I've been thinking over the last couple of days that hey, I'm really starting to get good at this stay-at-home mom business! I feel confident, I feel capable, I can take her out places, I can keep her entertained and happy, life is good! Reflecting how odd it is that just when I feel I'm getting the hang of it, it's all about to end as I go back to work.
And then for two days in a row I left the house with inadequate diapering supplies.
On Monday we were at Strong Start and I sensed a Familiar Odor. Now, in general, I rarely change Gwen's diaper when we're out. My reasoning being that I usually change her about every 2 hours, and we aren't usually out for more than 2 hours, so it's just as easy to wait until we're home and have all our particular amenities close to hand. However, when the Familiar Odor appears, action must be taken, and so I took her down the hall to the changeroom/washroom and did what needed to be done.
She was, of course, in a cloth diaper. And I had a disposable diaper in the diaper bag, because I keep a couple in there for just such occasions. And I had wipes in there too, so that was no problem. Only veteran moms and dads will be able to spot what was missing.
If you said "a plastic bag to transport the soiled cloth diaper home," then give yourself a drool-sodden, pre-gnawed teething biscuit. I usually keep one in the diaper bag, but see, there's not really a place to keep the diaper bag itself when we're at home, so it ends up being stored in any one of a half-dozen places where Gwen has access to it. Which means things - especially things as fascinating as a plastic bag - get removed and played with and strewn about and, I suppose, thrown in the recycling bin instead of being returned to the diaper bag. Whoops.
On Tuesday, I took Gwen out to Costco where we met a church colleague and shopped for a church function this weekend. As we passed the Health Unit on our way home, it occurred to me that Gwen, having turned eleven months old, was due for her monthly weigh-in. Ten minutes later I found myself in the weighing room with a naked baby (19 pounds 7.6 ounces of her) and no clean diaper to put on. Because I'd used the disposable diaper the day before and hadn't restocked. Whoops, take two.
Well, after reflecting on these two incidents I am still going to give myself a pat on the back and full credit for being fairly skilled at this motherhood business. See, back in the early days of anxiety and hormones and vague unsettled worry - the days when I was afraid to carry my new baby from one room to the next, let alone take her OUT OF THE HOUSE - I spent a lot of time and mental energy Preparing for Eventualities. When I did finally leave the house, it was with a diaper bag much larger than my daughter, stuffed with a ridiculous amount of baggage. My OCD ran away with me and I somehow believed that if I just kept the baby bottles clean all the time, if I just made sure the baby's clothes were always clean and folded, if I just kept the diaper bag packed just so, I'd stop feeling so overwhelmed and helpless.
It didn't work, by the way. I don't know exactly how I overcame those fears, but I'm sure it had nothing to do with the three spare baby hats in the diaper bag.
The point is, though, that nowadays Gwen and I can leave the house with far less forethought and far less stuff. It doesn't take me forty-five minutes and a two-page checklist to ensure that the diaper bag is ready. And if my fairly casual attitude sometimes results in being caught short, well, I still count the resourcefulness and flexibility used in those situations towards my motherhood skills. Monday's dirty diaper got folded tightly and wrapped in a receiving blanket instead of a plastic bag. Tuesday's dirty diaper got turned around and refolded it so the wet side wasn't against Gwen's skin, and re-used for another five minutes until we got home and I changed her properly. Life went on. I rolled with it. And isn't that ultimately what motherhood is all about anyway?
And you can darn well bet that I restocked the diaper bag that very day, too.