There really isn’t a discreet way to wipe shit off of your fingers. Everyone will know what you are doing. They have already texted their friends. It’s currently trending on ALL social media.
And it’s going to require a lot of panicked “old napkin I found in my left pocket” scrubbing and trying not to look creepy while sniffing your hand — both of which bring out my nervous grin and now everyone in this bookstore thinks I have a fetish. But let’s just be honest, the elbow of your jacket is a much worse place for poop to linger. And you are not going to notice it’s there until next Thursday — the day you will most likely be brave enough to venture outside again. Because you believe in second chances and can’t worry yourself with dry-cleaning.
All because you hurriedly changed your baby in his stroller. Because this god-damn sorry excuse for a bathroom didn’t have a changing table. Or sufficient leg room. And the poop was everywhere — threatening to expose you for the sham of a mama you are. You tried to clean it up as quickly as possible because you are pretty sure what you are doing is against the law AND you still classify yourself as a new mom AND you no one bothered to tell you the rules about such a thing! They told you 2384972374 different ways to get your baby to sleep and 9,000,000 alternatives to watching Wreck It Ralph, but no, no one bothered to mention what to do when you are in a room full of people and your son just shit himself and the tiny bathroom gods hate you and you have a complex about getting crap on your elbow.
And you are learning to embrace the run on sentence.
I once had a near panic attack when a complete stranger asked me why my son didn’t have an undershirt on. An undershirt. Like a man? Like, I need to put an undershirt under his thick (oh God, is it too thick?) sweater and jacket? To protect all his manliness? And obscene chest hair? Is this a Dutch thing? Or does everyone do this and my friends haven’t found out how to inform me without coming off all douchy. Because apparently, my child has been the laughing stock of the entire play group. I am sure they’ve given him a nickname. Ole’ Bare Belly Brownlee. The one with poop on his sock. Yep, it got there, too.
I do a lot of it wrong. Most of it, I’m sure. And when I do it right, I hurry and text my mom, my best buds, my mother-in-law, the guy I married, that chick that brags too much, and I write it my journal, I didn’t suck at mom today! I did mom real real good. Come and see how good I mom!
And then because I am busy texting, I don’t notice that I forgot to put the stair gate in place and my monkey son is halfway up the stairs and I run in a blind panic, taken the steps two at a time, just for him to turn and giggle and me to imagine every horrible thing that could have happened. And I am right back to being the mom your entire gaggle fears will volunteer to watch your child (no worries — I will never willingly offer to watch someone else’s small human). I’m not certified.
We’re all kind of doing it wrong. And that’s all right.
Because every now and then, I’ll encounter an angel. A mom with a wild, manic look in her eye, sweat glistening her upper lip, and an untied baby shoe on her lap. She’s frantically looking around for a lopsided babe that escaped her grasp during the dreaded “wet pants dance and change” a mere second ago. She finds him, he laughs and runs, she screams for someone to help. She didn’t mean to. It just came out. He is obviously safe and happy. But oh, I love this mess of a mom so much. And I will gladly shake her poop-stained hand.