Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Poor Elmo

It's not uncommon for me to take a shower at 2:00 in the afternoon. That's the time Ellie is down for a nap and often the first moment of the day for myself. Some days I end up showering while she's awake and playing, usually if we have somewhere to go.

We live in a tiny, two bedroom, one bathroom house (smaller than many apartments) so I'm comfortable showering, knowing Ellie is

A) almost always playing in the bathroom while I shower, or
B) only 5-10 feet away in the living room or her room playing

Last Friday I stepped into the hallway after a quick shower. I had probably been in the shower a total of five minutes. I stepped on something slimy and cold. It stuck to my toe. I peeled it off my foot and sniffed it. A black bean? Hmmm, that's weird. I took another step towards my bedroom. Another piece of goo stuck to my foot. Suddenly I had deja vu (this wasn't the first time) and I knew what this meant.

I heard Ellie playing in her room with a talking Elmo book. I quickly dried off as I was still dripping wet, threw some clothes on, and followed the trail. I grabbed a cloth and starting picking up the gobs of what I now knew to be poop.

The trail went from the living room to my bedroom, and across the hall to her room. Ellie was wearing pants that were only slightly damp. I kneeled on the floor to strip her down and my clean, just showered knee slipped on more goo. I found traces all along her leg, and into her sock and cute pink monkey slipper.

Somehow the talking Elmo book was a victim too. Yikes.

(In case you're wondering, "How does this even happen?" I will tell you I had been experimenting with Ellie's cloth diapers and snapped them a little looser than normal. At least I know the reason behind the mess, and can take the blame for it.)

I couldn't be 100% sure where Ellie had traveled in those few short minutes, so after a careful inspection all the carpets were vacuumed and wood floors mopped, and the bathroom was cleaned.

This was not a "fun" mommy moment. No person wants to take an hour out of the day to clean a trail of poop all over the house. It's these moments I'm reminded of the simple sacrifices we make as parents. This situation came just as I was reflecting on my previous post about whether I present parenthood as too perfect. Obviously, not everything about being a mom is glamorous.

Every parent will have some kind of story like this, some situation that was no fun and messy and stinky and just plain yucky. Recently we were telling a newly married couple about Ellie's middle-of-the-night throwing up escapade. They said every time they hear a story like this it makes them question becoming a parent. Do they really want to clean up poop or throw-up? No one does, but for every story like this I have twenty more of the amazing, joy-filled moments with my daughter that make these moments feel trivial. And, like I stated in my last post, those are the moments I prefer to share.

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