Last week I had a parental first. A milestone, if you will. While in the bath, Ev (22 months) suddenly stood up. I was sitting outside the tub and couldn’t see the water from my vantage point.
“Icky!” Ev cried.
“What’s icky, buddy?” I replied.
What was icky, friends? What is ALWAYS THE ICKY THING?
It was poop.
Floating there in the tub with a sense of superiority. Good job Ev, for feeling the appropriate level of shame associated with your own waste. To make a long, bleach-filled story short, the bath was finished and the tub was cleaned harder than it had ever been.
Then I washed my hands thirteen times.
In sharing this story with friends with and without children, the responses were (from the latter) “EWW” and (from the former) “HOW has that never happened to you before?!”
Believe me, non-parents, I feel you. Eww is correct. But it was amusing to me how different the reactions were. And it helped me realize that poop in the tub isn’t the only thing that is now just a normal part of my mom-life.
There isn’t a thing I’d change about my mom-life. It’s the best, poop and meltdowns and all. But it has certainly helped me see the world with different eyes than the woman I was before.
So I sat down and had a little conversation with my pre-mom self and we chose our five favorite phrases that have changed entirely since entering mamahood.
Do you have any to add?
1. Do you need to go potty?
What it meant before I was a mom: Do you have to use the facilities?
What it means now: Would you like to do your business now, or would you prefer to wait until you are in the bathtub? Or on Santa’s lap? Or as soon as I have changed your diaper?
2. Time for dinner!
What it meant before I was a mom: It’s a reasonable 6:30pm. 7 or later, perhaps, if you’re fancy. Have a glass of wine. Enjoy!
What it means now: It’s 4:45, dinner started five minutes ago, and half of it is on the ground. The other half is being pushed around a plate by someone who recently pooped in the tub. Bonus points if somebody throws up.
3. Let’s go!
What it meant before I was a mom: Put on shoes, if necessary. Grab coat, if needed. Go.
What it means now: Begin foot race around house in the style of Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner. Tackle small road runner (gracefully, and with love). Wrestle one shoe on foot while child wiggles and screams “NO!” Wrestle other shoe on foot while child removes the first shoe. Repeat this process several times. Throw child over your shoulder like a sack of potatoes (gracefully, and with love). Wrestle child into car seat. Listen to so many demands you feel like the assistant to a very rude and overly entitled diva. Cry a little bit. Go.
4. Time for bed!
What it meant before I was a mom: Nighty night. Don’t let the iPhone hit you on the face while you “wind down” to the Facebook/Twitter/Instagram cycle of self-inflicted insomnia!
What it means now: Take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and start a carefully crafted routine that begins with you as Mary Poppins and ends with you as a zombie extra from The Walking Dead.
5. Netflix & Chill
What it meant before I was a mom: A fairly decent chance of starting a B-list movie and participating in some solid making out.
What it means now: Putting on/remaining in sweat pants, sprawling unattractively on a couch, recoiling at any and all physical contact, and exchanging mumbling sighs with your partner while alternating glances between your phone and your fourth viewing of the entire series of My Name is Earl.