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With the recent Academy Awards, I was thinking about what it is like to be a celebrity at an awards show- all the primping, the limousine rides, the fancy food and of course, the coveted celebrity “swag bags.” For years, I have heard about these gift bags for all the celebrity presenters that contain items like make-up, fancy jewelry, trendy sunglasses and the latest hot technology. Truth be told, I have always been envious of this “swag” and have often tried to figure out how I could get my hands on one of these bags.
But then I realized, I did get my own “swag bag” when I left the hospital with each of my babies. Think about it- you get a free (diaper) bag, the latest formula (DHA, Easy to Digest, Grain Free or whatever the new trendy term is) and all the breast pads you can stuff in there. Plus, at the hospital they give you anything and everything you might have touched during your stay at the
Ritz Hospital. I mean, I don’t want you to be jealous about my “new mom swag,” but I got a nasal aspirator, the mauve vomit tray, the mesh underwear and enough gigantic maxi pads to soak up a swimming pool. And that was just for me. The baby got diapers, wipes, pacifiers and a pink and blue striped, doesn’t-stretch-wide-enough-for-my-babies’-huge-noggins hat.
But you know what is missing from all “New Mom Swag Bags” when you leave the hospital with your very first precious baby? That tiny baby that you think is the sweetest, most perfect human being on God’s green Earth and did nothing but sleep peacefully in your arms during your 2 day stay at the hospital? That baby that will begin screaming the moment you try to put him (or her!) down in his crib at home? That baby that will blow out his diaper up to his neck and spit up all the way down your front? That’s right. When you leave the hospital with that baby there should be a hazmat suit in your swag bag. Because the amount of bodily fluids (yes, that sometimes may actually seem toxic) that you will be exposed to and clean up for the next 18 years is beyond measure.
Now, in the beginning, it is minor things like when your cute baby boy pees on you when you are changing his diaper (note: the chances that the pee will hit you straight in the face after he is circumcised are much higher). And then when your new baby “poops up the back” it’s not so bad, because it is just that sweet smelling yellow baby poop. But then you start to get spit up on. And if you have a reflux-y, colicky baby like mine (and how exactly did I get 3 of them?), then that spit up isn’t just a small amount; you constantly smell like sour milk and have wet white spots on your clothes.
Then he gets his first cold. Now if he’s your first child, he probably won’t get a cold until after he is one-year-old, like mine. And it probably won’t be that bad-just a mild runny nose that you secretly find adorable because it turns his little button nose pink at the end and he imitates you and tries to wipe it himself with a tissue.
But when you are on your third kid and the middle one just slobbers his germs all over the place and the baby gets a nasty, gross, snotty cold? I mean, how can one tiny body produce that much mucous? And why do I hear gobs and gobs of snot up there when he breathes but never actually see anything when I look up in his nostrils? And why is the hospital-provided swag bulb syringe the only one that works (and only sometimes)? (On a side note, I have actually tried about 10 different versions of snot sucking devices-be on the lookout for my reviews of all the different options out there!)[/nextpage] [nextpage title=”Page 2″ ]
But I think we all know that snotty noses and colds are nothing compared to the stomach flu. There is not a lot worse than seeing your child suffer through vomiting and/or diarrhea. Oftentimes you feel so bad for them that you don’t even mind cleaning up their near misses. (But for the record, why do they always miss? My oldest threw up 4 times the other night, each within 5 feet of the toilet and not one drop made it in. But I cleaned up every drop with nary a complaint, simply because I felt so bad for him.)
But when it comes to diarrhea, that’s a little harder for me to deal with. When my middle one had a near miss with that one today, that’s when I was longing for the hazmat suit in the swag bag. You know those suits, right? Those big, plastic, yellow coveralls with the rubber gloves that go halfway up your arm and the huge mask that covers your entire head and probably makes you breathe like Darth Vader? I picture the “scientists” from ET or the suit Marty McFly was wearing when he first arrived back in 1955. (And yes, all my movie references will always be from the 80’s, since that was the last time I had time to watch a movie).
If I had a hazmat suit, it would protect me from being puked or snotted on. It would give me a protective barrier from that drop of runny poop that landed on my bare foot when I was cleaning up the bathroom rug from the latest mess. When I am knee deep in “toxic sludge” clean up, I wouldn’t feel the need to enter a decontamination chamber afterwards or locate one of those safety showers they have in laboratories in case of a chemical spill.
Not only that, if they gave out hazmat suits along with the lanolin cream in the “New Mom Swag,” it also might clue us in about what parenthood really involves: lots of gross, toxic bodily fluids.
But boy, the stories that come along with those incidents are some of the funniest and get the most re-tellings. I mean, after 11 years and 3 kids, we have quite a few stories to tell-like the time the oldest threw up at the dinner table when grandma and grandpa were visiting from out of town. Or when the baby spit up in my husband’s mouth when he was tossing him in the air. Or when the middle child peed all over the car when he “missed” the cup his older brother was holding for him. Now, those are the things good stories are made of!
But truthfully, wouldn’t all those stories be even better if they ended with mom in a hazmat suit? And really, isn’t all of it worth it for just one moment to parent these amazing (yet toxic) kiddos?![/nextpage]