"When it rains, it pours."
It's an expression that all new moms are not only aware of, they are SO aware of it that they know better than to ever leave the house without an umbrella.
Or so you would think. But guess what? Yesterday I joyfully packed up my daughter and headed out into the sunshine without mine.
Allow me for a moment to set the stage.
It had already been one of "those" weekends. The kind that starts out pretty good - a Friday night out with my husband, sans baby; she was comfortably asleep at home with Nana and Papa. A few hours spent with friends at a house party, sipping cocktails and feeling like a grown up. Lovely.
The fun night was soon followed up on Saturday morning with me feeling less than great. I initially blame the vodka only to discover later in the day that the culprit is in fact my period, which has decided to arrive with a vengeance for the first time in over a year. Well, that explains the nausea, fatigue and compulsive cleaning. Great. Now add cramps, blood and crankiness to the list and you can see that the weekend is headed downhill. Fast.
Flash ahead to Sunday. It's another beautiful day and despite the fact that I still feel like ass, I decide to make the most of it and head outside with the fam to meet up with GParty and The Suze for a quick walk around the local farmers market. It's just down the street so I assume we'll be out for an hour tops. It's morning. I think nothing of the sun since we'll be home before heading out for the afternoon, plenty of time to lather on the sunscreen at that time. Flash forward again. It's 4pm, we've been out walking all day without going home. Crown and I are burnt. To a crisp. I can handle the mild sunstroke and the sting, but the tan lines that I now have to deal with for the rest of the summer? Unacceptable.
Now it's Monday morning and I've carefully packed up the baggage from the weekend and stowed it away. We're starting fresh, it's a beautiful day and Bella and I have a date with StrollerFit. We're up early! We're both in good moods! This is where I start to slip and make the first of several mistakes.
Cocky New Mom Mistake #1:
StrollerFit is only a five minute walk from my house. There is no need to lug a bulky diaper bag with me. We'll be home in two hours anyway.
Cocky New Mom Mistake #2:
Bella doesn't usually poop until way later in the afternoon, no need to bring an extra diaper along. If anything happens, she can wait 'til we get home for a change. No biggie.
Cocky New Mom Mistake #3:
Getting so caught up in my own unfortunate weekend that I forget that Bella has, in fact, not pooped in two days.
You can already see where this is going, I know, but I assure you, it's much worse than you think.
The StrollerFit class goes of without a hitch and we make it to the discussion part of the class, where all the moms sit down and talk about something related to parenting. This is also where the moms size each other up a little, check out each others' babies, strollers, parenting skills, etc. I try not to fall into this trap, but let's face it, it's hard. We all want to be good at this very important job, we all want to look as though we are doing good by our babes and ourselves at the same time.
Today's discussion? The division of labour at home. Who does what around the house, who has help from their husbands, why you should make lists of chores and assign each one to you or him... blah blah blah...
It's my turn to share.
Cocky New Mom Mistake #4:
I tell the group that I am not only a bit obsessive compulsive about the state of my home (true) but I am also exceptionally organized and on-top things (false), thus making it possible to pretty much do it all (INCREDIBLY FALSE).
Immediately after spewing these unbelievable lies, the first few proverbial raindrops begin to fall. Bella starts to fuss a little in her stroller. I decide to take her out so she can sit at the picnic table with the rest of us and everyone can admire this beautiful, perfect baby that I am raising with skill and ease. I lift her out and place her on my hip before I feel the hot, wet, dripping mess on her back.
I turn her around to look at the same time that all the moms in the group notice. There is an audible gasp among us all. Bella is covered. I mean covered. From neck to ankles. In poop. It's oozing out of the back of her cute little jeans and dripping down her legs. It has smeared all over the inside of the stroller. It is now all over my hand, arm and the white t-shirt that I am wearing because, sensibly, I thought it best not to wear a tank top and expose my burnt flesh to the sun.
I have not a wipe, not a diaper, not a thing that can help me in this situation.
Thank God for the other moms in the class who quickly came to my aid, and who did so without laughing, judging or call me out for the complete and utter ass that I am. They set up a change station and offered up wipes, diapers, one lovely mom even lent me her spare onsie so I didn't have to walk home with a naked baby.
Cocky New Mom Lesson Learned #1:
Don't ever underestimate the kinship among other mothers. If you think that they are in competition with you on some level, smarten up you idiot. Other moms get it and will always come to your aid in moments of crisis.
I heart moms.
But the embarrassment doesn't quite end here.
Cocky New Mom Mistake #5:
Bella has been eating a lot lately. Back up to 7 or 8 feedings a day for some reason. As a result, my boobs have not been very full and I have not been very leaky. I decided it was OK to leave the house without my pads.
And now, the combination of vigorous exercise, heat, crying babies and overwhelming mortification is causing my boobs to not leak - spray - milk everywhere. It has soaked through my bra and t-shirt and it is running down my belly.
And so there it is. The rainstorm. My shirt is covered in poop and milk. My baby is sitting in a onsie borrowed from a stranger, already re-covered in shit because of what is left over in her stroller. And as if to add insult to injury, while I attempt to gather my last shred of dignity and finish my discussion with the other moms, a seagull flies over us and craps on my daughter's chubby thigh. As I wipe it away with my already disgusting t-shirt, it dawns on me:
When it rains, it pours. And I have been caught without my umbrella. It is a cocky new mom mistake that I will not be making again any time soon.