The number of times I’ve examined a substance on my person and wondered ‘Is this poop?’ is entirely too high. But it's all in a day's work as a mom. Motherhood is awesome. Raising little people and watching traces of you and the one you love most emerge in facial features and funny quirks is one of God’s most wonderful blessings. Sweet moments spent snuggling warm babies and feeling their soft skin against your cheek are precious. Sharing a laugh with an older child lights up my heart. Being a mom is the best. It’s also pretty gross. I have had every possible bodily fluid sprayed or smeared on me.
I’ve sprayed myself in the face with my own milk. It was epic mommy fail. My toddler, Abby, was so interested in watching her little brother, David, nursing. I could see the little wheels turning in her head as she tried to figure out what he was eating. She handed me her bottle, to share with her brother. But I said, “No, David drinks boobie milk.” I was going to show her a little of the milk. But as I inserted a finger into David’s mouth to break the industrial-strength suction, my nipple twisted and I sprayed myself in the face. My glasses were misted with a white film. Her eyes were wide with disgust and she kept saying “Eeew, mommy. Eewww.” When a toddler thinks you’re gross, that’s a new low. They eat their own boogers for crying out loud. I don’t think I successfully conveyed the “Breast is Best” motto that time. I’ve been used as a human Kleenex. When a baby has a cold, you carry them around, patting their back and comforting them. Your shoulder is perfect for rubbing their itchy noses, leaving snail-streaks of crystallized boogers like a disgusting badge of honor. When you have six children you can forget about changing your shirt. You just wear it, boogers and all. I consider it a good day if I remember not to wear the same shirt again without washing it. I’ve almost eaten poop. That’s right. No matter how bad your day has been, unless you’ve nearly ingested feces – consider yourself golden. And don’t look at me like that. It was an honest mistake. Could have happened to anyone. In the blurry haze of postpartum life after my twins were born my cousin came to visit, sweetly bringing a box of World Famous Round Rock Donuts to share for breakfast. These donuts are amazing. Soft, warm and covered with this delicious buttery, yellow glaze. You know what else is yellow? Exclusively-breastfed baby poop. Same freaking color. It had been a long morning full of trying to feed babies and keep up with my four other children. My cousin offered to take the older children swimming to give me a little peace and quiet with my new twins. I settled onto the couch with the twins latched on and resting on our Brest Friend nursing pillow. I had everything I needed, phone in reach, a tall glass of ice water – and oh, would you look at that? I had a little glaze left on my ring finger. I got about two centimeters away from my mouth before my brain screamed, “WAIT! IT’S NOT GLAZE!” A sniff confirmed: poop.
(see our HooHas Poop Guide for help with this serious parenting dilemma)
In my sleep-deprived zombie state at some point I had forgotten to wash my hands after the last diaper change. We’re talking newborn twins here. The number of diaper changes is staggering. Maybe a better mom can stay on top of everything: laundry, babies, toddler, teenager, out-of-town guests, washing poop off her fingers. But I fell short that day. And I was alone in the house with babies comfortably nestled on my belly. So I sat there, with my poop-stained finger held out from it’s cleaner companions and waited for the cavalry. Poop, snot, breastmilk – and more – all splattered on me like the world’s nastiest Jackson Pollock painting. I’m a modern masterpiece of yuck. But I love it. It’s life – and life is very messy. The alternative is clean, but lonely. I’d rather have the noise and chaos. Because with the gross comes the great: kisses, hugs, smiles, laughs and love. So hand me that wipie, I seem to have some life on me.