Love Thursday: the day I earned my Mom badge

by Lori Lavender Luz on November 6, 2008

in Parenting,Stories,Tessa

I have loved Tessa from the the moment I knew of her existence, but the lovin’ wasn’t proven until she was about 3 months old.

Roger had a conference in Costa Rica one summer, and I didn’t want to miss the chance to travel with him. So we recruited two babysitters — the kind who buy their own airline tickets and hotel room — a/k/a “parents.” Mine.

Three-month-old babies have a surprising amount of stuff. Clothing, diapers, wipes, and (in our case) formula, bottles, washing paraphernalia and drool cloths. One of the bulkiest things a baby needs is a bath seat that fits in a bathtub or over a sink. Bulky!

I envisioned getting on the plane with all her stuff and my stuff and a car seat and a stroller, and it was easy to decide we could do without the bath. I’d just bathe her with me.

Our hotel room had a beautiful deck bath. Deep but not long or wide. I filled it up (it took awhile because of the volume) and got in with Tessa. We played and burbled for awhile, happy in our liquid cocoon.

If you’ve read some of my other posts, you might know what’s coming.

Go ahead. Try to look away.

Somewhere during Rubber Ducky (perhaps the line, you make bath time lots of fun?) Tessa got that look on her face. The one where her mouth turns into a downward arc which is not a frown. The one that shows exertion.

I couldn’t get us out of the bath quickly enough without putting us both at risk. I yelled for Roger, for my mom, for anyone sitting in the next room.

At best (I’m thinking) the product of her efforts will be discrete. Contained. Easily removable. Pleasegod, pleasegod, pleasegod.

But noooooooo.

Within seconds, I am sitting in a vat of poop soup. Baby Tessa has the squirts.

What could I do?

My mom comes in, and quickly assesses what has happened. She grabs Tessa from me, and I open the drain.

Mom works at the sink to clean up Tessa, who is squealing happily at the crap storm she has unleashed. I wait in the tub as the soup recedes, shivering and wanting desperately to get clean. It takes forever because of the sheer volume of water, and for the, um, is viscosity the right word?

While trying to decide the best way out of this mess, Mom and I start to laugh hysterically. Tessa gets in on our giggles as well. (I just HOPE she was laughing WITH me and not AT me. But I’m not sure.)

Mom and I share a moment of knowing. I feel like I did the day I bridged from Brownies to Girl Scouts. See, I didn’t cross the bridge into Motherhood via the usual route: pregnancy, labor, childbirth. There was never a defining moment where I felt accepted into the sisterhood of mothers.

Until Costa Rica, where I most definitely earned my badge.

Suffice to say that we eventually got ourselves and the bathroom squeaky clean. (Can I just say once again how much I love my mom?)

Tessa loves this story. I wonder if she’ll feel the same in a few years when she’s all dressed up for prom and waiting on her tuxedo’ed date?

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{ 58 comments… read them below or add one }

Lisa November 27, 2010 at 3:36 am

I loved this post! I hope you won’t mind me sharing a moment that I will always remember, from my daughter Sophie’s similar age. I took her with me to do the shopping at Costco and decided to feed her in the cafe and then eat my own lunch before moving on. She happily had her milk and I propped her up vertically to burp her, with a cloth under her. I heard a burp and stopped patting because it seemed she had fallen asleep, her head resting angelically on my shoulder. Suddenly, a woman tapped me and said, “I’m sorry to have to tell you, that your baby just vomited in your coat pocket.” My coat was hung over the back of the chair, and the patch pocket hung wide open. Sure enough, the baby had vomited on the cloth and it had just dripped in a continuous stream into my pocket. I looked at her, with her enormously long eyelashes fanning down over her cheeks and thought, this is love. It was February and I had to run out to the car without my jacket on. It was absolutley disgusting and I cried with laughter when I phoned my own mother and told her the story. It still makes me laugh to remember it.

Lisa (ICLW #30 Your Great Life)


Kami December 11, 2010 at 12:06 pm

Hello!!!! Been away, barely skimmed your posts, busy, busy, busy.

I don’t know why I landed on this one, but I did. I used to bathe with the LB all the time (oh, almost forgot her blog name) and was pooped on more than once. Fun! ;)

Love the new name. It fits you.

Some day in the not too distance future, I hope to get back to my blog and do a better job of keeping up on others.


Summastarlet March 24, 2011 at 3:14 am

Happy ICLW!!

This is a great story! You certainly did earn your mummy badge!!!


jes g May 21, 2011 at 9:00 pm

stopped by from iclw, and so glad i clicked on this link….what a great story!! i needed that laugh. without a doubt…. true love


Gina @ Special Happens May 23, 2011 at 8:15 pm

OMG. This is too funny…and all too familiar. I think you’re never truly a parent until you have a poop story! LOL. Thanks.


Jenny - Sugar Loco June 4, 2011 at 12:17 pm

SOOO funny!

My little Oscar (17 months) just pooped in the tub a few nights ago. I had the same horror, as I myself was sitting on the thrown taking care of a number 1, and I saw the bubbles coming up from his behind…I couldn’t get myself off the pot quick enough to get him on the potty to try to let it unleash there. Next thing I knew Oscar says “uh oh” as he watches the big brown boat float around in his tub. And then he goes back to playing. EEEEW!

You haven’t lived until you’ve had to clean a poo out of the tub!


Judy October 17, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I know this is an older post, but had to comment! Love this story. For me, I really became a Mom when my oldest–just a few months old–while we were playing, with him laughing up in my arms above my head, he……yes….vomited into my upturned wide open gleefully laughing mouth!!


Kathy February 22, 2013 at 9:09 pm

Just read this for the first time today and really appreciate this story! Somehow you managed to make me laugh and get misty with your account of this story. Thank you for sharing! :)


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