Mentoring Monday: Shit Monster

Shit Monster      Ah, parenthood. I think I can say I've officially arrived. Tonight, Maddie shit her pants…and all over me.
      She let one go, and I congratulated her on her efforts as I usually do. “Nice one!” I laughed. I laugh because they're so loud and rumbling that they startle you. They might startle her too, because she always makes the Cupie doll face afterwards.
      I have heard stories of other parents getting pooped, peed, and projectile vomited on, so I always wait a few minutes after a poop to ensure she's finished her business before I go in to clean up. Ithought I was pretty smart. Well, she apparently found a way around my efforts to make sure I was initiated properly into the inner parent circle.
      Maddie was sitting up, snuggled into a corner I'd made with my chest, arm, and leg. We had been reading a book, so I finished the page and pulled her away from her cozy nook. To my horror, the seedy liquid breast milk stool had exploded up the back of her diaper, defying gravity and soaking the back of her onesie and my pants. Uggh. So, I cleaned her up, then set her in her crib to allow myself a little freedom to clean up myself. After changing pants, I treated all affected textiles with stain remover and washed my hands. My mind replaying the shit monster attack, and feeling like a terrible mother for letting her sit in it for the (literally) 90 seconds it took to finish the story page, I turned the corner into the bedroom.
      To my surprise, there was Maddie in her crib unaffected by the experience. I could tell she was not as traumatized by the shit monster as I was because she was hungry. I could tell she was hungry because she was mouthing her Sing and Sooth Seahorse. Not mouthing it just anywhere, but directly on the nose. It looked like she was planting a passionate kiss on the plush toy. And as quickly as the shit monster had struck to rattle my parenting confidence, it vanished in the joy of being the mom of such a silly, sweet child.
      Thank you Madeline--for reminding me that there will be hiccups and that they are okay. Whatever happens is a trip we will experience together, and being caught off-guard doesn't mean I'm a bad parent. Love, Mom.

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