A couple of years ago, I worked very closely with the principal of our local elementary school. As we wrapped up one of our meetings, she lamented some of the serious upcoming tasks she has ahead of her. Then in a sincere tone she disclosed, “I never set out to be a professional. I always wanted to be a mama and have a few kids, but here I am. A professional.” Myself, a mama with a few kids quipped back, “And some of us are mamas, wishing at times we were a professional.”
Perhaps in an attempt to appease her laments about the conflict of motherhood and a professional career, I confessed an experience that had happened to me, just days before.
It was a cool early spring evening, and my family was finishing up dinner. I was feeling slightly rushed, as I had a meeting at the local junior high I needed to get to, for my (at the time) soon to be 7th grader. My then-2-year-old, dressed only in a onesie and diaper, had a little explosion, and so I “carefully” carried him to be changed. I finished the whole diaper episode, of course washing my hands, and then quickly finished my dinner. I could still smell poop, so I quickly re-washed my hands.
Feeling rushed to get to the meeting, I grabbed my purse, checked my teeth and hair (You know all the stuff you check before you walk out the door!) and went on my way.
As I was driving, I thought, “I can still smell poop. It must have been a really potent poopy diaper, to still have the smell lingering in my nose.”
I walked into the junior high, took my seat and began listening to the principal. I still felt like I could smell poop, and by this time began to wonder if perhaps I had stepped in some dog poop or something, somewhere along the way. Upon checking, my shoes proved clean.
And then it happened.
The voices discussing “self motivated students” and “more accelerated pace” and “college not too far in the future” completely faded in the background. I had my focus on one thing and one thing only.
Spread across my jeans, on my right thigh, was a good 4-5 inch smearing of POOP!!!
There I was, trying to establish my footing as a soon-to-be-junior-high-parent with POOP. ON. MY. LEG. FOR. EVERYONE. TO SEE.
I saw lots of familiar faces at the meeting that night, but as soon as the “Thanks for coming” was said, I bee-lined for the door. Needless to say, I was in a hurry to get home.
In the parking lot, I called my husband and the two of us laughed hysterically. As soon as I arrived home, I went to find my husband. Still laughing, I presented my poopy leg to him to see. To my surprise, his laughter increased. Amid disgust and laughter, Mike began pointing to me and laughing even more, until he could finally spit out the words, “It’s all over your jacket pocket, too.”
Sure enough, all over my left sweatshirt pocket, in addition to my thigh, was POOP!
At this point, my daughter walked in to see what all the ruckus was about. Bless her little, soon-to-be-junior-high heart. My daughter was mortified.
Her mother had just paraded around her prospective school wearing poop, all over her clothes!
I learned a few things from that day:
- Mothers need to do more than just a teeth, hair, make-up, etc. check when they walk out of the door.
- Despite no longer being a diaper-changing mother, I can dispel some diaper wisdom to others: the smell of a stinky diaper does not linger “in the air” when you are no longer in the same room. Still smelling poop after changing rooms, being in the car, and then in a school gymnasium should have been a clear indication that something was awry.
- While some mothers are able to be both mamas and professionals. I am clearly not. Enough said.
Question: When things go wrong are you able to laugh at yourself? Are you bold enough to post your story in the comments so we can laugh with you?
Challenge: When things get challenging, and don’t always go as planned, try using humor to diffuse a potentially embarrassing or maddening situation.
Image courtesy of artur84 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net