Three years ago Michele Henry took you through her most challenging assignment to date: pregnancy. Tag along again as this new mom of two navigates a second maternity leave, juggling endless diaper changes and sleepless night with her efforts to lose the baby weight — again — and hang onto her sanity.
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By the time we left, there was poo ground into the carpet.
Tasty cereals, hard and crusty from air drying in an unwashed baby bowl, were threatening to clog the marble sink and there were fresh dribbles of pee, squirted during the most recent diaper change, on the hotel room's otherwise pristine white pillows.
"It looks like a rock band stayed here and trashed the place," Ted said, of the Ritz Carlton room, where we stayed a few weeks ago while attending a family function in Detroit, Michigan.
Feeling guilty for the state of this formerly lovely, sweet smelling suite, we grabbed our suitcases and shut the door quickly, locking the key inside. We left quietly like bandits on the run, afraid of being caught and dragged back inside to clean up.
The house is a pigsty. Curious George is lying at the bottom of the stairs like a drunk who only made it halfway home after binge drinking the night before. A musical toy curiously keeps turning itself on in the living room. My kitchen seems to manufacture tiny, dirty socks and Huds' high chair is ringed by a splatter of "tasty avocado."
There is barf on the sleeve of my blazer and a splatter of pee soup on my T-Shirt. "I smell," I told my friend Dina, while trying to explain why we would have to reschedule our playdate.
"Seriously, I smell like barf."
This was minutes after I peeked into the backseat of my car to see a strange brown stain on Huds' new black sweater. When the acrid, vomit smell wafted to the front, I pulled over onto the side of the road and tried to fish my pink little boy out of a festering pool of regurgitated soup (I plopped him, half naked, back into the car seat, where he happily slept until we got home).
My life is a mess.
People warned me that having kids was a dirty job, but I wasn't prepared to NEVER have a stain-free pair of jeans again. What I wouldn't give for a piece of furniture without a dark splotch on it somewhere.
And the boy is only seven months old! There are years of filth-making to come.
Still so close to my former life, I can almost smell the cleanliness of those sanitized old days - that lemony, soapy, shower-y fresh hair smell - that used to emanate from my clothes and person.
And when he was just a tiny, teeny boy - like three months ago - Huds didn't have prune crust around his nose all the time. He spit up so rarely I thought how lucky I was to have spawned the Downy baby.
Now those days are behind us. Well behind us.
Everything has been replaced with the faint smell of sour breastmilk.
"Messy is the new sexy!" I proclaimed to my friend Naomi. "Like fifty is the new forty. Plaid is the new black... is it? I'm so out of touch, I have no idea if it is or not, but you get the idea."
When I was little, I remember how my mom's shirt always had some stain on it. Or her pants were marred by a splatter of something or other here or there.
I vowed never to let that happen to me.....
Vows are meant to be broken, I guess.
Posted by Michele Henry at 11:05:19 AM
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