Friday, January 9, 2009

Six Weeks Left and a Nugget of Experience (three, really)

As of tomorrow, it'll be 6 weeks to Jambuca's due date. I'm not sure which end of this tunnel (really, seriously, no pun intended) I'd prefer right now. With a second child, I know exactly The Kind Of Thing I'm getting myself in for, and the first year (OK, 18 months if I'm honest) is really hard. Not that it is without its joy and rewards-- but there's no question it is a challenge, particularly for someone who has always been better with teenagers than with babies. I find it funny that of all the challenges I've ever taken on in life, the only one I've had notable trouble rising to was caring for a baby. I still feel grossly unequal to the job some of the time. Give me singular value decomposition over bedtime problems any day.

The saving grace, though, is that this time around I won't be traveling 3-6 days a month for work, either pumping milk and figuring out how to sneak it home past the TSA or toting a baby with me (and my mom, and my pump for during the business day, and not sleeping much at night). I figure my travel schedule will pick back up once Jambuca's a year or 2 old, but for awhile I get a break. So things might be a lot less hectic. One can hope.

In e-babyland, potty training has been quite successful. She's still having a little trouble with knowing she has to poop, but that's improved over the past week. Last weekend, however, I made the mistake of telling SNG how she hadn't had any out-in-public accidents at all-- tempting the heck out of fate. Sunday, we went to the mall, ostensibly to visit the Hello Kitty store (actually just to get out of the house for awhile). After finding a choice toy in the half-off sale bin, we wandered around the mall. E-baby matter-of-factly announced to the whole world that she had "just had an accident! I made a BIIIIG POOP!" We made a beeline for a department store that I knew had a bathroom on that floor. As we looped around the perfumes and past the suits, she repeated loudly that "that poop is tickling my bottom! My bottom is tickly from that poop!! Heehee!" We finally made it to the ladies' room, and wouldn't you know, there was a line. We waited. I looked down and right next to e-baby's shoe, on the floor, was one dry little poop-nugget, roughly the size of a Barbie doll's head. It had apaprently rolled out of e's pants-leg. I pulled a plastic trash baggie from my bag and scooped it up under the horrified gaze of the lady waiting ahead of me in line. I got e-baby all cleaned up and changed, and when we walked out, SNG stared pointedly at a spot on the floor just near the bathroom door, by a display of menswear: another poop nugget. I was sneakier this time, and got a bunch of paper towel from the ladies' room to scoop it and throw it in the trash. We made our way to the store's exit in total silence, and as we passed cologne, SNG noticed another stepped-on nugget right on the tile floor there. I was out of trash bags, out of paper towels, and out of my mind. I lowered my head and made for the door as fast as my legs would take me and nearly burst into tears as we headed for home.

Looking back, it was really hilarious. I wish I'd just had the ovaries to go back to the ladies' room at the other side of the store, get more paper towels, and just get on the floor and clean up the mess from the last poop. But something about the horrified gaze of the lady in the bathroom combined with the high-traffic zone of the cologne section, and maybe hormones or something, I had no courage left in me whatsoever. Yes, I'm a total wuss. Next time, though, I'll be more prepared-- I carry more than one trash bag with me now. And maybe I can make a game of it for e-baby-- like an Easter egg hunt! Only icky! I keep telling myself that I will not let people's judgemental looks stop me from doing the right thing.

One can hope.


PartnerInCrime said...

Ok, I'm sorry the pregnancy hormones made it a negative experience for you, because that is seriously funny. And forget that stupid woman in line at the ladies' room. Either she doesn't have kids, or she's too old to remember what potty-training is like.
Think of it this way: when the people working in the cologne section found the nugget, you gave them a little mystery that they'll be talking about for WEEKS. Seriously, poop in the cologne section? Of all places?? You know they're going to think that someone did that intentionally, and wonder how on earth someone was able to poop on the floor so stealthily, without anybody seeing. Awesome!

Lizard Breath said...

Ah, the joys of parenthood! At least e-baby wasn't horrified. Really, people who judge parents are just tempting fate themselves. You did what you could do and guess what, you made it out just fine! Besides, now you have a great story to tell the family when e-baby gets "too big for her britches". :)

Cat said...

"people who judge parents are just tempting fate themselves" -- I love that. You're exactly right, Lizard.
We were actually laughing our heads off by the time we made it home, so the trauma didn't last long. It made us think of the David Sedaris essay about people sneakily pooping in department store dressing rooms.