Thursday, January 12, 2012

Inspiration from Disaster

Just one more real life story from the holidays. Real life is so full of inspiration!

It was a disaster. When I say disaster, I don't mean like when your airhead girlfriend says, "Today was such a disaster! I had to drive all the way home for my shopping list, then I was late for my hair appointment..."

I mean the kind of disaster where the cockroaches hide, ashamed of their resilience to such catastrophe. Let me explain the scene.

Like us, a lot of our friends went home to their parents' for Christmas. That means for a couple of days, all my husband's childhood friends (and some of my favorite people!) were within a 10 mile radius. We had arranged to go see Thomas and Carole. His parents live just 3 minutes away, so we bundled up the kiddo and ran over for a pre-lunch appertif. We were thrilled to have more time with our "bosom friends" - we were in each other's weddings and now are sharing parenthood, our second and their first baby due just 2 months apart.

 When we arrived, the grandmother was holding Thomas' one-month old niece. "Young parents don't know anything," she said. We nodded, but felt pretty self-assured that it was first-timers who didn't get it.

Everyone was cooing over the tiny baby and laughing over our son's antics, when he said the deadly word, "Caca!"
Large gifted French noses around the room confirmed the diagnosis within seconds. My son spread his legs apart and toddled toward me, as everyone hooted. And I realized that I had made the stupid young mom mistake; I hadn't brought the diaperbag.

We were only 3 minutes away from home, we were only going to stay 45 minutes. Bad excuses.

The way he was walking, we had to do something before putting him in the car. Papa and Tonton Thomas took the boy up to the bathroom, thinking they'd be able to just put his sweatpants back over his bare bottom. "You can still smell it!" Thomas' brother roared with laughter.

A couple minutes later, my husband called for reinforcements...Mama. Suffice to say, not even the socks made it. His sweatshirt was the only thing we could put back on him. I should mention that the guys were in Boy Scouts together. So they took a plastic fruit bag and some disposable tissues to form a temporary diaper.

"I don't think that's oranges," someone joked pointing to the bar code stamped across the little plastic butt. I wrapped my scarf around his legs against the cold and we quickly said our goodbyes. Stupid young parents.

In the car, we discovered that we were now 45 minutes late for lunch. My French mother-in-law believes that everyone needs a hot sit-down meal for lunch and had come home from work to prepare it for us. We were at serious risk for a scolding. Irresponsible stupid young parents. 

I rushed the kiddo upstairs to dress him, discovering the Boy Scout diaper had apparently been comfortable, necessary and effective, as the boy had peed in it. At the table, we apologized. Unnecessarily, it turns out. I had forgotten something; the French are rarely on-time. If you want to be polite, be late and give the hostess a little extra time to prepare. My mother-in-law wasn't annoyed at all and had just finished preparations. She then took the opportunity to laugh her "derrière" off at her irresponsible stupid children. That's called coming full circle and being a grandparent - lucky people who get to play with the kid for a weekend and laugh at the poop.

I guess that's parenting and that's life. You make a stupid mistake, you're in deep caca and you figure something out. You think it'll be a big deal, but it's a big joke. Myabe it's a French thing; after all, the rooster is a national emblem because he knows how to keep crowing, even when his feet are in a pile of...caca.    

22 comments:

  1. Guten Tag Jenna,

    OMG woman... you made my wife and I laugh so much that WE nearly peed in our pants:)

    What a great post and I KNOW it's true cos we've been there and done that!!!

    PS... it *does* get easier with Number Deux :)

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! My hubby asked last night if we'd bath the kids on alternate nights (the two year old takes showers since we don't have a bathtub). Not sure if two wet and naked tinies at the same time is easier than cleaning up the bathroom every night...hmmmm. What an adventure, huh?! Bonne après-midi! Have a good afternoon!

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  2. Funny...and I love the Boy Scout diaper!!

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    1. "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!" is a quote you hear around my parents from a TV show called "the Red Green Show." I'm blessed with a hubby who is both ;)

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  3. I've been there, and had to use my own sweatshirt as a makeshift diaper once. There was another time I had taken The Girls' carseat out of my car to wash the fabric. It was still wet the next morning, so I left it drying all day. I got home from work, let the dog out, and then went to get the kids. I checked them out of daycare, and got them to the car only to realize that her carseat was still at home. She was all scared to sit on the seat with the regular belt on, but we made it. I told her not to get up or move unless she wanted us to go to jail. Probably should not have said that, but it worked at the time.

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    1. Love the sweatshirt idea - what are dads for, if not to give the shirt off their back? Yeah, jail might have been extreme, but hey! Death was the other option, right? We don't want to traumatize them, just get them to hold still for a couple miles!

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  4. Children give us some of our most cherished memories.

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    1. One of these days, I'll print my blog posts into a little booklet for my children, so they can "remember" stories about their childhood too!

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  5. lol! That's totally happened to me too! Except it was on a quick 'jaunt' up the mountain in my husbands new truck. And course we got stuck just when the baby decided to have a blow-out. not fun.

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  6. Hahaha shame! I'm glad that people saw the joke in it. :-D

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  7. Oh that is too funny! I have four kids and we have definitely been in our share of it over here, too!

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it and nice to meet you!

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  8. You are such a gifted writer - and so funny! We love Red Green at our house, too. I'm glad you have a handy hubby.

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  9. Funny story. It's good that you can laugh at it. And I love being a grandmother. If I'd know it was so much fun, I'd have done this first. ;)

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    1. Nice to meet you! My mom is looking forward to playing with my newborn withOUT having just given birth herself ;)

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  10. All parents have a diaper story. You are just not a real parent until it happens. :) I'm glad your MIL wasn't upset.

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    1. Family is great like that sometimes, right? They knnow when NOT to add to the situation! And yeah, I think we've been "baptised" into parenthood!

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  11. Jenna, I mentor moms of preschoolers. I can't wait to share your experience with them at our next gathering. You don't mind, do you? It will bring such comfort into their lives to know that others struggle just as they do.

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    1. That'd be great! When I was telling my parents, veterans of 10 kids, my dad just shook his head saying, "You always take the diaper bag!" Their youngest are 7 year-old twins...not sure my parents have kicked their diaperbag habit yet or not ;)

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  12. HA! So Brandon is all German, but maybe I have some French (seem to recall a possible connection to the Huguenots...) and THAT'S why I'm late to everything!

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