Jordan and I just cleaned up a massive diaper blowout. This was the fourth and worst blowout of the day. A diaper blowout is defined by green/brown/tan goo coming out the sides of the diaper. Tonight’s particular incident occurred while the baby was in his exersaucer.
Our evening started innocently enough.
Carter was jumping up and down on the springy platform, chewing on the giraffe head.
I was attempting to cook myself a meal that didn’t require a microwave.
My husband was at his acoustic guitar, swearing because he couldn’t hit the same high notes as Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon.
There was also a huge dust storm moving over our house, making it dark enough to turn on the lights. I should’ve taken this as a sign.
Not sure what was seen or felt first. Carter’s feet sliding in the puddles of brown moisture collected on the toy’s springboard. An unfortunate squish as my husband lifted our infant, covering himself in untimely defecation and shouting for help. The rest’s a brown, blurry mess of lifting a 15-lb human being into the kitchen sink and hosing him down. Thank God for detachable nozzles.
Jordan and I, we love being parents. We talk about it all the time — how lucky we are to have such a smiley baby. How absurdly cute our son is. How as soon as we’re separated for a moment, we miss him and want him back. We are 100% sold on being Mom and Dad.
But that is not what this entry is about. This entry is about why parenting sucks. This entry is for all my single friends who feel detached and rejected from the world because it seems like that very world is on a breeding rampage.
Carter is — honestly — the best, easiest baby I’ve been around. He loves to cuddle, but he’ll play on his own. He loves to eat and isn’t picky. He sleeps 13 hours through the night and 2-4 additional hours during the day. He rarely fusses, and usually it’s with purpose: it’s time to eat, time to nap, time to play. He’s very into his schedule.
Now I’m going to complain, a lot.
Every day, I experience a variety of bodily fluids. Carter’s reflux delivered me some not-so-fresh prunes and sweet potatoes this afternoon. In placing him in his tub, I myself was soaked in some nice warm liquid. We call that the geyser. And I’ve already told you about the blowout.
Carter pulls my hair and will drop any toy in favor of yanking on my necklace. Today, he tried to pull out Jordan’s hair — which is approximately 3/4″ long. He also likes to grab faces — just get a good ole chunk of cheek in his hand while sipping his milk. He’s surprisingly strong. Sometimes I’m too tired to fight and I just let him do it.
There is no such thing as eating before or after Carter eats. You must eat while he also is consuming, and if he thinks yours looks tastier, be prepared to share. We used to be able to take him out to restaurants and he’d be content looking around or napping. Those days are over. Now, I arm myself. Fresh food feeders, two containers of baby-friendly cuisine, a baggy of Cheerios, two bibs, at least one bottle. He is always so sweet — until the adult food arrives. Then it’s on. No matter what he’s eaten while waiting, he will still want whatever you’re having, and if you’re not quick enough to serve or the food needs to cool down — he’ll scream. It’s an odd, unpleasant scream. We call it the wounded pterodactyl.
I have accepted that my time will never again be my own. It’s been a hard road, but Jordan and I pride myself on divvying up our schedules so that we each get some down time. And Carter’s good about being on a schedule. But he has his preferences. He loves to sleep — in his crib. Elsewhere, no such luck. If it is nap or bed time and we are out and about, he will get fussy. He will not fall asleep until you place him in his crib with his blanket and his mobile and his pacifier. Than it will be about 30 seconds before he’s snoring. This means I’m housebound.
My house, as it so happens, is a mess. It’s a mess twenty minutes after I clean it. The kitchen, the couch, the bathroom, the laundry. God forbid anywhere near the high chair. Instead of a once-a-day round up, I feel like I’m constantly de-cluttering. Spraying down. Wiping up.
I worry constantly. I check on him before I climb into bed and then, five minutes later, ask Jordan to check on him too. He typically already has. I rethink what the baby’s eaten that day — did he get enough milk? Is he getting enough vegetables? I think about whether his toys are age-appropriate, if I should learn the right words to the songs I sing, just how organic a vegetable can be. It’s tiring. I’m tired.
Jordan and I don’t always agree on what’s the best decision for Carter. I want brand name Tylenol when he’s not feeling well — Jordan thinks generic is fine. I will pay $2.50 for one organic avocado — Jordan thinks I’m silly and wants to buy 3 for $4 out of the “regular” bin. I think Carter isn’t old enough to understand the concept of sharing — Jordan thinks he needs to know that some things aren’t his. On a good day, this is frustrating. On a bad day, this is exhausting. I don’t want to imagine when we have real issues to argue about.
So those are some reasons that parenting blows. I could follow it up with a note about how my life is awesome and how much I love my family and that Carter is perfect. But I think that whoever bothers to read this knows that already. And we all know that Carter’s diapers aren’t full of rainbows.