A list like no other

Recently I’ve seen a large number of blogs with titles like… 25 things I want my daughter to know, 10 ways to show your son you love him, 50 ways to leave your lover…wait, that last one just randomly song-popped into my head.  I must admit I love these posts because they are very good reminders for me of things to pay close attention to regarding my children.

I’ve also seen a few titled…Things I’d tell my 18 year old self.  Also a winner in my book because it lists those tried and true life lessons that you don’t “get” until you’re beyond the years when you wish you would have known them.  I really don’t think those are as much for the 18 year olds reading them as they are for the 40+ year olds that can internally say an “AMEN to that!” when they read them.

Personally, I have a running tab of “things I’d tell my 18 year old self.”  I’ve been keeping it for years but it’s a little less on the inspirational and more of the “you better get ready for this you self-absorbed little 18-year-old” variety.  Here is one example of these thoughts.

There will come a time in your life when you get in the car to leave your home.  You are NOT heading to vacation.  You are NOT heading to the spa.  You are NOT even heading to the questionably hygienic pedicure joint where they really don’t speak English but can still somehow convince you to spend an extra $10 to get a peacock painted on your big toe.  No, you my dear will be headed to the grocery store…and if it’s a really big day, to Costco.  ALONE. With an fantastic book playing on your headphones.  At the moment you pull out of the driveway, you will feel JOY!  JOY, I tell you!  A quiet solitary trip to buy groceries and bulk toilet paper will give you a lift in your spirit that you, at this 18 year old point in your life can’t even fathom.  Somehow, right now you think that being an adult is Über glamorous…well hang on tight kid cuz Costco on a Sunday when the coupons first come out is ANYTHING but glamorous.  

The reason this one gives me a chuckle is that when my children notice me rubbing my head in that “I’m about to LOSE IT” way, they always very quietly ask… “Mom, do you need to go to Costco?” It’s sad but true.

I had an experience the other day that may top all previous entries into this running list of realities to share with my pre-adult self.  It all started 11+ years ago with the birth of my first daughter.  It came to my attention that my husband hated changing dirty diapers.  Why did this come to my attention, you ask?  Because every time he had to do it he would exclaim something along the lines of… “What did she eat?!? How is this possible?! Dear God it’s all the way up her back–the diapers are obviously defective!” And..with a few really, really explosive ones… ” Our father who art in heaven… ”  Ok, Ok, slight exaggeration there…but only slight.  The man really hated this job.

I’m pretty sure my husband could talk most anyone into most anything…most times without them realizing he’s doing it.  Because of this skill I’m always a bit wary when he brings me a “great idea” as I know his brain has been plotting and calculating and dare I say scheming the best way to present it to me to ensure his success.  At about 5 weeks post Avery’s birth he said…”I’ll make you a deal.  If you change all the dirty diapers for all of our kids, I’ll do the cat litter FOREVER.  Obviously if you’re gone I’ll have to change the diapers and if I’m gone you’ll have to do the litter but if the responsible party is here…they do it.”

FINALLY, I thought!  Finally this man is making a bad deal!  I’m totally taking him up on this!  You know why?!  At that point I figured we’d have one more child (enter Laney) and I wanted to have said baby in the near future.  So we were talking a few years of dirty diapers but our cats were very, very young at the time…and we had 3!  (That number is almost embarrassing to admit and could be a whole other blog post so don’t get hung up on it…stay with me.) I figured those felines would need litter care for AT LEAST the next 12-15 years and with 3 cats thats a 1-2x/day job.  This is genius, I thought!

Fast forward 11 years.  We have a third baby and two cats died.  I’m pretty sure he masterminded me again.  sigh…

So, back to the experience.  The rare occasion that Jason does change a diaper he always does the responsible thing and carries the baby to the proper diaper changing station in her room.  Disposes her diaper in the diaper pail, all formal-like. I on the other hand have random stashes of diapers in various drawers throughout the house to ensure that I am diaper change ready at all times.  This drives him crazy.  The potential for human excrement to touch furniture, rugs, carpet, any horizontal surface in his home causes him complete stress and he is bewildered by my conscious decision to take this risk.  So, of course, I am compelled to continue the action.

Edy at 20 months is still in diapers and although I know there is a diaper-free light in the near future, I’m still struggling to even catch of glimpse of it’s shine.  When my two older kids came home from camp this summer they brought great memories, dirty clothes and a nasty summer cold that they shared with our entire family.  I share this fact so that you can understand that my “smeller” was off.  I noticed the unmistakable heavy diaper hang in her pants so I laid her down, brace yourself, ON THE OTTOMAN for a diaper change. A WET diaper change, or so I thought.  Again, my nose is so plugged that no poopy diaper smell was registered.  You can see where this is going, right?  As I WHIPPED…I “all caps” that word so you can get the mental picture of what I actually did–that “wet” diaper off of her after unsticking the tabs I also WHIPPED a pile of baby poop straight onto the ottoman.  At that exact moment Maggie the dog squealed “TREAT TIME” and ran over and gobbled up the vast majority of the pile.   I wish I could say that after my gag reflex settled down that we were done with what could already be an awful story…but not even close.  As I watched this in horrified amazement I simultaneously grabbed both of Edy’s legs to avoid the toddler flail and subsequent poop scatter and realized my ROOKIE mistake of not having wipes close by.  As I’m stretching across the couch to get to the closest package, I look down to see her little hand fully grasping her very dirty bottom.  I screamed which startled her and she flew that hand to her forehead, chest and stomach in 2 seconds flat.  She is covered in poop and I’m busy trying to grab her hand to add to the two feet.  I’m essentially attempting to hog-tie my toddler.   I am trying to open the wipes with my one clean hand and teeth and I realize that my immobilized daughter is now having her dirty behind…umm…how do I put this…spit shined by aforementioned poop eating dog.  “NOOOOOO!” I’m screaming and am now holding the child completely upside down, carrying her to the shower where we both get in and I just turn on the water…clothes and all.

So, to my 18 year old self…

You know how right now you’re “overwhelmed” with boyfriends, girl drama and parental restraints?  You know how you swear “when you’re a parent…?”  You know how your biggest issue is how to scrape up enough change from your car to pay for your $0.99/gallon gas ?  Well sweetheart you just hang on to your tiny high-school-sized panties because SOMEDAY you will be covered in feces, fully clothed in a shower and daydreaming of Costco, all-the-while not-so-silently cursing a bad deal you made with your husband as well as the fact that you should have listened to him and changed her on the CHANGING TABLE!

Although I would also feel compelled to share with her that later that same night you’ll be so happy to share this story with your family at the dinner table and laugh at the horrified look on your husband’s face and the screaming giggles of your older daughters  while the dog eats the FOOD that the toddler drops on the floor and saves you a lot of sweeping.  Life will be good kiddo, sometimes you’ll just have to laugh your way through it.


  1. We will be burning that piece of furniture tonight when I get home…..

  2. Vicki Voskovitch says:

    There is nothing worse on the face of the planet than your husband being right, except maybe your mother being right. OMG! Thanks for the visual and huge laugh today!!

  3. Sandy Lake says:

    Soooooo funny. Jim changed a dirty diaper ONCE and it made him sick so he had to lay down. It just doesn’t bother me any more. Your experience was a bit different. Can’t you have the stool professionally cleaned when Bock comes to clean your carpet? It seems ashamed to throw it away since it looks so nice with your sofa.

  4. Lisa Pisano says:

    Oh. My. God. I am truly in tears of hysterical laughter! Thank you for sharing, it’s a great reminder that laughter, and most especially the ability to laugh at YOURSELF, is a requirement for getting through the child rearing years.

  5. Best advice to tell your daughters? NEVER let your husband get out of changing diapers! Loved the mental picture – you completely crack me up!

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