Today, I’m going to share with you the night I felt most like a mum. It wasn’t my child’s birth, her first word, or nursing her through the flu; it was a night of chaos fit for a comedy sketch show. Sometimes, it seems like everything goes wrong at once.
It was a quiet evening, just me and my daughter, as her daddy had some after-work event on. I had geared myself up for the solo ‘dinner, bath, play, story, bed’ routine, and all was going well. Dinner was eaten, and the bath was enjoyed.
I dried my dripping toddler as she busied herself with a Duplo person. It was time for naked play: her favourite time of the evening! Something about being nude just makes her so excited. I suppose if I had to wear a nappy all the time, I’d be pretty excited to have it removed too.
I left her to her naked play as I went about tidying the kitchen. After a few minutes, I realised things were very quiet, so I peered around the corner and was met with a horrific sight: a large deposit of semi-liquid poo on the new, white carpet, and my daughter stomping in it with fascination. When she saw me she pointed at it and said, ‘oooooh!’
I whisked her away and plonked her back into the still-warm bath, which luckily I hadn’t drained. We rinsed off her legs and bottom, then I pulled the plug, soaped her up and rinsed her with fresh water. Phew. I dried her and sat her in her high chair, where she could watch the spectacle of me cleaning her ‘ooooh’ off the carpet.
I scooped the lumpy bits up with a milk bottle I had ingeniously cut in half, then went outside to drop these into the toilet (our toilet is an outhouse). Of course, the dogs ran inside and started making a racket, all excited to see what the fuss was about.
I filled a bucket with soap and water and began scrubbing the carpet. Then my mum called me, and I scrubbed while regaling her with my bad luck story. She reminded me that I had her semi-professional carpet-cleaning machine on loan – what luck! I wheeled the monster out and set it to work.
It was so noisy that I didn’t hear the voice call out, or the knocks on my front door. I got the fright of a lifetime when my neighbour walked into the house with my wriggling dogs under her arms. I had ridiculously left the front door open and they’d gone on a little opportunistic adventure together. Thank the stars for good neighbours!
She is so good, in fact, that she didn’t baulk or comment on the powerful fecal odour, or the fact that my daughter was sitting naked in her high chair while I cleaned the house and let my dogs run wild in the street.
By the time I had thanked her and shut the door, one of the dogs had discovered the stain and was furiously licking the carpet, while the other was licking my daughter’s legs. I shooed the dogs away and then realised, with even more horror than before, what the dog was licking – my daughter had pooed yet again, all down her legs, into the high chair and onto the floor. Most had already been taken care of by the dog, but my little one had some in her hand and a taste test was imminent.
Back into the bath we went – an empty bath, with running water and soap. We repeated our earlier steps and this time I put a nappy on her immediately. I had learned my lesson.
It’s a bit lame, but when all the chaos was over, I felt proud that I had handled the situation like a great mum – like my mum would have: calmly, practically, and with a song or two for my toddler. Perhaps these trying little episodes show us our parenting potential. I’m sure there will be many more like this one.
Have you had a crazy parenting day when everything went wrong at once? Share your story below!