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Monday, September 11, 2017

There's Gonna Be a Little Pee on the Wall

With all the warnings. With basic knowledge of physics (very basic), I should've known: 

You have to gird up when you're changing...well...anyone's diaper. Let alone a baby boy's.


Pee on the wall.

I don't know if it's maternal extinct, or a certain defiant look in his eye. But I can sense it coming. And it happens the minute my guard is down. When the blockade-diaper I placed, just so, shifts for a split-second. Any opportunity, any freedom, it seems, he takes.

Peace like a river. Joy like a fountain. Pee on the wall.

At first, it wasn't funny. Then again, nothing really is those first few weeks postpartum. Pee on the wall was usually the straw that broke this mama camel's back. Yet another battle to fight. Yet another brick on the tower of messes to clean up. Tear-inducing, yelling for my husband to, "please come quick! Red alert! Red alert!"

When all was said and done, wall de-peed, little one changed, I'd look back on my dual-income-no-kids glory days.

The days before pee on the wall.

I remembered my friends. My happy, well-rested friends. Feeling a little embittered that they're living glamorous lives full of guilt-free cocktail hours, leisurely Sunday afternoon naps, with (unless something went terribly wrong during said cocktail hours or naps) their lovely un-peed-on walls.

Then suddenly it became funny. No big deal. Nothing a Clorox wipe couldn't handle. Like outbursts in public, late-night feedings, or tears because you love a tiny human so much it's completely turned your world upside-down, it became clear:

There's gonna be a little pee on the wall.

Now that we're about four months into this parenthood journey, now that my diaper-changing efficiency has increased by about 80 percent, the absolutely unmanageable, stressful bits of life with a newborn became simply a new way of life.

Our wall-peeing child smiled at us. Started sleeping longer than two hour stretches at a time. Let a little time lapse between feedings. These tasks that were once exhausting and mentally draining on all fronts became a little easier, day by day.

And then the new challenges came into play.

Battles with my identity. Battles with guilt. The feeling of having to outrun a tidal wave, of keeping up appearances, of trying to prove that I'm the same woman: that motherhood hasn't stripped away some parts of me, has only added, multiplied.

While it's added a lot of wonderful parts of life – my son being my absolute favorite – it's added a few thoughts and shoulds that circle my head like a bathtub drain.

I should've known this. 

I shouldn't have said this. 

I took that the wrong way. 

I shouldn't have eaten that. 

I should be in bed. 

I should, I should, I should...

It seems that so far, doing this motherhood business without a few glitches in the day, without a few tears, without a few pee-on-the-wall instances is impossible. None of us will have a perfect day. A day without crying, losing tempers or losing our minds a little.

No matter how prepared for it, in life, in motherhood, to do it well is to do it imperfectly. Because, well, there's going to be a little pee on the wall.


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