, splattering himself, the person holding him, and all the upholstery within a 3-foot radius. Cut to the reactions:

RM: Oh, my God! That is soooo disgusting!! I can’t believe it, he’s never done that before! I am soooooo sorry!! I will totally pay for your drycleaning! Quick, someone grab the Lysol, rubber gloves and surgical masks!!

VM: Oh, good. He’s not constipated anymore. Can someone hand me a paper towel?

Scenario #2: A toddler is playing on a mechanical truck at the mall. In his enthusiasm, he whacks his nose into the steering wheel. Hysteria ensues.

RM: Oh, my God! That is soooo awful!! I can’t believe I let that happen! I am soooooo sorry, sweetie!! I will totally hit myself in the nose twice as hard so I can feel your pain! Quick, someone call 911!!

VM: Oh, good. He didn’t chip a tooth this time. You’re OK, sweetie. Let’s go before Baby Gap closes.

Scenario #3: A baby is just learning to crawl and explore his surroundings.

RM: Fearing disease, dismemberment, or worse, she covers all surfaces the baby might encounter with protective blankets and/or bubble wrap. Just to be extra safe, she carries the baby around most of the time.

VM: Sweetie, let’s not sit in the kitty litter box, OK? And watch your head when you crawl under the glass and chrome table. Hey! No chewing on electrical cords! Next time it could be plugged in. Go splash in the dog bowl until Mommy’s done brushing her teeth.

TIP O’ THE WEEK: If you’re watching or playing with someone else’s baby, take your cues from his parents. If they seem like the extra-protective sort, don’t dangle the baby in front of your pet pit bull, even if Bruiser is friendly. If the parents seem laid back, you probably don’t need to disinfect the baby’s pacifier every time he drops it on the couch.

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